It was a deflating outcome for the Bruins, who also lost important forward Nathan Horton to an injury during the first overtime, while the Blackhawks seemed relieved that they didn't have to sit on such a heartbreaking loss for two days before Game 2 on Saturday night.
"It's one of those games being down 3-1, you come back to tie it 3-3, you feel like something was left on the table if you didn't come back and win it," forward Patrick Kane said. "The game went a long time. It's definitely a good feeling winning in the third overtime when it does go that long."
The winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the title in 56 of the 73 seasons since the NHL went to a best-of-seven format for the championship series in 1939. The Blackhawks won the first two games when they beat Philadelphia to win it all in 2010.
Just don't expect to see much concern coming from the Boston camp. The Bruins dropped the first two games at Vancouver in the 2011 finals, and went on to take the series in seven games.
"I don't think much is going to rattle our team," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We're a pretty resilient group of guys. We live in the moment."
Boston was on a power play during the first overtime when Horton tangled with Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson in front of the Chicago net. Horton skated off with what appeared to be some sort of upper body injury.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed here," Julien said. "He's day to day, and he's back with us hopefully the next day."
P All games at 6 p.m.
Wednesday • Chicago 4, Boston 3 (3OT)
Blackhawks lead 1-0
Saturday • Boston at Chicago, NBCSN
Monday • Chicago at Boston, NBCSN
June 19 • Chicago at Boston, Ch. 5
x-June 22 • Boston at Chicago, Ch. 5
x-June 24 • Chicago at Boston, Ch. 5
x-June 26 • Boston at Chicago, Ch. 5