"It does get frustrating," Chicago's Dave Bolland said. "You're getting pucks at the net. Things aren't going in. You do get a sense of frustration. That frustration, you have to leave it alone and you've got to keep throwing it at the net. You hit a hot goalie, you hit a hot goalie."
The Blackhawks sure have hit their share of late but simply kept rolling along.
They had won eight of nine after falling behind 3-1 to Detroit in the Western Conference semifinals, taking out Jonathan Quick and the defending champion Los Angeles Kings in five games before winning that epic opener in this series.
They simply ran out of steam in this one.
"We just didn't continue playing the way we were playing," Toews said. "We let them have the puck a little bit too often. And you, know, we didn't hang on to it. We didn't move our feet with the puck. We were too easy to check."
He thought the whistle was "a little too quick" on that wraparound. Hossa said he didn't hear it blow and thought he had a goal.
"I just tried to battle for the space, and all of a sudden, I saw the loose puck," he said. "I tried to put my stick at the puck. I just felt the puck was crossing the line, and the refs ... decided no goal."
Instead of having a solid lead in the game, they were clinging to a narrow margin. And now, instead of having a big lead in the series, they are knotted up and packing for Boston.
It would help if their top stars converted on offense. Sharp and Hossa each have 15 points. So does Kane, but four of his six goals came in the final two games against Los Angeles. Toews, meanwhile, has found the back of the net just once.
"We know what we're getting ourselves into heading to Boston and how well they play in their building, but it's not going to change our mindset at all," Sharp said. "We're going to play our best game, we're going to have to. There a good team over there, so I don't think anyone's expecting anything different."
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