By Brad Gardner
The Blackhawks entered Saturday’s tilt with Boston all too aware of what the Bruins’ struggling offense has experienced in the early stages of their Stanley Cup defense. Despite Boston’s slow start to the season, the marquee match-up between the league’s last two champions did not disappoint. Both teams carried play for stretches as they battled through 65 minutes, but it was Boston that eventually came away with two points in the shootout.
The squads traded chances in the early-going. Milan Lucic had several scoring opportunities on his own in the first period, the first one redirected high by the stick of Jonathan Toews and later a couple heavy shots on the rush that Corey Crawford was able to control. Patrick Kane’s line continued to create offense despite a new face in Viktor Stalberg on the right wing for an injured Marian Hossa. Their best chance came after Stalberg shielded the puck and passed to Kane, who drove unimpeded to the net but was robbed by the glove of Tim Thomas. Kane threw another backhand attempt at Thomas later in the period after using the spin-o-rama to get himself some space.