“..another hard fought game..” said netminder Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks Game 5 victory over the Boston Bruins. The Blackhawks continued to play the game with speed and push the pace against the very physical Bruins. Zdeno Chara had a large target on his back and the Blackhawks made it known they would be aggressively hitting him during Game 5. The Blackhawks created a lot of great scoring opportunities and a rebound to Patrick Kane ended in the first goal of the night for the Blackhawks taking a 1-0 lead. Kane was on fire during Game 5, beating Tuukka Rask in the net again during the second period with little resistance from the Bruins. The Blackhawks take a 2 goal advantage, leading through the end of the second period. In the third period, the Bruins were missing Patrice Bergeron, who headed to the hospital in an ambulance for observation, no future details were provided on his status after the game. Another player missing a lot of ice time during the third period was Jonathan Toews, Coach Joel Quenneville loosely suggested that he suffered from an upper body injury from cumulative hits but hopefully will be back for Game 6. Chara managed to rocket the puck over the glove side of Corey Crawford to cut the Blackhawks lead in half late in the third period. With seconds left in regulation and one goal separating the Bruins from sending this game into another overtime, the Blackhawks scored in an empty net to take a 2 goal lead and clinch the win, 3-1.
Chicago’s momentum was outstanding throughout Game 5. Kane was on fire; scoring two major goals for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford had a great performance making large saves and recorded 23 saves in net for the Blackhawks. Crawfords glove side has been criticized recently and although he surrendered one goal to Chara on the glove side, he played an outstanding game in between the pipes. The Blackhawks targeted Chara and were able to beat him with their speed and aggressive physical play against the Bruins Captain. After playing an uncharacteristically weak game during Game 4 and the first two periods of Game 5, Rask bounced back during the 3rd period making major saves that kept the Bruins alive. The Bruins were tight through the neutral zone but did not shoot the puck enough, only taking 23 scoring chances, giving Blackhawks netminder Crawford a relatively easy game. The Bruins struggled to keep up with the speed of the Blackhawks, which is what had the Bruins playing on their heels for the entire game. The Blackhawks also did a great job at dominating both ends of the ice for extended periods of play. With any hope for the Bruins, Bergeron will return to play, without Bergeron the Bruins could be in trouble headed into the final games of the series. Going into Game 6 the Bruins will have to refocus in order to win at home and keep their Stanley Cup dreams alive. The Blackhawks have claimed the series lead 3-2 and will meet the Bruins in Boston to play Game 6 on Monday.