Sunday, April 24, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Hawks 4, Canucks 3 (OT)
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- A quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 6 of their Western Conference quarterfinal to force Game 7 on Tuesday in Vancouver.
How it happened: The Hawks didn’t lead until the final play of the game when Ben Smith's goal won it in overtime. A hard-to-believe sequence tied the game early in the third period, not long after Vancouver had its third lead of the game at 3-2. The Blackhawks’ Michael Frolik was awarded a penalty shot after being taken down going to the net. He scored and subsequently knocked goaltender Cory Schneider out of the game with what appeared to be a pulled groin or hamstring. Roberto Luongo, the Canucks No. 1 goalie who was benched at the start, took over just 2:31 into the third period and made 12 saves before allowing the winning goal with 4:30 remaining in overtime. The Hawks missed on four power-play chances throughout the night, including an extended 5-on-3, and only had three shots in the third period, but they prevailed.
What it means: The win sets the Hawks up for a potentially historic playoff series comeback. Only three times in NHL history has a team won the series after losing the first three games. To do it, they’ll have to take down the President Trophy winners.
Luongo benched: In a game-time shocker, Canucks No. 1 goalie Roberto Luongo was benched in favor of Schneider. For two days, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said Luongo was his guy in net but he started Schneider anyway.
What’s next: The Hawks will fly to Vancouver on Monday afternoon to get set for Tuesday’s Game 7.