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Blackhawks hoping to be road warriors in Game 5

by Derek Jory /
VANCOUVER – Through four games of the Western Conference Semifinal between the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks, each team has won once on home ice and once on the road.

The Blackhawks are hoping the significance of playing on home ice continues to be marginal as they head into GM Place in Vancouver for Game 5.

"I think both teams might not always play their best hockey at home," said forward Jonathan Toews.

"But we know that this building is going to be rocking again tonight and it’s not the same as playing at home, so we’re ready for that."

Although the Blackhawks have dropped three of their last five road games in the playoffs, with a 6-3 win over the Canucks in Game 2 of this series Chicago proved they can win in Vancouver.

Not a lot of teams can make that same claim with the Canucks winning 15 of 17 games at home dating back to Feb. 3 and prior to the start of this series.

The Blackhawks learned the importance of picking up victories away from the United Center against the Calgary Flames as after dropping Games 3 and 4 in Calgary, Chicago wrapped up the series with a convincing 4-1 road win in Game 6.

"It’s always nice to play more games in the series at home, but there’s no easy games at home or on the road," said Martin Havlat.

For the first time in this series the Blackhawks have confidence on their side after sticking to their systems and pulling out a much-needed victory in Game 4.

"It was a very important win for us because it would be tough to come here being down 3-1 and it’s always tough to play against these guys in this building," added Havlat.

"It’s 2-2 now and it’s going to be a hard challenge and a hard game tonight."

Three Chicago players skipped the team’s morning skate with defenseman Matt Walker and forwards Samuel Pahlsson and Adam Burish, all opting for some additional rest.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said the three players are "all available tonight."
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