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game recap

Hawks make another comeback, even series

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Derek Jory - NHL.com Correspondent

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Hawks make another comeback, even series
Chicago Blackhawks 6, Vancouver Canucks 3

Derek Jory | NHL.com Correspondent


Often down but never out, the Chicago Blackhawks seem to get a kick out of comebacks.

In Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinal against the Vancouver Canucks, the Blackhawks climbed out of a three-goal hole only to give up a late score and an empty-netter in a 5-3 Canucks win.

Game 2 was following the same script, with Vancouver up 2-0 after the first period thanks to a pair of power-play goals, but when Chicago sparked a comeback on this night they followed it through to the end, winning 6-3.

Ironically enough, the same innocence and eagerness that shot the Blackhawks in the foot in Game 1 was what led to their rally in Game 2.

"People talk about us being young and inexperienced and I think that may be exactly it, we’re too naive or we’re too dumb or we’re too green to know that we’re in a bad position," said forward Adam Burish, who had two assists in Game 2.

This was the fifth time Chicago has come back to erase a deficit in its last eight games, and the third time the Blackhawks have held on for the win. In the other two games, they erased three-goal deficits before ultimately falling.

The tides turned in this tilt midway through the second period when Patrick Sharp threw the Hawks on his back and scored two goals to tie things up.

Just 3:20 after Sharp's second goal of the game and fifth of the postseason, Dave Bolland scored a beautiful shorthanded breakaway goal that despite not standing as the game-winner, put the Hawks ahead to stay and really was the biggest blow to the Canucks.

The play started with a heads-up pass from defenseman Duncan Keith who flipped the puck down the ice from the hashmarks to the left of Nikolai Khabibulin in the Chicago zone.

The puck couldn’t get to Bolland quick enough, as he was a step behind two Canucks. He gloved it at the Vancouver blue line and marched in on Roberto Luongo.

A backhand and forehand deke later and Chicago had its first lead of the series.

"I think he was just trying to get it out and I just tried to stay a little high making sure that if he did throw it down there I could get a chance at it, and it was a great play by him," said Bolland.

From there the Blackhawks beat Luongo twice more and added an empty-netter in the third period, while Henrik Sedin scored a late goal for the Canucks.

In coming back to upend Vancouver and even the best-of-7 series at 1-1, the Blackhawks displayed veteran poise and knowhow far beyond what the team was thought capable of.

Sharp, who finished the game with two goals on seven shots alongside a plus-1 rating, doesn’t think his team enjoys having to claw its way back in games, but it's nice to know they can.

"We’re a confident team and we know that despite the score, we’re still in any hockey game and it was nice to have the ability to come back again tonight," Sharp said, adding that he hopes Chicago doesn’t make a habit of trailing every game.

"Against a team like Vancouver you don’t want to spot them too many two- or three-goal leads, that’s for sure. We’ll celebrate this one; we’ll enjoy it and get ready for the next one."

Forgetting this game is a must for the Canucks if they hope to head into Chicago and steal a game.

Giving up a split on home ice isn’t the end of the world; it just seems like it because Vancouver was riding an eight-game winning streak, dating back to the regular season.

The way the Canucks lost is a little defeating. You never want to blow sizeable leads in back-to-back games, let alone in the postseason.

"In the playoffs you hope that if you’re up 3-0 or 2-0 you should be a little bit tighter defensively," Henrik Sedin said.

Capitals/Penguins Playoff Gear Blackhawks Gear Canucks Gear "But they are really an extremely skilled team and we know it’s going to be these kinds of games. Our power play worked really well tonight. If you score two or three on the power play you should win games."

The Canucks finished 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Blackhawks also scored twice on the man advantage, finishing 2-for-9.

Once the Blackhawks started to rally, the Canucks couldn’t keep pace. They collectively fell apart with everyone from Luongo, who hadn’t given up five goals in regulation since a 7-6 shootout loss to Anaheim last October, to Ryan Kesler, who was a minus-2, missing his usual edge.

"We had a loss tonight and we have to bounce back as a group and that means everyone playing better defensively including our forwards," Mats Sundin said.

"We’ve got to take care of our own end and do a better job there. That’s the bottom line and that’s where we have to start."





Dave Bolland wasn’t on the ice long before taking a Hail Mary pass from Duncan Keith and scoring his third career shorthanded goal. It didn’t stand as the game-winner, but it put the Blackhawks in front to stay and it was a beauty.



