CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 12: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins checks Brandon Bollig #52 of the Chicago Blackhawks into the boards in the first period in Game One of the NHL 2013 Stanley Cup Final at United Center on June 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Updated: July 17, 2013 7:14AM
Everything was going smoothly for the Blackhawks. They were controlling the pace and possession. They were generating chance after chance, while preventing ones from even beginning in their own zone. They were all over goalie Tuukka Rask.
But something was missing.
As good as the Hawks were in the first period against the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on Saturday, they had only one goal to show for all their domination. And just when it looked like a 2-0 lead was there for the taking, the Hawks were left watching referee Wes McCauley wave his arms in the most painful of ways — indicating a no goal.
“I thought the whistle was a little bit quick,” Jonathan Toews said.
“He said his intention was to blow the whistle,” coach Joel Quenneville said.
In the end, it turned out to be a significant play as the Hawks lost 2-1 in overtime, and the series now heads to Boston tied at 1-1.
Toews wrapped around a shot into Rask, and Marian Hossa swiped at his pads. Rask stretched from post to post, trying to cover the puck.
Afterward, Rask had to remove the puck from his net. Replays appeared to show a moving puck near Rask’s skates and possibly crossing the goal line.
But it didn’t matter — play was dead at 12:32 in the first period.
“Video review was initiated by the NHL situation room because the puck entered the Boston net,” the ruling on NHL.com said. “The referee had blown the play dead prior to Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa pushing the goaltender’s pads and the puck across the goal line. No goal Chicago.”
The Hawks weren’t exactly pointing fingers at McCauley afterward.
“The puck was loose, we felt,” Sharp said. “But it wasn’t there. So the ref obviously made the call that he felt was right. I’m not sure if the puck crossed or not. I couldn’t really see on the Jumbotron, but those guys make the right call most times.”
Toews said it was on the Hawks to generate more chances like that, but they didn’t. The chance came 70 seconds after Sharp gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
They also outshot the Bruins 19-4 in the first, but their chances soon dissipated.
“We were doing things that we had to do,” Toews said. “That’s why we had that chance and unfortunately it didn’t go our way. We needed to keep doing that and we didn’t really do it.”
Rask said the Bruins were in “survival mode” in the first period.
“It looked like they had more guys out there than we did,” Rask said. “But it was good that we were only down by one. [We] regrouped after that.”