Now we’ve got ourselves a Stanley Cup Final series.
Three nights after a devastating triple-overtime loss in Game 1, the Boston Bruins grabbed a thrilling overtime win of their own, a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2. (Seriously, can’t these guys finish a game in regulation?)
Saturday’s game was again a battle of outstanding goalies, with Corey Crawford (26 saves) and Tuukka Rask (33 saves) dueling all night and continuing to play like the best netminders in hockey. But it really takes something special to be one of the game’s real three stars, and neither one of these guys had it.
Who did? Take a look below.
FIRST STAR: Daniel Paille
Paille had himself a big-time game Saturday night, and it wasn’t just his game-winning, series-tying goal in overtime that sealed first-star status for the Bruins left winger. (Though that goal was probably worth watching again, so enjoy it below — fast forward to the 1:03 mark for the winning play.)
You see, Paille also had a hand in the first goal, a Chris Kelly rebound past Corey Crawford to tie the game at 1-1 with 5:02 left in the second period. Kelly got credit for putting the biscuit in the basket, of course, but it would have never happened without the fancy stickwork of Paille, who deked Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy out of his skates to open the whole play up.
Without that deke, Kelly never scores. Without Kelly’s goal, there’s no overtime for Paille to score in. So it’s no exaggeration to say Daniel Paille is the reason Boston is going back home tied 1-1. Someone buy that man a Sam Adams.
SECOND STAR: Video Review
Midway through the first period, after a Patrick Sharp goal made it 1-0, the Blackhawks appeared to take a 2-0 lead when a puck trickled past Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask and into the Boston net. But the apparent goal was waved off after the referee determined that the whistle had blown before the puck crossed the line. The ruling was then upheld following a video review.
There’s no questioning that the puck crossed the goal line:
The issue is simply one of whether or not the whistle came first. Watch the video below and decide for yourself:
THIRD STAR: Jaromir Jagr’s self confidence
Jaromir Jagr really has no reason to be short on confidence. The legendary 41-year-old is back in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in more than two decades, he’s playing like he’s 31 and he’s got a really rockin' playoff beard.
But check out Jagr, the NHL’s active points leader, in this clip before Saturday’s Game 2 win.
During its pregame coverage, CBC asked the Bruins' David Krejci who his favorite player was growing up. Not surprisingly, the 27-year-old Czech named Jagr, a Czech legend himself. Next up in the montage was Jagr. Who was his favorite player growing up? Take a guess: