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Players recovering after long Game 1
The half-dozen Boston Bruins made available to reporters strolled into a conference room of a Lakeshore hotel Thursday.
None needed to be pushed into the media session in wheelchairs the afternoon after the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup Final history, a Game 1 contest won by the Chicago Blackhawks after 112 minutes, eight seconds of hockey. There were no IV bags full of saline visible. None of the assembled players even clutched a water bottle.
“It’s pretty much the same,” Bruins center Chris Kelly said when asked about his recovery from the triple-overtime game. “I made sure I drank a little bit more and ate a little bit more, which was tough. I wasn’t exactly hungry after a long game.”
A moment later, Kelly clarified he was drinking water, not booze.
“I’d be still in bed if that was the case,” Kelly joked.
Kelly skated 27 minutes, 47 seconds, about double his usual ice time. That was true for skaters on both teams, understandable since the game was almost the equivalent of two regulation games.
“You know it's going to be a lot, playing almost two games,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference said. “It looks strange on paper. I’ve had a couple games like that where everything looks out of whack on the score sheet.”
Chicago forward Marian Hossa told reporters at United Center earlier on Thursday that his efforts to sleep in were thwarted.
“To tell you the truth, I fell asleep around 3 o'clock,” Hossa said. “I woke up early. I think my neighbor decided he was going to drill in the morning. That was unpleasant. I feel a little tired today."
With the additional day off before the series resumes at United Center on Saturday, players from both teams told reporters they don’t expect any long-lasting effects from Game 1 — at least outside of Bruins forward Nathan Horton.
Horton, who has reportedly been battling what is believed to be shoulder injury, skated off the ice and into the locker room in the first OT after a collision. He did not return.
Bruins coach Claude Julien said Horton was “day-to-day.”
"Keeping our fingers crossed," Julien said. "Hopefully he'll be back next game."
Horton was replaced on the line with Tyler Seguin, who just missed on a few chances to end the game in extra time before the puck deflected off Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw’s leg and into the Bruins’ net.
There’s at least the possibility that Seguin will fill in for Horton in Game 2.
“He had some great looks, especially in overtime,” Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. “When he's on his game, when he uses his speed like he did last night, he's really tough to defend.”
Both teams are expected to practice Friday, more than enough time, they say, to recover from Game 1 — and not just physically.
“Our team's resilient,” said Julien, whose 2011 squad dropped the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final and came back to beat the Vancouver Canucks in seven games. “Wasting our time thinking what could have or should have (been) is a lot of wasted energy.”