Milan Lucic would be a key difference-maker for the Bruins if all he did was charge around the offensive zone, physically overwhelming and frightening defensemen. His sheer physical impact on a game can be immense, and during the course of a series, he can wear down blueliners and get them hearing footsteps.

But there is far more to Lucic’s game than mere brawn and intimidation, as the Chicago Blackhawks learned last night in Game 1 of what promises to be a Stanley Cup finals for the ages, an all-time classic won by the Hawks when a puck bounced off pesky Andrew Shaw and past Tuukka Rask at 12:08 of the third overtime

Folks in Chicago seemed to expect the talented, deep Blackhawks to have their way against the Bruins, but Lucic made it very clear to the 22,110 at the United Center that this series is going to be far from easy.

Lucic set the tone early, as he scored the first two goals of the game for a 2-0 B’s lead early in the second period. It was the first of two two-goal leads for the visitors, neither of which they were able to protect. He had several more great chances to complete the hat trick and quite possibly get the B’s the win.

As a team, the Bruins had a bundle of great opportunities to end it in overtime, including a puck that was shot by Zdeno Chara and tipped off the post by Lucic with nine seconds left in the second extra frame. A moment later, the big winger couldn’t quite gain control of the bouncing rebound to stick it in.

“It was nice to get on the board,” Lucic said of his early goals. “It was just being in the right place at the right time. It’s nice to get a few. Hopefully I can keep that up.”

The mood in the Bruins’ room was understandably low. But Lucic made it clear he and his mates can’t spend much time worrying about what almost happened last night.