Category Archives: Stanley Cup Playoffs

Ducks Take 2-1 Series Lead Over Chicago, Beat Hawks 2-1 In Game 3

By Jon Fromi

After wresting home ice advantage from the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks gave it right back to their Western Conference Final opponent. Thursday, Frederik Andersen and the Ducks came out and made a pair of goals stand up. Anaheim took a 2-1 series lead with a 2-1 Game 3 victory at the United Center.

First Period-The Hawks came out strong early, with Corey Perry making a sprawling play to prevent a scoring chance by Joakim Nordstrom. Corey Crawford had to make a quick stop at the 2:45 mark when Kyle Cumiskey’s pass was picked off by Jiri Sekac and sent to the net. Ryan Kesler took advantage of a muffed pass attempt by Brent Seabrook late in the fourth minute to make a beeline for Crawford. He couldn’t get the puck settled and the shot was wide.

Perry tripped Johnny Oduya 5:39 into the period to set up the man advantage. Chicago couldn’t convert and Kesler got a shot on goal as the penalty expired. Read more »

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Ducks take Game 1 in Anaheim 4-1

By Brad Vandenberk

Finally, after waiting 10 days, game one of the Western Conference Final was played at the Honda Center in beautiful Anaheim. The Hawks have been trying to stay in game shape after disposing of the Wild in 4 straight games. There was one more test that stood in their way to reaching the Stanley Cup and it was the Ducks. They came to play this afternoon, but it was the Ducks who took game one with a 4-1 victory. Brad Richards scored the lone goal for the Hawks with 39 seconds left in the second period. That would be all she wrote from there.

Corey Crawford and Frederik Andersen were in net for this one and Andersen looked sharp, absolutely robbing Patrick Kane on a wide open net. David Rundblad replaced Michel Rozsival who broke his ankle and will not be able to resume playing until next season. Rundblad was very noticeable but in a bad way, almost solely being responsible for 2 of the Ducks goals. Read more »

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Blackhawks Sweep The Wild, Suffer Key Loss As Rozsival Likely Done For Season

By Chris Block

When the second-round series became official, about the last probable outcome most people would have come up with was a Blackhawks sweep of the hottest team in the NHL since January.

Yet, Chicago did just that. And now the Hawks are one step closer (8 wins, in fact) from their 3rd Stanley Cup in 6 seasons.

Thursday night in St. Paul, the Blackhawks completed the 4-game sweep of the Minnesota Wild by a 4-3 score in captivating fashion before what was a left of the sold out Xcel Energy Center crowd by the time the final horn sounded.

In doing so, the Blackhawks become the first team from either conference to advance into the Conference Finals. They now await the winner of the Anaheim-Calgary series, which resumes on Friday night in Calgary with the Ducks up 2-1 in that duel.

It could be up to 7 to 10 days before the Blackhawks play again, depending on how long the other series go as neither Conference Final series can begin until the series currently going have concluded.

Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa scored for the visitors in the series-clinching victory. Read more »

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Crawford Blanks Wild, Blackhawks Lead Series 3-0

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks got a huge performance in net by Corey Crawford Tuesday night, allowing them to take a commanding lead in their Western Conference Semifinal with Minnesota. Crawford’s fourth career playoff shutout allowed a Patrick Kane power play tally to be the difference in a 1-0 Game 3 Chicago win. With the win, the Blackhawks go up 3-0 on the Wild in the best-of-seven series.

First Period-Corey Crawford was kept busy early as the Wild tried to capitalize on the vocal home crowd. Ninety seconds in, the Chicago goalie knocked away a laser from Ryan Suter and Niklas Hjalmarsson got in the way of Tomas Vanek’s rebound attempt. Crawford stopped four Minnesota shots in the first four minute as the ice was tilted toward his crease. Read more »

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Hawks stars tame Wild to take a 2-0 series lead

By Brad Vandenberk

The Wild came into game 2 of this Central division final not having lost a back to back game since the All-star game in January. The Hawks were confident, even though they squandered a 3-0 lead in game 1, but still found a way to close it out. Jonathan Toews opens the scoring shorthanded, then it was Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp who did the rest. Kane scored 2 goals, one being an empty netter and Sharp restoring the 2 goal lead early in the third period.

Corey Crawford faced off against Devan Dubnyk who has been hot of late. Crawford literally stood on his head to keep the Wild off the score sheet until Matt Dumba found a way but it wasn’t enough. Kris Versteeg remained out of the line up with a lower body injury creating a spot for Teuvo Teravainen who played great and has a bright future. Read more »

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Running play-by-play of Game 7: Blackhawks lose heartbreaker to Kings in OT

By Brad Vandenberk

There is not a lot that needs to be said heading into this Game 7 between the Hawks and Kings. Momentum has been on either side this series, but the Hawks are riding a 2-game winning streak coming back from a 3-1 series deficit.

The Kings are no strangers to a game 7 on the road, as well as how you can build momentum coming from behind in a series. The Kings are looking to make history. With a victory, they can be the first team to win their first 3 series in game 7 on the road. It’s time for the Hawks to prove to their fans that this team does smell of a dynasty and use all your experience and get a win.

Corey Crawford played a huge game in LA on Friday night and hoped to keep that in this game. At the other end Jonathan Quick had his follies last game when Ben Smith banked one off the tenders skate and in the net. Kris Versteeg worked his way back on the ice replacing Sheldon Brookbank. Read more »

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Game 4 Recap: Hawks fall 5-2 at Staples; Now must win 3-straight elimination games

By Brad Vandenberk

It’s time to put up or shut up for Game 4 in LA. The Hawks now see themselves in the midst of a 2-game losing streak in this Western Conference Final. The good news is it wasn’t that long ago that the Hawks lost both games in Minnesota the previous series. Now the difference being a loss tonight in LA could spell doom for this dynastic Hawks squad.

There are a few observations from the last 2 losses that we can dissect. First of all paging Corey Crawford, Mr. Crawford, you’re needed between the pipes.   Yes, the Hawks net minder has played some outstanding games, but it seems like he has dropped off a little bit in this series. Let’s not forget the third period meltdown that occurred at the end of Game 2. Normally Crow bounces back from a bad performance, but Saturday night’s contest didn’t fare well either for the visiting tender. Read more »

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Kings top Hawks in Game 3, lead series 2-1

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks led twice Saturday night at the Staples Center in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. Two Jonathan Toews goals had the Hawks up in the second period but the L.A. Kings took a 40-minute advantage and dominated action in the final period to win 4-3. The Hawks now trail the best-of-seven series 2-1.

First Period-The Kings nearly drew twine in the opening minute after a Dustin Brown shot came off of Niklas Hjalmarsson. Corey Crawford smothered the deflection but the Kings controlled the early action. Read more »

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Game 2: Everything falls apart in 3rd for Hawks

By Michael Calvert

Andrew Sharp practiced in full on Tuesday but did not suit up for last night’s game. I’m afraid, had he done so, it would have made very little difference.

1st period: The story of the first period was penalties. There were 6 of them in total in just the first period, 4 of which went against the Kings. Game one featured 4 power plays in total. I don’t know if the refs are trying to calm things down as they didn’t look all that out of control to begin with, but they were calling it tight in game 2. Read more »

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Blackhawks too much for Kings in Game 1

By Brad Vandenberk

Let’s start round three with a question? Who held their hand high in October when the whispers of repeat were in the air? Did we honestly think that we would be facing the exact same team, this time last season for the same title?

This proves to the NHL, especially the Western Conference, this is what a competitive franchise flirting with the dynasty headline looks like. The Kings have wowed the entire NHL with their story book playoff season thus far. Both of their series ended in a game 7, beating both Shark and Ducks to win the Pacific title. It wasn’t easy being down in both scenarios and finding a way to win on the “road”. I really don’t want to use air quotes, but let’s be honest, driving down highway 1, 45 minutes to play a road game, doesn’t quite constitute as a road game. Read more »

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