BOSTON -- Drowning in shots to the glove side Wednesday night, Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford needed the 18 skaters wearing white sweaters at TD Garden to throw him a line and pull him out of trouble.
They did. He's back on the deck, no worse for wear.
Crawford gave up five goals to the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, the most he's allowed in any of the 21 games he's started in the 2013 playoffs, but his team scored six for the first time to escape town with a 6-5 win to even the best-of-7 series 2-2.
"That was a heck of an effort by our guys," Crawford told NHL.com. "Even though they (Boston) came back a bunch of times, we stayed up in the game. We kept grabbing the lead and they kept coming back, but we were able to keep grabbing the lead again. From our point, we didn't change anything. We kept playing hard and we were able to pull it off with a great shot from [Brent] Seabrook (in overtme)."
Crawford, who made 28 saves, including five in overtime, knew some of the goals were partially on him, like Rich Peverley's glove-side shot from the top of the right circle in the first period.
"I picked it up late," Crawford said. "I probably want that one back or at least to play it differently."
He mentioned Patrice Bergeron's glove-side one-timer from the right circle that tied the game 4-4 with 17:55 left in regulation. Though Crawford didn't mention it specifically, Johnny Boychuk also beat him with a clean glove-side blast that tied the game 5-5 with 7:46 left.
"You always want some goals back; it's never fun to get scored on," Crawford said. "But it was an exciting game for the fans to watch and a great game for us to keep playing hard and not stray away from what we do, keep playing with speed and skill."
He can walk away from Game 4 smiling, but Crawford -- whose goals-against average went from 1.73 before the game to 1.86 -- obviously knows the Bruins are targeting his glove side. He said he can't think about it or get too caught up in focusing Boston only shooting there because the moment he does that, the Bruins could change their shooting philosophy.
"If there are some adjustments to make then we'll make them," he said. "Obviously, as a goalie, you don't want to be giving up five goals, but in a tight game like that, where it's just going back and forth, it happens sometimes."
Fortunately for Crawford, this was one of those times when his team had his back. They didn't when he made 33 saves in a 2-1 loss in Game 3, but Crawford never lost faith.
"No matter what the game is, what the situation, I'm always confident that we're going to score goals," Crawford said. "I don't even have to think about that during a game. I'm just concentrating on my game and taking it shot by shot. Some games are going to be high-scoring and you just find a way to make a key stop in overtime."