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game recap

Rask, Bruins top Blackhawks in Winter Classic

Makes 36 saves, Kuraly scores winner in third at sold-out Notre Dame Stadium

by Dan Rosen / NHL.com Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Boston Bruins are leaving the University of Notre Dame with two points and a bank full of memories from playing and winning on the NHL's biggest regular-season stage.

The Bruins won the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Tuesday, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 in front of 76,126 at a sold-out Notre Dame Stadium, the second largest crowd in history to see an NHL game behind the 105,491 that attended the 2014 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Sean Kuraly scored the winning goal with 9:40 remaining in the third period and Tuukka Rask made 36 saves for the Bruins (22-14-4), who improved to 2-1-0 in the Winter Classic. They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime in the 2010 at Fenway Park and lost 5-1 to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 at Gillette Stadium.

 

[WATCH: All Bruins vs. Blackhawks Winter Classic highlights]

 

"You want to win those games when you're on a big stage like that," said Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, who had a goal and an assist. "I know it's a regular-season game but you know the meaning is different when you're playing in front of 76,000 people and on national TV."

Kuraly, who scored in overtime against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, scored on a backhanded shot from the slot. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist.

"As you can tell, it feels pretty good," Kuraly said. "I'm not the best at hiding my emotions after something like that -- and there's no reason to, I don't think. So, it was fun."

Video: BOS@CHI: Kuraly nets rebound in front for 3-2 lead

Brendan Perlini and Dominik Kahun scored, and Cam Ward made 32 saves for the Blackhawks (15-21-6), who lost in regulation for the second time in seven games since Dec. 18.

Chicago lost in regulation for the fourth time in as many Winter Classic games and fell to 1-5-0 in its outdoor game history.

"It [stinks] we couldn't get the win for our fans," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "It's a memorable moment for everybody and you want to leave the game feeling better than we are right now."

Perlini gave Chicago a 1-0 lead at 8:30 of the first period.

Pastrnak's 24th goal of the season and 11th on the power play tied it 1-1 at 12:38. He said scoring in the Winter Classic is second only to scoring in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. His goal made it 6-4 in a 7-4 Bruins win.

"All day was great," Pastrnak said.

Video: BOS@CHI: Pastrnak whips home point-blank wrister

The Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead at 11:24 of the second period when Kahun redirected Erik Gustafsson's shot from the point. 

David Kampf had what looked like a clear opportunity to give the Blackhawks a two-goal lead when he went on a shorthanded breakaway late in the period, but Bergeron raced back, waited for Kahun to deke to his forehand and lifted his stick for a takeaway.

Bergeron scored a power-play goal 22 seconds later to make it 2-2 with 1:12 remaining in the second period.

"That could be a gamechanger, right?" Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "It could be a two-goal swing. Maybe Tuukka makes the save anyway. Maybe we go down and score after that anyway. But it's a big uplifting play for us. … Sure enough, it gets rewarded at the other end."

Video: Clutch Performance: Kuraly scores the game-winner

The Blackhawks spent most of the first seven minutes of the third period killing off three penalties, including a 72-second 5-on-3. But they couldn't take momentum from the kills and Kuraly scored less than four minutes after the teams got back to even strength.

"You feel like, 'OK, we came through this and we're going to get some energy out of it,' but that's the stretch we were at our worst, those four minutes or five minutes, whatever it was, probably four or five shifts once we got to even strength," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We just couldn't get playing again and they scored before we got it turned around."

Brad Marchand added an empty-net goal with 33 seconds remaining to make it 4-2.

Video: BOS@CHI: Bergeron roofs backhand shot from slot

 

They said it

"You get two points but it's more than just an average game. You're playing in front of, what, 80,000 people on national TV, two historical franchises. Everyone wants to see a good hockey game and we just want to be on top. It worked out well for everybody, specifically for us." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy

 

"It felt like we were in control for a majority of the game. Falling short doesn't feel too good. For other guys who have played in outdoor games before, I think this one is right at the top as far as how special it was." -- Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews

 

Need to know

Rask became the Bruins all-time leader in regular season games played among goalies (469), passing Tiny Thompson. His 248 wins are second in team history behind Thompson's 252. … The Blackhawks only win in an outdoor game was in 2014 when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 at Soldier Field in the Stadium Series. ... Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have played in all six of Chicago's outdoor games. … Bergeron and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara have played in all three of Boston's outdoor games. Rask has been a part of all three, starting the past two. … Road teams are 16-8-2 in regular-season NHL outdoor games.

 

What's next

Bruins: Host the Calgary Flames on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, NESN, SNW, ESPN+, NHL.TV)

Blackhawks: At the New York Islanders on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Video: Kuraly helps Bruins to 4-2 Winter Classic win

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