Rapid Reaction: Hawks 5, Canucks 0
April, 21, 2011
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- A quick look at how the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday to keep their season alive. The Hawks still trail in the series 3-2.
How it happened: The Hawks carried over their dominant performance from Game 4. After killing off an early power play attempt by Vancouver, the Hawks took off. Duncan Keith played perhaps his best game of the season, scoring twice and assisting on two other scores. Keith was able to get his shot through to the net, which has been a season-long problem for the Hawks defenseman. Marian Hossa also made a statement with a two-goal performance, flashing his wicked shot, once on a power play and then on a breakaway. The Hawks chased Roberto Luongo for the second consecutive game as they provided screens and traffic in front of the Canucks’ netminder. He gave up four goals on 12 shots before being lifted. Nine different Hawks earned points, including goaltender Corey Crawford who added an assist for the second straight game. He also earned his first career shutout.
What it means: If the momentum hadn’t fully shifted after a 7-2 drubbing in Game 4 then it has now. There was no phase of the Hawks game that didn’t come to play in Game 5, from penalty killing to power play to five-on-five defense. Hawks’ forwards may have found a weakness in the Canucks’ defense after Game 4 as they used their speed to get behind blue-liners all night. It’s the formula the Canucks used in the first two games of the series, but the Hawks have turned the tables on them in the last two. They’ve put themselves in a position for one of the most unbelievable playoff comebacks in NHL history, though two more wins are needed .
What’s next: Both teams will return to Chicago for Game 6 on Sunday as the only two-day break in the series comes Friday and Saturday. Game time Sunday is 6:30 p.m. CT.