BOSTON – Brent Seabrook scored at 9:51 of overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins in a wild Stanley Cup final game Wednesday night.
Seabrook's shot from the point through traffic that beat Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask gives the Blackhawks, who never trailed going into overtime, a new lease of life.
The teams are now tied at 2-2 heading into Saturday's Game 5 in Chicago.
The Bruins threw everything they had at the visitors in mounting a furious comeback but came up short in the third game of the series to go to overtime.
It was a crazy contest, crammed full of offence, momentum swings and bristling with more than a little bad blood. At times, it was like a violent all-star game.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville's decision to reunite Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell paid dividends. Toews and Kane each scored for the Blackhawks, with Michal Handzus, Marcus Kruger and Patrick Sharp getting the Blackhawks' other goals.
But the Bruins refused to keel over.
Patrice Bergeron scored twice and Rich Peverley, Milan Lucic and Johnny Boychuk added singles for Boston, which found itself behind the eight-ball all night. It was a roller-coaster ride for the crowd of 17,565—the 164th straight full house at TD Garden—as the Bruins trailed 3-1 and 4-2.
Chicago outshot Boston 41-28 after regulation time and 47-33 overall.
Tied 1-1 after 20 minutes, Chicago pulled ahead by outscoring the Bruins 3-2 in a frenetic second period that saw five goals in 10:49 and three in 2:39.
The five second-period goals matched the combined total of Games 2 and 3. And Chicago's three-goal production for the period was one more than Pittsburgh managed to put past Tuukka Rask in four games.
Trailing 4-3 to open the third period, Bergeron pulled the Bruins even at 2:05 with a wrist shot on the glove side that Corey Crawford might want back. Jaromir Jagr, in his 200th NHL playoff game, drew the assist on Bergeron's ninth goal of the post-season after some dogged possession in the Chicago end.
The Bruins are no strangers to comeback. Boston trailed 4-1 with 11 minutes to go in Game 7 against Toronto in the first round, only to make history by winning 5-4 in OT to become the first NHL team to win a Game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period.
Sharp put Chicago ahead 5-4 on the power play at 11:19 just six seconds after Boston survived a brief two-man disadvantage. Sharp stuffed the puck in from close range with Jagr trying to race back in the play from the penalty box, which still had David Krejci in it.
Boston remarkably answered back with Boychuk's slapshot just 55 seconds later knotting the score at 5-5 before Seabrook ended in overtime to give Chicago a win it desperately needed.
Teams have trailed 3-1 in a best-of-seven series a total of 229 times and have come back to win the series on 20 occasions or 8.7 per cent of the time. But the only team to do it in a Stanley Cup final was the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, who rallied famously to beat Detroit.
Chicago came out with purpose in the first period and Rask had to stop Marian Hossa, back in the lineup after missing Game 3 due to an upper body injury, from point-blank range early on. By the five-minute mark, Chicago had outshot Boston 5-0. A penalty to the Blackhawks' Johnny Oduya seemed like a reprieve but a short-handed 2-on-1 rush with Handzus and Brandon Saad put the Hawks ahead at 6:48.
Tyler Seguin lost the puck to Saad near the blue-line, allowing the Chicago duo to take off.
The goal, the first short-handed effort of Handzus' 95-game playoff career, ended Rask's shutout streak at 129:14 and the Bruins' home shutout string at 193:16.
But Boston began to show signs that it was digging itself out of the hole. A Krejci chance at the side of the net just missed when the puck bounced over his stick. Several other passes also just missed their target in front of the Chicago net.
Peverley then tied it up in the dying seconds of a power play. It was a typical Bruin play, the product of hard work. Andrew Ference made a nice play at the blue-line to keep the puck in and when Saad couldn't clear the puck, Peverley swooped in and rifled a wrist shot past a surprised Crawford on the glove side at 14:43.
It was Peverley's first goal since Game 3 of the first-round series against the Maple Leafs.
As the first period wound down, the Bruins were moving their feet and creating chances. Outshot 7-1 earlier in the period, Boston finished with nine shots to Chicago's 12 and had a shot ring post after one.
It was a tight second period until Toews, with his first point of the series, tipped in a Michal Rozsival point shot at 6:33 to make it 2-1 past a screened Rask. It was just Toews' second of the playoffs and his first goal since May 25.
Less than two minutes later, Kane scooped a backhand for his seventh of the playoffs into a near empty net at 8:41 after a Bickell rebound found him all alone.
Boston coach Claude Julien called a timeout in a bid to staunch the flow of goals
Lucic pulled one back with his sixth at 14:43, stuffing in a backhand of a Zdeno Cara rebound after some fierce Boston forechecking.
But Kruger ended the celebrations 49 seconds later, tucking in the puck after a nice setup by Michael Frolik. Kruger appeared to have outdeked himself, but pulled the puck back as it went past the post and stuffed it in.
Boston got the crowd going again at 17:22 on the power play, cutting the deficit to 4-3 with an opportunistic Bergeron goal. A booming Chara shot came off the glass behind Crawford's goal and bounced right in front of the crease where Bergeron banged it on.
An action-packed second period ended with Chris Kelly hitting the goalpost and Crawford stopping Jagr from close range. Chicago outshot Boston 13-11 in the period.
Badly beaten in the faceoff circle last time out, Chicago held a 25-20 edge in faceoffs after two periods in Game 4. The Bruins led 35-33 after three periods.
Coming into Wednesday's game, the Bruins had won seven straight at home, outscoring their opponents 21-10.
Prior to Game 4, the Bruins were 11-2 in their last 13 games, with both losses coming in overtime. They had outscored opponents 40-21 in that span.
Note: Jagr became the 19th skater and 21st player to reach 200 NHL playoff games. … Chicago came into the game 10-5-3 in contests following shutouts against in five regular seasons under Quenneville … Wednesday's “Fan Banner Captain” was Marc Fucarile, who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings.