The shots were there. The hits were there. The speed was there. And like much of the 2013 postseason, overtime was needed to determine a winner.
There was a playoff-like atmosphere on Sunday as the Blackhawks and Bruins faced off for the first time since the Stanley Cup Final, but the visiting team wasn't interested in making comparisons to last June.
"No," goaltender Tuukka Rask responded when asked if he had this game against the defending champions circled on his calendar. "It's just another game. We don't come here too often except for the playoffs last year, but it's a great building to play in. Always good games, entertaining games.
"It's more of (the Blackhawks) being a good team. You have to be at your best in order to have a chance to win because they have so much firepower up front and their D's jumping the play all the time. You want to be as sharp as you can because they're a good team, not because of what happened last year."
The Bruins played a strong game despite falling, 3-2, in a shootout, and they were confident that their performance on Sunday was as solid as it was based on the fact they weren't worrying about the past.
"We were trying to approach it as just another game," forward Brad Marchand said. "We're more concerned with how our game's going right now and playing well, and I think we did a really good job at that. We came in, we didn't worry about anything from last year, we just worried about playing our game."
Marchand was a main contributor to Boston's success as he scored both of the Bruins' goals in regulation. After struggling against the Blackhawks during the playoffs, he came into the United Center and fired both goals within 68 seconds of one another.
"It's always nice when you get a couple, but I wasn't really worried with trying to redeem myself from the Final or anything like that," he said. "It was just a big game for our team, and we need these points right now."
After dropping four of their last six games, the Bruins were happy to get a point against one of the league's best teams. The fact that it came against the organization that knocked them out of the Final was simply a side note for them.
"I don't think we have to look over our shoulders or over-respect anybody, we just have to go out and show we're part of that group and we are," Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. "Our game has slipped and we've struggled through some of that stuff, but we're a good team. We've just got to play the way we know we can, and you get those games like today.
"We don't have to prove anything, we just have to show that we're a good team night in and night out. It's as simple as that."