Charles Rex ArbogastSTANLEY CUP FINAL- Despite an additional day off after Game 1's triple overtime loss at the United Center to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Bruins appeared slow and listless against the Western Conference champs in the first period.
The Blackhawks pretty much spent much of the opening frame camped out on the Boston end of the ice and got on the board when Patrick Sharp buried one behind Rask just after a mad scramble in front of the net where Rask couldn't corral the rebound with at the 8:38 mark. Boston was outshot in the first period by a total of 19-4 and Rask did well just to keep it a one goal game. For a little bit of perspective, this would be the first time Boston had trailed in regulation since the opening period of the deciding Game 5 against the NY Rangers on May 25th.
A much different Bruins team would take to the ice for the second period and after being held scoreless for the entire playoffs, Bruins C Chris Kelly would give Boston the equalizer five minutes into the second period. In that same second period, the Bruins defense would hold the potent Chicago offense to four shots on goal.
Nothing was decided in the 3rd period, so the crowd at the United Center and viewers were treated to their second straight overtime game in the Stanley Cup finals. However, unlike Wednesday night's Game 1, this would not be a triple overtime affair. Six minutes into sudden death OT, Daniel Paille got his first goal of the series to break the deadlock.
The win sends the series off to Boston deadlocked at one game each. Tukka Rask turned aside 33 of 34 shots faced- allowing no goals after Sharp's first period tally- while Corey Crawford stopped 26 of 28 shots faced on the night. After killing a 2-man advantage for a total of 1:17 in Game one, Boston's penalty killing continues to impress, with the Blackhawks going 0-3 on the power play Saturday night. Of course, the flip side of that is that is the Bruins went 0-2 on the power play in Game two. With everything knotted up at 1-1, Game 3 will get underway on Monday night from the TD Garden at 5:00 and will be televised on the NBC Sports Network and CBC.
Patrick Semansky- AP PhotoRED SOX- The Bruins weren't the only one going to extra-time this week. Despite jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning on Monday, the Red Sox needed 14 innings to get past the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Boston took two out of three from the Rays before heading to Baltimore to start off a 4-game series against the O's. Game one went to thirteen innings, with Baltimore ultimately prevailing by a 5-4 margin. On Friday night, Ryan Dempster pitched well, but it wasn't enough as Boston was shut out by a 2-0 final. On Saturday afternoon, the O's jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead against Boston, but after a leadoff single by Dustin Pedroia in the top of the 4th and a strikeout by Big Papi, the Red Sox got on the board thanks to a Mike Carp solo homer. Johnny Gomes then singled with only one away before coming home on a Stephen Drew RBI double with two away. Iglesias grounded out to end the inning, but the damage had already been done and the Red Sox took a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the 5th, Jacoby Ellsbury would come home on a Dustin Pedroia RBI groundout to make it 4-2 Red Sox and in the top of the 6th, Johnny Gomes belted 1-out solo homer to make it 5-2 Boston and give the Sox some insurance. After pitching 7 complete innings and allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, John Lackey left the game and was replaced by Koji Uehara, who struck out the side in the bottom of the 8th. However, things didn't go so smoothly as Uehara left and Andrew Bailey came on to close out the game in the bottom of the 9th. After giving up a leadoff single to Adam (NOT Pac Man) Jones, 1B Chris Dsvis struck out, but O's catcher Matt Weiters belted a 2-run homer to make it a 1-run game. Shortstop JJ Hardy would then single and the winning run came to the plate in the form of Ryan Flaherty, but he would hit into a double play and end the ballgame, giving Boston their first win at Camden Yard on the season.
Mike Carp went 1 for 3 with a homer and two RBI while Johnny Gomes went 2-4 with a homer and an RBI in Saturday's win. Sunday's game will feature Jon Lester [6-3; 4.12 ERA] going up against Miguel Gonzalez [4-2; 3.71 ERA]. First pitch is at 1:35 ET and the game will be televised on NESN.
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