From a certain perspective, Game 3 was an extension of the last 36 minutes of Wednesday’s Game 2: the once-surging Blackhawks drained of energy and the Bruins recharged, and now a series that had seemed tilted toward Chicago has simply been turned upside-down.
After Boston’s surgical 2-0 home ice victory on Monday, the Blackhawks can only grasp at solutions to their utter power outage and the failure of their usually strong special teams. “We’re simply not producing now,” said Hawks’ defenseman Duncan Keith, whose team now trails, 2-1. “It’s part of what they’re doing, sure. They’re physical and sound, but a lot of the things we did so well at the start of the last game haven’t been there, and you see the results.”
The results are daunting for the Hawks, who were never shut out during the regular season as they captured the Presidents’ Trophy. Now, including the extra session in Game 2, they’ve been blanked for more than six straight periods. On Monday, every inch of ice seemed to have a Boston stick or body in the way. The Hawks couldn’t find a path of least resistance, because there wasn’t one.
Give the Bruins credit for that. At their best, they maintain a commitment to team defense that seems to have no holes.