Clinching Game 6’s has been good to the Blackhawks. During Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane era, the Blackhawks were 6-0 in clinching Game 6’s. The Blackhawks had won Game 5 2-1 with another game winner from Toews. The Wild meanwhile were in a similar situation as their first round series with the Avalanche. The Wild were going home down 3-2. In the Avalanche Series, the Wild rallied to win Game 6 and Game 7. This Game 6 would be going in the Blackhawks favor as they defeated the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in overtime.
Here is the period recap:
1st period: The Blackhawks set the tone early by scoring the first goal of the game just before two minutes gone by. The much maligned Kris Versteeg scored the game’s first goal and gave the Blackhawks the early lead. The Blackhawks and Wild would trade rushes and flurry throughout the first period. After one period the Blackhawks lead 1-0.
2nd period: The Wild responded in the second period with a goal of their own to tie the score. Erik Haula beat Corey Crawford for the equalizer early in the second period. That would be the lone blemish on Corey Crawford’s record in Game 6 tonight. The second period was tied at 1.
3rd period: The period game and went with no goals. There were moments where many Blackhawks hearts stopped. There were multiple goals saved by Blackhawks defenseman. Brent Seabrook and Sheldon Brookbank prevented several goals. The game remained tied and went to over time. Crawford saved all seven shots he faced.
Overtime: In the overtime period, it looked as if the Wild would score and send the series back to Chicago. At one point the Blackhawks could not get the puck out of their own zone. As the Overtime wore on the Blackhawks became to build up steam. One of the Blackhawks stars, Patrick Kane found a bouncing puck in front of Ilya Bryzgalov and he did not miss. Kane made a nifty move and put a shit directly above the crossbar. Kane propelled the Blackhawks to their fourth Western Conference finals in their last six seasons. The Blackhawks won 2-1.
This recap would not be complete with applauding the effort of Corey Crawford. Crawford had allowed 3 goals in each of his two previous trips to Minnesota in this series. Crawford saved 34 of 35 shots he faced in the game and was the difference maker for the Blackhawks. Some other unsung heroes in tonight game were Sheldon Brookbank and Kris Versteeg. Brookbank who played very well in place of Brent Seabrook series was called upon again in this series. Brookbank saved at least two no doubt goals for the Wild. Meanwhile Versteeg has been awful most of these playoffs. He had one point played himself out of the lineup all together. Tonight was a different story. Tonight he got the Blackhawks on the board early and helped set the tone for the Blackhawks.
NEWS and NOTES:
- Versteeg’s goal was his first goal since March 25, a drought of 17 games.
- The Blackhawks have won 14 straight in series that were tied at 2 since 2009.
- Patrick Kane scored his second game winning goal of these playoffs.
The Blackhawks now await the winner of the Anaheim Ducks/ La Kings series. The Ducks lead the series 3-2. Last season the Blackhawks defeated the Kings 4-1 in the Western Conference Finals
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