By Christopher Smith
---- — BOSTON — The first period was dominated by the Boston Bruins. They had everything: hustle, physicality, puck possession, more shots (12-6) and a crowd behind them here at the TD Garden which was going completely insane.
But the Bruins led just 1-0 at the first intermission. They should have been up more.
“The first period we could be up 3-0 and we were only up one,” Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk said.
Simply put, the Blackhawks were licking their chops after being down just one goal during the first intermission and they eventually skated away from here with the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks won 3-2 with some late-game heroics.
Chicago’s Daniel Carcillo didn’t play but he was in the locker room between periods.
“We heard the guys in the room say, ‘That was the best they (the Bruins) had and so now it’s time for us to play because we really didn’t do that in the first,’” Carcillo said. “So they reiterated that in the room and then came out and the third was our period. This group is just never-say-die and tonight’s game was more evident of that (than) our whole run this year or this playoff, which has been amazing.”
Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger said that the Blackhawks knew that Boston was going to come out storming in the first period.
“They came out flying,” Kruger said, “and they couldn’t play like that the whole game. I think we (did) better in the second period. And the end of the game, I don’t know what to say about this.”
The Blackhawks outshot Boston 31-25 despite their lackluster first period.
“We probably could have scored more goals in the first and the third, but we didn’t,” Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara said.
Tyler Seguin finished the playoffs with just one goal, seven assists and a minus-2 rating in 22 games.
“He’s a great player and he’s won a Cup,” Kruger said.
No Blackhawks would take the bait and criticize Seguin, who didn’t play his best hockey in the series. The 21-year-old did have a pretty assist on a Chris Kelly goal in the first period, but he wasn’t good enough this postseason.
Seguin does plan on a doctor’s visit tomorrow. So he likely was dealing with some sort of ailment.
“I played I don’t know many games — even though I don’t regret going to Europe, I definitely felt zeros pouring on (as in running out of gas) in the end in the playoffs,” Seguin said.
“I gave it everything I had in the tank tonight. I have no regrets looking back. Obviously I would have liked to pop a few goals for my teammates. But I’ve just got to move on and learn from it, and realize I’m still young, and have a great offseason to get ready for next year.”
Three in a row
The Blackhawks were the better team in this series, winning three straight and showing a great deal of grit. Yes, the Bruins had an epic collapse here in Game 6. But you can’t say Boston beat itself.
“Yeah, I thought it was pretty even,” Chara said of the series. “It was two teams playing a little bit different styles, but both are pretty effective and it was very close. I think that all six games, end up deciding with one goal. I think obviously one was them was the empty net goal that made it two-goal difference, but all the other ones were one-goal games. So, it was pretty close.”
Former Red Sox utility man and now WEEI radio host Lou Merloni was at the game and tweeted during the first period: “With my wife. She is absolutely ... horrified. She’s never seen me act like this. Keeps asking ‘Are you OK.’”
He then tweeted, “This place is SNAPPING.”
The crowd was incredible during the first period. Veteran reporters said it was the loudest TD Garden crowd in recent history.
“It’s always rocking in here,” Bruin Chris Kelly said before the game.
That said, it was extra rocking last night during the first period.