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Blackhawks battle back from two-goal deficit to defeat Canucks, tie series

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER, B.C. - The Chicago Blackhawks battled back from a two-goal deficit and used Dave Bolland's short-handed goal to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 Saturday night to tie their NHL Western Conference semifinal playoff at one game each.

Bolland put the Blackhawks ahead 3-2 at 16:50 of the second period while Chicago was killing a hooking penalty to Patrick Kane.

Defenceman Duncan Keith lifted a high pass to Bolland, who had gotten behind the Canuck defence. He broke in alone on Vancouver's Roberto Luongo, deked the Canuck goaltender to the ice, and slid a forehand shot into the net.

Bolland later scored into an empty net.

Patrick Sharp scored twice for Chicago, his second coming on a five-on-three power play. The Canucks were at a further disadvantage because Ryan Kesler, one of their best penalty killers, had broken his stick.

Ben Eager and Kane also scored for the Blackhawks, who notched five unanswered goals. Three of those came in the second period when Vancouver was outshot 13-5.

The Canucks won Thursday's opening game of the conference semifinal 5-3. The best-of-seven series now heads to Chicago for games Tuesday and Thursday.

Defencemen Sami Salo and Alexander Edler, with his first of the playoffs, scored for the Canucks. Henrik Sedin also scored late in the third period. All the Canuck goals came on power plays.

Salo's goal was his third of the playoffs and second of the series, but he left the game soon after scoring and did not return. That forced the Canucks to juggle their defensive pairings.

Salo missed the fourth game of the Canuck's first-round sweep of the St. Louis Blues with a "lower body injury."

The loss was the first of the playoffs for the Canucks.

Chicago outshot Vancouver 31-21.

One of Luongo's best saves came in the second period when he made a diving stop with his stick to block a shot from Eager. That brought chants of "Louuu, Louuuu" from the sellout crowd of 18,630.

The win was the first for Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin against Vancouver in 13 starts. His last victory over the Canucks was Jan. 26, 1998, when he played for Phoenix.

The bad blood between the teams began to boil late in the third period. That led to pushing and shoving after whistles and several scrums.

The Canucks got the start they wanted by scoring power-play goals 1:09 part in the first period.

Salo opened the scoring at 5:35 when he wired a shot from the point that sailed over Khabibulin's glove. The goal came just 30 seconds after defenceman Nikolai Hjalmarsson was called for delay of game.

Edler made the score 2-0 at 6:44, scoring from the point just 10 seconds into a two-man Canuck advantage.

The Blackhawks seemed to take over the game after the second Canuck goal. They used their speed and size to keep Vancouver hemmed in its own zone.

Khabibulin was forced to make a couple key saves. He stopped a shot from defenceman Shane O'Brien, then stoned Alex Burrows.

Chicago also got lucky when Steve Bernier had Khabibulin down and out, but slid the puck past the outside of the post.

Notes: Forward Taylor Pyatt, whose fiance was killed in a April 2 car accident, took the pre-game skate but was scratched from the lineup. He missed the final five games of the regular season and has not played in the playoffs. . . The Canucks have recalled Jeff Cowan, 32, from Peoria of the AHL for the playoffs. . . Luongo had not allowed a goal against Chicago in 111 minutes, 28 seconds before Kane beat him in the third period of Game 1. . . Vancouver had 12 players recording points in their Game 1 win.

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