Jun 20, 2013, 12:25 AM EST
Chicago’s gameplan to beat Tuukka Rask on Wednesday night was a simple one:
Don’t let him find the puck.
That what ‘Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville said following his club’s 6-5 overtime victory in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, explaining that Chicago did a tremendous job of getting bodies in front of Rask, keeping him from seeing shots.
“I thought we had way more traffic than the last game,” Quenneville said. “If [Rask] sees the puck, he’s going to be almost impossible to beat.
“We wanted to make sure we got there, made it hard on him to find it and try to get in on the second and third opportunities.”
Chicago fired 47 shots on Rask all told, and a number of them came with traffic in front, or within 10 feet.
Jonathan Toews scored on a tip-in of a Michal Rozsival shot, Patrick Kane buried a rebound off a Bryan Bickell chance, Patrick Sharp banged home the team’s first PPG of the series and the longest-distance tally — Brent Seabrook‘s OT-winner — came on a shot that went through several bodies before finding the back of the net.
“Nice ending, with the traffic at the net and with Seabs having the nice shot,” Quenneville said. “Kinda like their goal [Boychuk tally] that tied us up.”
Wednesday’s result will be a huge confidence boost for the ‘Hawks, and not just because they evened the series at two.
Hanging six goals on Rask is something no team has accomplished this postseason — he hasn’t allowed more than four in a single game. In fact, you have to go all the way back to Jan. 31 for the last time he got lit up in this fashion, a 7-4 loss to Buffalo in which he surrendered six before the Sabres scored on an empty net.
On a larger scale, Chicago should be pleased it beat the guy that was starting to get into its collective head.
The Boston goalie had a shutout streak of nearly 130 minutes in this series — snapped when Michal Handzus opened the scoring at 6:48 of the opening period — and, through the first three games, boasted a .960 save percentage and 1.22 GAA.
Quenneville had previously lambasted his team for making it “rather easy” on Rask, especially in Game 3, and there were concerns Chicago was going to run into the same fate as Pittsburgh, who could only muster two goals against Rask over the entire Eastern Conference finals.
That wasn’t an issue in Game 4.
In fact, Quenneville seemed pleased that his club found its offense, and confident the ‘Hawks could keep it going for the remainder of the series.
“We did a lot of good things tonight,” Quenneville said. “We’ll look at the positives and move forward.”
Mar 8, 2014, 4:28 PM EST
The Leafs have called up Frazer McLaren.
Mar 8, 2014, 3:49 PM EST
He had a 0.96 GAA and .954 save percentage in the Olympics.
Mar 8, 2014, 3:21 PM EST
He suffered the injury last Saturday.
Mar 8, 2014, 2:42 PM EST
He might not be ready for the start of the playoffs either, should Columbus get that far.
Mar 8, 2014, 1:58 PM EST
Guess who holds that record?
Mar 8, 2014, 1:16 PM EST
The Capitals drafted him in 2010, but he’s been playing in the KHL.
Mar 8, 2014, 12:58 PM EST
It will be his first start with Washington.
Mar 8, 2014, 12:15 PM EST
They were key players in Finland’s bronze medal run in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Mar 8, 2014, 11:32 AM EST
The Lightning are trying to get out of a rut just days after trading Martin St. Louis.
Mar 8, 2014, 10:40 AM EST
He’s open to continuing his career as a backup goaltender.
Mar 8, 2014, 9:51 AM EST
Ottawa has been underwhelming this season.
Mar 8, 2014, 9:03 AM EST
He hasn’t taken a penalty yet this season.
Mar 8, 2014, 2:05 AM EST
Marc-Andre Fleury was busy in this one.
Mar 8, 2014, 1:11 AM EST
On a special night for one of the franchise’s greats.
Mar 8, 2014, 12:24 AM EST
This is just…sick. But awesome, too.
Mar 8, 2014, 12:05 AM EST
Played nine seasons in Calgary.
Mar 7, 2014, 11:19 PM EST
Last shift came late in first period.
Mar 7, 2014, 11:03 PM EST
Goals, goals and more goals in this one.
Mar 7, 2014, 10:28 PM EST
His first NHL start since Feb. 8.
Mar 7, 2014, 10:02 PM EST
Remember that blockbuster trade the other day?
- Ryan Murray has knee surgery, likely done for season 0
- Washington finally signs top prospect Kuznetsov 24
- Roberto Luongo records the shutout in first game back with Panthers 27
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack 63
- Canucks’ Kassian gets three games for boarding Dillon 27
- TGIF: Why Lightning fans can be upset with St. Louis 32
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- Report: Kuznetsov terminated KHL deal, headed to Washington 21
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- Luongo has Twitter fun at Canucks’ expense 36
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- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)
- Sabres announce Pat LaFontaine resigns as president of hockey operations (66)