BOSTON — The Bruins now have their own 17-seconds moment against the Blackhawks.
Of course, the Hawks as a franchise will happily give up David Pastrnak’s game-winning goal Thursday with 17.2 seconds left in regulation in order to keep their own 17-seconds moment in Boston — as in, the time between Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland’s famous game-tying and game-winning goals in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.
But the imbalance in the significance of those two moments didn’t make this 4-3 defeat any easier to swallow for these current Hawks.
“It’s a dagger, that’s for sure,” Brandon Hagel said.
After a faceoff win by the Hawks, the puck bounced erratically out of the corner, over Connor Murphy’s stick guarding the crease and right to Pastrnak, who roofed it over Kevin Lankinen’s glove.
The late goal negated an altogether respectable effort from the Hawks, who matched the bruising Bruins’ physicality from the opening puck drop and twice battled back from one-goal deficits with Hagel’s 19th and 20th goals of the season.
“We played a really good 60 minutes there,” Hagel said. “Our penalty kill could have been a bit better, but we stuck together as a team, came back in the third period and made it a game. It’s tough when, at the end, no one’s out of position, the puck’s bouncing everywhere... It’s our luck, I guess.”
“I liked our battle,” interim coach Derek King said. “I liked our compete [level]. ... I was thinking, ‘Hey, [if] we get this to overtime, we might have this one.’ That’s a tough one.”
Lankinen, who finished with 32 saves on 36 shots, nonetheless continued to struggle. He looked disoriented in his crease early on, then continued to spit out rebounds on every shot even after he settled down positionally.