Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) scores a goal past Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) during the second period in Game 4 Wednesday.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
BOSTON — Brent Seabrook’s goal 9 minutes, 51 seconds into overtime lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a wild 6-5 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night and tied the Stanley Cup finals through four games.
Seabrook fired a 45-foot shot past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask to end Game 4 and send the series back to Chicago tied 2-2. Seabrook also scored the overtime goal in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals to eliminate the Detroit Red Wings.
Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday night.
It was the third overtime game of the series. The Blackhawks won the opener 4-3 in three overtimes, and the Bruins won 2-1 in the first overtime period in Game 2.
Boston grabbed the series lead Monday night 2-0 behind Rask’s third shutout of the postseason.
Seabrook’s shot from the right went to the far side of Rask, who appeared to be screened.
Trailing 4-3 after the second period, the Bruins tied it on Patrice Bergeron's second goal of the game at 2:05 of the third period.
Patrick Sharp gave Chicago a 5-4 lead at 11:19 of the third period with the Blackhawks' first power-play goal in 30 chances, but Boston came right back to tie it 55 seconds later on Johnny Boychuk’s hard 40-foot shot.
All five Bruins goals were to the glove side of goalie Corey Crawford.
Jonathan Toews broke his scoring slump in Chicago’s three-goal onslaught in the second period against Rask.
In an unusually wide-open game, the teams combined for five goals in the second period after the first ended in a 1-1 tie on goals by Chicago’s Michal Handzus and Boston’s Rich Peverley.
Boston Bruins center Rich Peverley, right, celebrates his goal against the Chicago Blackhawks with left wing Daniel Paille (20) and center Tyler Seguin (19) during the first period in Game 4.
associated press Enlarge
Patrick Kane and Marcus Kruger also scored for Chicago in the second. Milan Lucic and Bergeron countered for Boston.
Rask posted his third shutout of the postseason in Game 3 and began Game 4 with a shutout streak of 122 minutes, 26 seconds.
That ended at 129:14 when Handzus scored a short-handed goal at 6:48 of the first period. Then Peverley, who had been struggling offensively, scored his second playoff goal during a rare power-play shift for him at 14:43.
Toews and Kane led the Blackhawks with 23 goals each this season, and neither had scored a goal in the Cup finals. Toews had gone 10 straight games without one, but now has two goals in 21 playoff games.
His fortunes changed when he gave Chicago a 2-1 lead at 6:33 of the second. Michal Rozsival fired a low rising shot from the right point that Toews tipped in near the right post.
Just over two minutes later, Kane made it 3-1. Bryan Bickell shot the puck from low in the left circle. Rask deflected it to the other side and then scrambled to get back in position, but Kane converted the rebound at 8:41.
The Bruins stayed aggressive, and it paid off when Lucic got his sixth goal of the postseason at 14:43. Zdeno Chara passed the puck from the left boards to Lucic in the slot for a backhand from 10 feet past Crawford.
Then it was the Blackhawks' turn to come back, and it took less than a minute.
Kruger put his own rebound past Rask for his third postseason goal this year at 15:32. But that 4-2 lead didn’t hold up for long in the back-and-forth game.
At 17:22, Bergeron scored his eighth goal of the playoffs off an odd bounce during a power play. Chara’s shot hit the glass behind Crawford and bounced back off the top of the net. It ended up in the slot, and Bergeron put it in to cut the deficit to 4-3.
CHANGES AHEAD: Hybrid icing could be on its way to the NHL.
The league’s general managers met Wednesday and embraced many of the changes recommended by the competition committee, including hybrid icing and the mandatory use of visors for all players entering the league.
A blend of touch and no-touch icing that offers referees the discretion to blow a play dead will be in effect during the 2013-14 preseason. If the experiment is successful, hybrid icing will be implemented for the regular season, pending a board of governors vote.
Mathieu Schneider, a former defenseman who is now a special assistant to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, said both sides should have a better gauge by the end of the preseason.
“I’m optimistic,” Schneider said. “I’ve learned more through these meetings, watching videos and getting a better understanding.”
WORKHORSE: Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara has been a workhorse throughout the playoffs. He averaged 30 minutes, 4 seconds in 19 games before Game 4. That is more than any other player in the series.
Have the Blackhawks been too preoccupied with the 6-foot-9 Bruins captain?
“I don’t know if we’re giving him attention, respect or whatever,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “Certainly, he's playing meaningful minutes. He’s going to be out there against top guys. It's not like we’re keeping guys off the ice [to avoid him].”
MAYERS STAYS READY: Chicago forward Jamal Mayers hasn't played since April 27, the last regular-season game.
Since then, he has been a spectator for all their playoff games, 21 counting Game 4 on Wednesday. Mayers had no goals and two assists in 19 games this season. In 915 games in his NHL career, he has 90 goals, and 129 assists.