CHICAGO – No better way to break into the postseason record book, eh?
Two goals by Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews bookended a second period that saw Chicago grasp a 3-2 victory from what had looked like a lackluster Game 2 effort and certain defeat.
Toews' first goal was a splendid wrister 46 seconds into the middle period, the second a rebound tip-in off a David Bolland slap shot at 19:36. While the former cut the Blackhawks' deficit in half at 2-1, it was Toews' rebound with time running down in the frame that put Chicago in front to stay and gave the Blackhawks all the confidence they needed to ice the game in the third.
“That was a killer [for Calgary], for sure,” said winger Patrick Kane, whose nifty flip past Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff knotted the contest at two. “Jonathan has been such a huge player for us all season long. He’s the one guy on our team who can just decide to turn it on, and he just takes his game to another level.”
Naturally, the mellow center deflected credit all around despite his First Star effort.
“Our power play was really slumping, so it was great to get that first goal so quickly in the [second] period,” Toews said. “Then on [my] second goal, that was just a great shot by Bolly. I was just lucky enough to cover that rebound and squeak it through.”
Though there was some worry over how this young Blackhawks squad would respond to the pressures of postseason play, Toews is mature beyond his 20 years. Was he panicked after such a flaccid first half to the game, especially in light of a bit of a lash from coach Joel Quenneville’s tongue? Not a bit.
Hey, Toews isn’t the youngest captain in the League for nothing.
“We knew we could kick it into high gear [in the second],” he said. “We came out a little more relaxed. We know we tend to get smarter as games go along. We’re a confident group.
“And while we know this series has only just begun, we’re going to head out to Calgary and try to end it.”