After giving up two goals on the first five shots he faced, Nikolai Khabibulin buckled down and stopped all 15 shots he faced the rest of the game.



Vancouver had defeated Chicago in every game this season, both regular season and playoffs, when it recorded a power-play goal. That came to an end in Game 2, despite Sami Salo and Alex Edler tallying special-teams goals for the Canucks.



The plus-minus battle was heavily one-sided on this night, with Chicago finishing a plus-24 to Vancouver’s minus-26.



Talk about coming out strong. The Canucks have only allowed one first period goal this postseason. Roberto Luongo has 17 first period saves through two games.

scoring summary
1st Period
05:35
VAN
PPG - Sami Salo (3) ASST: Henrik Sedin (4), Daniel Sedin (5)
1 - 0 VAN
06:44
VAN
PPG - Alexander Edler (1) ASST: Mats Sundin (2), Kevin Bieksa (2)
2 - 0 VAN
2nd Period
10:24
CHI
Patrick Sharp (4) ASST: Adam Burish (1), Matt Walker (2)
2 - 1 VAN
13:30
CHI
PPG - Patrick Sharp (5) ASST: Brent Seabrook (7), Patrick Kane (3)
2 - 2 Tie
16:50
CHI
SHG - Dave Bolland (2) ASST: Duncan Keith (3)
3 - 2 CHI
3rd Period
02:13
CHI
Ben Eager (1) ASST: Adam Burish (2)
4 - 2 CHI
05:48
CHI
Patrick Kane (5) ASST: Jonathan Toews (5), Troy Brouwer (1)
5 - 2 CHI
17:15
VAN
PPG - Henrik Sedin (3) ASST: Mats Sundin (3), Alexander Edler (4)
5 - 3 CHI
18:50
CHI
EN - Dave Bolland (3) ASST: NONE
6 - 3 CHI
penalty summary
1st Period
05:05
CHI
Niklas Hjalmarsson  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
06:16
CHI
Ben Eager  Roughing against  Kevin Bieksa
06:16
CHI
Adam Burish  Misconduct (10 min) against  Rick Rypien
06:16
VAN
Rick Rypien  Misconduct (10 min) against  Adam Burish
06:34
CHI
Duncan Keith  Slashing against  Ryan Kesler
13:56
VAN
Shane O'Brien  Hooking against  Andrew Ladd
18:52
VAN
Pavol Demitra  Interference against  Kris Versteeg
2nd Period
02:17
CHI
Brent Seabrook  Roughing against  Steve Bernier
06:53
VAN
Mats Sundin  Slashing against  Patrick Sharp
11:41
VAN
Kevin Bieksa  Hooking against  Dustin Byfuglien
12:00
VAN
Willie Mitchell  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
15:54
CHI
Patrick Kane  Hooking against  Rick Rypien
3rd Period
12:20
VAN
Rick Rypien  Holding against  Marty Havlat
13:37
VAN
Alexandre Burrows  Misconduct (10 min) against  Jonathan Toews
13:37
VAN
Alexandre Burrows  Roughing against  Jonathan Toews
13:37
VAN
Alexandre Burrows  Roughing against  Jonathan Toews
13:37
CHI
Jonathan Toews  Misconduct (10 min) against  Alexandre Burrows
13:37
CHI
Jonathan Toews  Roughing against  Alexandre Burrows
13:37
VAN
Ryan Kesler  Roughing against  Marty Havlat
13:37
CHI
Marty Havlat  Slashing against  Ryan Kesler
14:29
CHI
Dustin Byfuglien  Roughing against  Rick Rypien
14:29
VAN
Willie Mitchell  Cross checking against  Dustin Byfuglien
14:29
VAN
Rick Rypien  Misconduct (10 min) against  Patrick Sharp
14:29
CHI
Dustin Byfuglien  Misconduct (10 min) against  Willie Mitchell
14:29
VAN
Rick Rypien  Roughing against  Dustin Byfuglien
15:13
CHI
Dave Bolland  Interference against  Ryan Johnson
16:52
CHI
Brent Seabrook  Tripping against  Henrik Sedin
goalie stats
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 21TOI: 59:47
Saves: 18EV: 16 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 5
SV%: .857SH: 0 - 0
Roberto Luongo
SA: 31TOI: 58:44
Saves: 26EV: 19 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .839SH: 1 - 2