Patrick Kane sped toward the net, and then shuffled his skates for a few precious seconds.
Then came a well-placed wrist shot, and the Chicago Blackhawks had another big victory.
Something about the Boston Bruins brings out the best in Kane and Co.
Kane scored in a shootout to lift Chicago to a 3-2 win over Boston on Sunday in a rematch of last season's Stanley Cup finals, capping an impressive weekend for the Blackhawks that also included a victory over NHL-leading Anaheim.
"Two big games against two great teams," Kane said. "I can't say we were going as well as we wanted to before these two games."
Jonathan Toews beat Tuukka Rask on the stick side to give the Blackhawks the lead in the tiebreaker, but Brad Marchand's quick wrist shot got by Corey Crawford, tying it up for the Bruins.
Kane, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy last year as playoff MVP, then skated toward the goal, slowed up for a second and sent a shot past Rask on the stick side to give Chicago the win. The Blackhawks had lost their previous seven games that had gone past regulation.
"It was a great test, and nice to finally get a shootout win, too," coach Joel Quenneville said.
Marian Hossa and Brandon Bollig had the regulation goals for Chicago, which beat Boston in six games in June for the title. Quenneville picked up win No. 692, matching Dick Irvin Sr., for third on the NHL's career list.
Marchand scored in each of the first two periods for the Bruins, who had won two of three. Rask had 35 stops.
"It's always nice to get a couple, but I wasn't really worried about trying to redeem myself from the finals or anything like that," said Marchand, who was shut out in the playoff series against the Blackhawks. "It was just a big game for our team and we need these points right now."
It was Boston's first visit to Chicago since June 22, when the Blackhawks used two goals by Kane to win 3-1 and take a 3-2 lead in the NHL finals. The Blackhawks then had a memorable rally in Game 6 in Boston, scoring twice in 17 seconds late in the third to secure their second title in four seasons.
The series included five overtime periods, including three in Chicago's 4-3 victory in Game 1.
Together again for the anticipated rematch, the Bruins and Blackhawks once again were unable to decide the game in three periods. Defenseman Gregory Campbell had a chance to win it for Boston in overtime, but whiffed on a deflected puck.
"We had some chances you wish we would have buried, but it just continues to be the same as it was last year," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "You need overtime to resolve these games against us."
Chicago controlled much of the first and had a 1-0 lead before Marchand made the most of two open opportunities in a 69-second span overlapping the first two periods.
First, Marchand got a slick pass from Patrice Bergeron and sent a wrist shot over Crawford's right shoulder at 19:41 of the first. The Blackhawks lost the sneaky forward again at the start of the second, and he used a clever fake to set up a shot through Crawford's legs for his 14th goal.
It was Marchand's second multigoal game of the season. He has four goals and an assist in his past three games.
Boston's 2-1 lead lasted about 10 minutes. The Blackhawks caught a break when Bollig's bad-angle shot from the right side went off Rask's left foot and into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Asked what happened on Bollig's score, Rask said: "Good question. I had the post covered, my skate was there, I was ready. It just somehow went over, off of my skate or something."
Coming off a 4-2 victory over NHL-leading Anaheim, the Blackhawks got off to a fast start in their second-to-last home game before the Olympic break.
Patrick Sharp skated ahead to jump on a loose puck in the Bruins' zone and then passed to the middle to Hossa, who pushed it by Rask to make it 1-0 at 4:13.
Hossa also scored twice during Friday night's victory over the Ducks. The 35-year-old winger has five goals and two assists during a five-game point streak.
The Blackhawks almost had a 2-0 lead in the first, but Rask made an outstanding stick save on Brandon Saad on the left side of the goal. Kane started the dazzling sequence with a spinning pass to a streaking Saad in front.