Series turns into unexpected delight


CHICAGO -- It seemed like only a matter of time before the Vancouver Canucks closed out the series on Sunday night, as they skated around and through the Chicago Blackhawks zone in overtime as if on a perpetual power play. But, of course, control has been a relative thing in this series and a virtual mirage for the Canucks, whose hold on the Blackhawks has been as slippery as the ice beneath them.

And so it was, once again, as a season and Stanley Cup defense hung fitfully in the balance, that the Hawks found a way to hang on, using a penalty shot by a player who came to them in February, a game-winning goal by a rookie who has played so few games as a pro that he still needs directions to his locker and 32 saves by another rookie who was just excited he was able to grow a full beard for the playoffs.

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