Hawks won't blame fatigue, physicality on Game 2 loss

Hawks won't blame fatigue, physicality on Game 2 loss

June 16, 2013, 12:00 am
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Nina Falcone

Patrick Sharp said fatigue wasn't an issue for the Blackhawks on Saturday night. He also said the Bruins' physical play wasn't either.

After the first period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final was dominated by the Blackhawks, the Bruins found their feet and brought the physical style of play Chicago anticipated seeing. So after momentum shifted and Boston began getting chances in front of the net, the Blackhawks didn't blame their 2-1 overtime loss on adjustments their opponent made.  

"I think we expect them to be a physical team. They've got some big, mobile guys that finish their checks, and that's to be expected," Patrick Sharp said. "But I think for the most part we felt good, we felt energized, we felt quick, like we had speed...but they scored on their chances."

[MORE: Bruins bite back in overtime win]

The Blackhawks dominated the first 20 minutes of Game 2, but held just a 1-0 lead despite earning a 19-4 edge in shots on goal. While the Bruins weren't generating many chances in front of Corey Crawford, they made sure the Blackhawks didn't earn more than a one-goal lead. And once they tied the game, gears changed for both teams. 

"Momentum's big in the playoffs, both sides know that and it's another close game -- another overtime game," Sharp continued. "Both the games could go either way and I think it's come to expect for this series."

The Blackhawks had their best period at the start of the game and the Bruins had their best at the end. But when you head into overtime, it's all about the finish, and the Blackhawks weren't able to gain that first-period momentum back.

"I don't think we played well enough to win that one in overtime at all," Brent Seabrook said. "I thought we played well in the game, but in overtime they had lots of chances.

"They played well. I thought we came out in the second firing and we gotta try and do a better job keeping that momentum during the entire game. I thought we came out and played well in the first and we gotta continue to play like that."

Coach Joel Quenneville said his team "stopped doing what made (them) successful" during the second period, and felt his team stood around while the Bruins created their chances on the ice.

[HIGHLIGHTS: Paille, Bruins net overtime winner in Game 2]

"I thought we slowed ourselves down. I don't think we got the puck behind them," he said. "I think we were in front of them too much, I think that played into their hands."

Like his teammates and coach, Jonathan Toews said the Bruins' change in play wasn't the problem for his team. The Blackhawks are confident they can continue to be successful no matter how strong or physical their opponent is, and now they'll take that mentality to Boston for Game 3.

"I think maybe we could have brought a little more physical play, but for the most part we were quick on our feet, we were the aggressors early in the game," Toews said. "Their physical play didn't really affect us too much. Again, we just kind of let them play their game. We let them make the plays that they wanted to play mid-way through the game and towards the end, and so it had nothing to do with them trying to slow us down."