CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks needed three overtimes to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday night. It was the first time in, oh, a month and a half, that a Chicago team has needed that much extra time to win a playoff game at the United Center.
On April 27, the Bulls eked out a three-overtime, 142-134 win over the Brooklyn Nets at the arena to take a 3-1 lead in that first-round series. At least that game started in the afternoon.
Elias Sports Bureau confirmed this is the first time a city had NBA and NHL teams play in a 3OT game in the same postseason. It was the fifth-longest game in Stanley Cup finals history. There have been only seven such games in NBA playoff history.
The stakes were much higher for the Blackhawks and the viewers couldn't get enough.
According to Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the Blackhawks did a 25.1 local rating, with most sticking around for the end just before midnight, on NBC. The Bulls' game, which started at 1 p.m., posted a combined 8.1 local rating for TNT/CSN.
Both wins featured comebacks by the home team to get to the first overtime. For the Bulls, Nate Robinson scored 29 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and the first two overtimes, erasing a formidable Nets' lead late in regulation and hitting a wild go-ahead shot with seconds remaining in the first overtime. Nazr Mohammed hit two shots in the game's final 32 seconds to help ice the victory.
The Blackhawks trailed 3-1 in the third after Boston's Patrice Bergeron scored a power-play goal. But Dave Bolland scored less than two minutes later and Johnny Oduya tied it with a little less than eight minutes to play in regulation. As Thursday approached, Andrew Shaw won the game 12:08 into the third OT.