Do-everything Saad back to scoring, too
BY MARK POTASH email@example.com June 13, 2013 12:20AM
2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One
Updated: July 15, 2013 7:29PM
Corey Crawford would rather be lucky than good, but needed to be both Wednesday night.
The Blackhawks somehow withstood a series of golden-opportunity flurries by the Bruins in the first overtime of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final when Crawford came out of the net and made acrobatic saves and got help from his defensemen, a goal post and some untimely errant shooting by the Bruins.
For an instant at least three times in the first overtime, the game looked like it was over. But fate seemed to step in when Crawford wasn’t there to keep the Hawks alive. Marian Hossa even stepped in goal on one frantic Bruins flurry, but a shot was deflected by Dave Bolland and never reached the net.
Crawford stopped 51 of 54 shots in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 triple-overtime victory, including 35 in a row after Patrice Bergero’s goal 18 seconds into a power play gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead with 13:51 left in the third period.
But he was never better and more fortunate than in the first overtime, when he stopped 12 shots and somehow survived several critical moments.
Early in the overtime, Crawford aggressively came out of the crease to make a sprawling stop on Shawn Thornton. In the middle of the overtime he made two big stops on Rich Peverley, and then Tyler Seguin on a rebound, with a helping hand from Bolland.
After the Hawks were penalized for having too many players on the ice, Crawford lost his stick and Marcus Kruger was impaired, but Nathan Horton hit the post.
On a 3-on-2 rush later in the overtime, Crawford stopped Seguin and David Krejci had an open net on the rebound, but couldn’t get the handle on a backhand attempt.
Crawford was not tested as severely in the second overtime but did stop Seguin on a mini-break early in the period and made back-to-back saves late in the period — a wrist shot by Daniel Paille and long but point-blank slap shot by Torey Krug on the rebound.
Crawford’s luck seemed to get better as he did. On another power play in the final minute of the second overtime after another Hawks penalty for too many men on the ice, a shot by Zdeno Chara from the blue line was deflected by Jaromir Jagr but hit the post. It bounded across the crease, but Milan Lucic, who already had two goals, could not get a stick on it.