CHICAGO – An extra day off will do Chicago and Boston well as they have played three overtime games in the first four matches of the Final. Mercifully, two have ended in the first OT session while the first went an epic three extra periods before the Blackhawks prevailed.
Offense was not an issue in Game 4 but the defenses and goaltending were suspect for both squads. The trick for Boston’s Claude Julien and Chicago’s Joel Quenneville is to balance the positive outcomes for both teams in the Wednesday night tilt with the need for better defense and clearing efforts from the low slot. Both goalies need to see the puck sooner and that’s the job of the blue liners to make that happen in Game 5.
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
Boston @ Chicago, Game 5, series tied 2-2, 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT, NBC, CBC, RDS
DID YOU KNOW?
* This is fourth time in the last five years that the Stanley Cup Final has been tied 2-2 after four games, with 2012 being the lone exception (3-1 in favor of Los Angeles).
* Teams have split the first four games of the Stanley Cup Final 22 times since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939. The team winning Game 5 has captured the Stanley Cup 15 times (68.2%). However, the team losing Game 5 has rebounded to win the series on four of the past six occasions (all since 2001).
* Those four teams: the 2011 Bruins (vs. the Canucks), 2009 Penguins (vs. the Red Wings), 2004 Lightning (vs. the Flames) and 2001 Avalanche (vs. the Devils).
GAME 4: A LOOK BACK
* The 11 goals scored in Game 4 marked the highest-scoring affair of the 2013 postseason and the most in a Stanley Cup Final game since the Blackhawks defeated the Flyers, 7-4, in Game 5 of the 2010 Final.
* The 6-5 decision marked only the second time since 1927 that a Stanley Cup Final game went to overtime with both teams scoring at least five goals (also Game 1 of the 1982 Final, when the Islanders defeated the Canucks, 6-5).
* The Blackhawks held leads by eight different scores: 1-0, 2-1, 3-1, 3-2, 4-2, 4-3, 5-4 and, finally, 6-5.
* Twenty-two of the 36 skaters registered at least one point, including six multi-point efforts.
* Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook became the fifth blueliner in NHL history to record two overtime goals in one playoff year, joining Detroit’s Leo Reise Jr. (1950), Chicago’s Chris Chelios (1995), Carolina’s Niclas Wallin (2002) and Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer (2007).
* This is the first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years to feature three overtime games. Overall, it is the sixth Stanley Cup Final series since 1927 to require at least three overtime games.
3 Or More Overtime Games, Stanley Cup Final (since 1927)
2013: Blackhawks vs. Bruins – 3 (CHI: 2-1)
1993: Canadiens vs. Kings – 3 (MTL: 3-0)
1951: Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens – 5 (TOR: 4-1)
1950: Red Wings vs. Rangers – 3 (NYR: 2-1)
1946: Canadiens vs. Bruins – 3 (MTL: 2-1)
1940: Rangers vs. Maple Leafs – 3 (NYR: 3-0)
* Road teams have won 15 of the past 19 Stanley Cup Final overtime games, including two of the three in this series, and are 20-6 since 1990 (.769).
* Game 4 marked the 27th overtime game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs (84 games), one shy of the record set in 1993 (85 games).
NBC/NBC Sports Network:
The Stanley Cup Final is averaging a 3.1 household rating and 5.356 million viewers across NBC (Games 1 and 4) and NBC Sports Network (Games 2 and 3), making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Final through four games (since data became available in 1994).
Game 4 drew a 3.8 household rating and 6.459 million viewers on NBC, making it the most-watched Game 4 in Stanley Cup Final history (since the introduction of People Meters in 1987). Viewership peaked in overtime (11:15-11:30 p.m. ET) with 8.192 million viewers.
Locally, Boston received a 28.9 household rating and Chicago received a 22.0 household rating for Game 4. NBC was the No. 1-rated network overall in both cities for the 8-11:30 p.m. ET time period.
NBC also was Wednesday night’s most-watched network and tied FOX for first among adults 18-49. Game 4 was the No. 1 program of the night.
The Stanley Cup Final is averaging 2.585 million viewers on CBC, up 6% versus last year’s four-game comparable on the network. Through 44 telecasts, the Stanley Cup Playoffs on CBC are averaging 2.011 million viewers, up 20% versus 2012’s comparable time period.
The Stanley Cup Final is averaging 528,000 viewers on RDS, up 7% versus last year’s four-game comparable on the network. Through 65 telecasts, the Stanley Cup Playoffs on RDS are averaging 398,000 viewers, up 27% versus 2012’s comparable time period.