Nerves to blame for wild Game 1?

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Both the Hawks and the Flyers said nerves had a lot to do the wildly entertaining, up-and-down opening game of the Stanley Cup finals.

That’s understandable, considering the majority of the players are in their first finals and are, for the most part, young.

“It’s a big stage — a long week just to sit there and think about it,” Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “[If you] got a couple of days and you go in that first game, maybe you pick up where you left off in the previous round a little bit more.

“But, you know, now I think as a team we feel we’re back in the routine, back in the swing of things. We can go out there and play hockey and focus on the smaller details of our game.”

Defensive breakdowns, mistakes in the offensive zone and a frantic pace best characterize what happened in Game 1. Five goals were scored in the first period, tying a Stanley Cup finals record, and five more in the second.

“I think they were lots of nerves out there last night, forwards, defense and goaltending,” defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “I think we were all a little nervous, both teams. I think it might be a little different story [tonight].”

Things appeared to settle down in the third period with the Hawks scoring the only goal — Tomas Kopecky’s game-winner.

“Both teams seemed to feel comfortable offensively, but in the defensive zone, I don’t know if it’s the nerves or guys too excited and running out of position, chasing guys down the wall, leaving the slot area open not just on our side, but on both teams,” Flyers center Danny Briere said. “So that was probably nerves and excitement at the same time.”

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