Third periods have been an issue for the Chicago Blackhawks
all season long and nothing has changed in this series against the Canucks.
The Blackhawks and Canucks each have two goals in the third period through three games, but the Canucks were able to hold the Blackhawks back in Game 1 and outscore them in Game 3. The Hawks needed to play their best period of the series in the third period of Game 3, but they wound up playing one of their worst.
They were 0-for-2 on the power play and managed only seven shots on goal. Mikael Samuelsson
scored a goal off a rebound from the slot 6:54 into the period and that was enough for the Canucks to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.
"It was 2-2 going into the third and we've got to fight to get that goal," Patrick Sharp
said. "Giving one up and chasing from behind is not the answer we're looking for. Every game presents different situations, but we'd like to be better in the third period, that's for sure."
Fourteen times this season the Blackhawks entered the third period tied or with a lead only to come away with no points. If they forced even half of those games into overtime, they would have at least opened the playoffs at home as the fourth seed.
The Hawks are still searching for answers for their third period woes.
"If I knew we would have found a solution to that already," captain Jonathan Toews
said. "It's just been a re-occurring theme where maybe it's something that snowballs on us, we put added pressure on ourselves to make plays and we end up making mistakes off of them."
said the Blackhawks sometimes fall into the habit of feeling good after the second period.
"And we start playing a little bit differently (in the third) to kind of force and get another goal," he said, "But, I think the biggest part of our game that we want to get going is to play a full 60 minutes and keep it the same way. If we play like we did in the first period (Sunday) throughout the whole night we should be successful."
Toews said the Hawks can't be worried about the trends that have dogged them all season. Not now at least.
"We've got one more game to go out there and play our best hockey, keep ourselves alive in this series," Toews said. "We can't be focused on things like that."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl