Category Archives: Stanley Cup Playoffs

Hawks punch ticket to Finals in thrilling 2-OT victory over Kings in Game 5

By Brad Vandenberk

With their surprise sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Boston Bruins awaited the winner of game 5 in the Western conference final in Chicago between the Blackhawks and LA Kings.  If the Hawks win this contest, they will head to the Stanley Cup final.  The Kings were trying to take the series back to LA and recreate the same momentum the Hawks had against Detroit.

Duncan Keith was back in the lineup for the home team after serving his one game suspension.   Read more »

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Keith-less Hawks stuff LA’s home winning streak; Kings face elimination Saturday in Chicago

By Brad Vandenberk

Game 4 of the Western Conference gifted us with nothing but story lines before the puck was even dropped.  Duncan Keith was assessed a 1-game suspension for an uncontrolled high stick to the face of Jeff Carter in game 3.  Keith received a four minute minor during the game, but the league wanted more and suspending the Hawks D man.  Carter received 22 stitches in his mouth and chipped a few pearly whites.

Mike Richards did not dress once again for the Kings missing his 3rd straight.  But with Keith out, the Kings were looking poised to get the win to tie the series.

Sheldon Brookbank was inserted into the lineup to take Keith’s “spot”.  Read more »

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Kings bounce back, defeat Hawks 3-1 in Game 3 in L.A.

By Brad Gardner

The Los Angeles Kings held serve with a 3-1 win on home ice over the Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Goals from Justin Williams and Slava Voynov spotted the Kings a 2-0 lead, which was enough for Jonathan Quick and a tight-checking Kings defense to remain undefeated at home during the playoffs.

Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 27 shots and kept his team in the game the whole way. The penalty kill also played a big part in keeping the score close, finishing a perfect 5-for-5 against the Kings powerplay. Despite the loss, the Blackhawks maintain a 2-1 series advantage. Read more »

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Hawks take 2-0 series lead; Chase Quick in route to 4-2 victory at United Center

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks responded on a rare playoff back-to-back, taking a 2-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals with a 4-2 victory. The Blackhawks drove Jonathan Quick from the Kings’ crease in the second period, hitting the game’s first four goals and outskating their opposition for the second night in a row.

The Blackhawks came out firing when the game began and turned a nice play by the third line into the game’s first goal. Brandon Saad held the puck in the Kings’ zone along the boards and made a pass to Viktor Stalberg. Stalberg made a pretty backhanded pass to a streaking Andrew Shaw, who beat Jonathan Quick for the goal just 1:56 into the game. Read more »

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Hawks get two by Quick, take 1-0 series lead on LA

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks opened the Western Conference finals Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. A pair of second period goals by Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa provided the offense to give Chicago a 1-0 series lead.

The Blackhawks came out on the offensive, generating the first five shots of the contest. In fact, Chicago would outshoot the Kings 17-2 in the opening period. However, the only one of those shots that mattered came off the stick of Justin Williams.

Corey Crawford attempted to send a loose puck behind the boards with just under six minutes to play in the first period. Brad Richardson prevented this from happening and the puck floated to the front of the net. Dave Bolland tried to clear the crease but the puck struck Williams’ stick and into the net. Despite the lack of scoring chances, Los Angeles skated to the locker room with a 1-0 lead. Read more »

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Blackhawks force Game 7 Wednesday at the UC, drop Red Wings with 3 third period goals Monday at the Joe

By Brad Vadenberk

Saturday night at the UC showed how a resilient Hawks team can play and dominate a hockey game if they seem so fit to do so.  The word elimination is still lingering around as the Hawks travelled back to Joe Louis Arena to continue this series and look to force a game 7 back at the UC on Wednesday night.

Jonathan Toews finally got his first 2013 playoff goal.  He scored it in fashion, ripping a shot from the side of the net off Jimmy Howard.  The captain’s roar was so loud even the hockey Gods heard it.

You can tell the Hawks were playing with urgency.  During both power play goals the puck was moving around the ice with speed and crisp passing.  This was something that was missing in earlier games.  Read more »

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Jimmy Howard Shuts Out Chicago 2-0, Blackhawks Down 3-1 in Western Semis

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks are officially on the brink of elimination following a Game 4 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit takes a 3-1 series lead after beating the Blackhawks 2-0 Thursday night.

Jimmy Howard won a goalie duel with Corey Crawford, stopping all 28 shots Chicago threw at him. The Red Wings got a Jakub Kindl power-play tally that stood up as the game winner.

Coach Joel Quenneville had his random line generator on full power, sending out a myriad of combinations to try and strike upon a favorable matchup. Jonathan Toews had a 2-on-1 opportunity in the opening minutes via a hard-won board battle by Bryan Bickell. Toews came up the left side and had a clean shot on Howard only to see him handle the attempt. Read more »

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Howard, Red Wings stand tall, Take 2-1 series lead; Game 3 clouded over questions on officiating

By Brad Gardner

The second round playoff series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, tied at one game apiece, shifted to Joe Louis Arena for Game 3 on Monday night. Even though the Blackhawks offense opened up to the tune of 40 shots, doubling their total from Game 2, Jimmy Howard stood tall in net for the Red Wings and carried his team to a 3-1 victory.

Quick strikes from bottom-six forwards Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller in the second period put the Blackhawks in a hole from which they would not get out. Patrick Kane scored for the second consecutive game, but Howard came up with the save on the rest of Chicago’s 39 shots, including saves on 16 of the 17 shots he faced against the Hawks late push in the third period.

Viktor Stalberg suited up for the Blackhawks after being a healthy scratch for the first two games of the series. It looked like his night might end early when on his first shift the game, Jakub Kindl ducked a check, sending Stalberg head first into the boards. He was slow to get up but eventually skated off under his own power. After a few minutes in the locker room, Stalberg returned to the bench. Read more »

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Detroit draws even: Disjointed Blackhawks effort leads to 4-1 Red Wings victory in Game 2

By Brad Gardner

Three days after the Chicago Blackhawks took a 4-1 victory in Game 1 of their second round playoff series against rival Detroit, the Red Wings responded in kind with a 4-1 win of their own to even the series. Henrik Zetterberg assisted on two goals for Detroit as the visitors handed the ‘Hawks their first home loss of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Red Wings’ tight-checking game didn’t give the Blackhawks nearly as much room to operate as they had in the latter stages of the first game. The puck possession time favored Detroit, and even when the Hawks were able to get a shot on goal, they did not challenge Jimmy Howard too much. The Red Wings goalie made 19 saves on only 20 shots, the lowest total for the Blackhawks in the playoffs.

Corey Crawford made 26 saves on 30 shots and did not look as sharp as the Blackhawks had come to expect of him in the playoffs. Read more »

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Hossa strikes twice; Hawks advance, Eliminate Wild

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Corey Crawford put on a show early for the United Center crowd, before the offense kicked into gear and put the Wild in the rear view.

Marian Hossa scored twice and Jonathan Toews, scoreless in the first four games of the series, got on the score sheet with two assists. The Hawks out-shot the Wild 33-22 in the game, but Crawford had a handful of huge stops in those 21 saves.

The visitors had more than a few good looks in the opening period, but the play of Crawford kept them off the board. The stingy Hawks defense from game four was not immediately noticeable, but Crawford could do no wrong; his worst rebounds wound up being his best saves, turning away initial chances from the likes of Jason Pominville and Devin Setoguchi only to make better saves on the subsequent looks from Mikko Koivu and Matt Cullen. Read more »

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