Two-day break before Game 2 today should help Blackhawks and Bruins


CHICAGO — After 112 minutes, 8 seconds of hockey played over a span of 4 hours, 38 minutes, the Blackhawks deserved a long, restful night of sleep.

Marian Hossa didn’t get it.

The veteran winger finally fell asleep at 3 a.m. — three hours after Andrew Shaw scored in triple overtime to give the Hawks a 4-3 victory over the Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

And then this happened:

“I woke up early,” Hossa said Thursday. “My neighbor decided he was going to drill in the morning. That was not very pleasant. Hopefully he is going to get the message for next time and he won’t drill.”

The good thing for Hossa and his Hawks teammates is they have two days off after playing the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup Final history before taking the ice for Game 2 tonight at the United Center.

“Having the two-day break is huge,” said defenseman Brent Seabrook, who played 39:12 on Wednesday — third-most on the Hawks. “(It’s) just getting lots of rest, staying hydrated and try to get as much fluid and healthy, good food in your system as you can. (And) just getting ready and focus for the next one.”

Several Hawks were at the United Center on Thursday, looking a little bleary-eyed about 13 hours after a game in which they sent 132 shots toward the Bruins net — 63 that found their way to goaltender Tuukka Rask, 40 that were blocked and 29 that missed the mark — delivered 61 hits and took 114 faceoffs.

All that for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. It beats the alternative, however, which the Hawks were close to experiencing after falling behind by two goals in the third period before rallying to force overtime.

“Being down 3-1 (and) you come back to tie it, you feel like something was left on the table if you didn’t come back and win it,” said winger Patrick Kane, who led Hawks forwards with 37:49 of ice time in Game 1. “It’s definitely a good feeling winning in the third overtime when it does go that long.”

Players were quick to give credit to the team’s equipment staff and trainers, who were scrambling during the overtimes.

“It’s a long game,” Seabrook said. “Guys were really focused on getting drinks in their system, guys were eating stuff, guys were changing out of wet equipment and all of that. We’ve got a great equipment staff and great trainers that give us every opportunity to get good things in our body. It was a big job by them (Wednesday) night.”

Added Hossa: “It seemed like we had more trainers than the players in the dressing room. That was nice to see. Anything we asked for, we got. We’re pretty lucky.”

Coach Joel Quenneville said he wasn’t concerned the marathon game would have an impact on his team come Saturday.

“With the extra day, everybody should be fine,” Quenneville said. “(We’ve) got a morning skate on Saturday. Everybody should be fresh.

“(In Game 1) you could just see the guys … (and) they seemed to be fresh when we went out there for the next one and the next one and the next one. You could see sometimes there might have been a little fatigue, where you’re ready to go on a shift, you look at the guys (and) felt like he might need another blow. The guys are fine.”

Apparently so are the Bruins, who avoided the United Center entirely Thursday, choosing to remain at the team hotel and meet with the media there.

“When you’re creeping up on almost playing two full games … no question that physically and mentally, it was draining,” defenseman Adam McQuaid said. “I guess that’s the name of the game.”