Chicago dropped Game 3 of the First Round series on Saturday night, 2-1, to Vegas. Olli Maatta scored the lone Blackhawks goal in the third period after the Golden Knights saw contributions from William Karlsson and Patrick Brown in the opening two frames. Corey Crawford made 24 saves, while Marc-Andre Fleury earned the victory in his first start of the series.
Following Game 3, Jeremy Colliton is expected to go back to the 18 skaters and Crawford and goal like he has in five of the seven playoff games played to date in Edmonton.
Down 3-0 in the series, it's do-or-die for the Blackhawks as Game 4 gets underway. A win and they live to fight another day, a loss and the season is over.
"We're down three games, (Sunday)'s it. Must win to stay alive," Jonathan Toews said after Saturday's loss. "That's just the reality and that's the way we look at it. We did a lot of good things. We were working for the bounces, pucks were laying around, just didn't find the back of the net. Tomorrow we've just got to believe that we will."
All season long, the Blackhawks seem to find another level when their backs are against the wall, and head coach Jeremy Colliton hopes that Saturday's final period fight to level Game 3 is just the start of the fight his team has left to give heading into Game 4.
"We want to be that team who plays 'til the end, never quits," he said. "I think we showed character to come back but in the end it's a results thing and we've got to find a way to finish it. That'll be our focus going into tomorrow. Don't quit, be prepared to battle and put all we have into the game tomorrow and just win one."
Sunday will be the first back-to-back for two of the best teams at the double during the regular season.
Over the course of the regular season, the Blackhawks tied for the most back-to-back games played at the pause with 14 total on the season. Chicago posted a sixth-best 9-4-1 record in the follow up of the back-to-back, while Vegas was the second-best team in the second game with a 9-2-0 record in only 11 instances.