CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks have star power and yet they are often fueled by players who aren't going to grace the cover of the Hockey News.
The Blackhawks' impressive depth paid dividends yet again when Andrew Shaw scored on a tip-in with 7:52 left in the third overtime to give Chicago a 4-3 win against Boston in the opening game of the Stanley Cup Final.
Shaw was in front of the net when he deflected Dave Bolland's tip of Michal Rozsival's shot from the point to end a game that featured 117 shots on goal, including 63 by the Blackhawks.
Chicago goalie Corey Crawford was particularly sharp in the first overtime period, making 12 saves including two against Boston grinder Shawn Thornton who had a breakaway in the first five minutes of overtime. Crawford calmly stopped his initial shot, plus his rebound effort.
The game went to overtime because Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya's shot hit Boston defenseman Andrew Ference's skate and deflected into the goal at 12:14 of the third period to tie the game 3-3.
The Blackhawks' third goal meant they had scored more goals in Game 1 than the Pittsburgh Penguins had scored against Boston in the four games played in the Eastern Conference finals.
Chicago's secondary scorers were important in keeping the game tight. Boston's goals came from its stars, while the Blackhawks goals came from a rookie, a defenseman, a veteran who scored his first goal of the playoffs and Shaw, who is known primarily as a player who provides the team with an energy boost.
The loss could be even more costly because Bruins right wing Nathan Horton, the team's second-leading scorer, didn't come out to play in the second overtime. He has been troubled by a bum shoulder.
The Bruins did play strong defense in the second period when they thwarted a Chicago 5-on-3 power play for 1:17 that resulted from the Bruins getting called for too many men on the ice.
That penalty is famous in Boston hockey history because it was called with 2:34 left in a 1979 Game 7 playoff game and it allowed Montreal to tie the game and win in overtime. The Canadiens went on to win the Stanley Cup championship that season.
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