CHICAGO | Wednesday night — and Thursday morning — hockey fans got the ultimate two-for-the-price-of-one: Six periods on the ice when they paid to see three.
The Blackhawks’ 4-3 triple-overtime victory against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final will be talked about for years.
The feats of endurance and the numbers were staggering, especially for the Blackhawks, who gained entree to the Final via a double-overtime victory Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings.
The emotions in the wee-hours locker room after Wednesday's win were a mixture of relief, triumph and satisfaction.
Here’s a review of a long day’s journey into midnight:
Game times: Start, 7:22 p.m. Finish: 00:00, according to the scoresheet, meaning the stroke of midnight.
Marathon ‘D’ men: Four Bruins defenseman played more than 40 minutes: Dennis Seidenberg at 48:36, Andrew Ference at 45:19, Zdeno Chara at 45:05 and Johnny Boychuck at 41:37. The Blackhawks' depth meant only one Chicago player saw more than 40 minutes: Duncan Keith, used to long hours, was on the ice for a game-high 48:40.
Mind over matter: “I think it was more mental (stress) than anything. Once the game starts, you’re tired after your shifts. You’re beat up, you’re sore. Mentally, you’re not prepared to play six periods in a row.” — Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp
Shooting gallery: The Hawks totaled 63 shots, the Bruins 54. The Hawks totaled 31 shots in the second and third periods.
Man advantage, really?: The teams converted on just one of six power-play opportunities. The Hawks even failed with more than a minute of a 5-on-3 advantage in the second period.
Bantam vs. heavyweight: “He's a big boy. He's strong. (I had) a good battle in front of the net with him there. I think I held my own…Got to get on him and try to tire him out as much as we can.” — 5-foor-10 Blackhawk Andrew Shaw on 6-foot-9 Bruin Zdeno Chara
1:15 a.m. News Final: The poor anchor team at Boston NBC affiliate WBZ (Ch. 4). They not only had to come on the air almost in the middle of the night, but also had to hold the audience with news of a disheartening loss.
Six is a crowd: Number of penalties for too many men on the ice: Twice on the Hawks, Bruins one.
Circus saves time: “Maybe. I didn’t have a choice. Got to play hard. The next play could be it.” — Blackhawk Corey Crawford on raising his concentration level to a career-high in overtime.
The hits just keep on coming: The supposedly style-over-sinew Hawks actually out-hit the Bruins, 61-59.
The whole world is watching: Some 700 media credentials were issued for 300 seats.
Admiring teammates: “Anytime he makes those saves you get that little bit of extra energy and you can keep going. He’s the backbone of the team.” — Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya on Corey Crawford
Forgotten man?: The Bruins Milan Lucic scored two first-period goals to put the Hawks in a jam facing goalie Tuukka Rask. Who talked about Lucic postgame?
Coach, put me in: The Blackhawks' Brandon Bollig logged the fewest minutes on either side at 14:24.