Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks gave all of their fans a scare on Wednesday night. Holding on to a 2-0 lead with two minutes left in the second period, the Hawks were looking like the team that we all wanted to see. Most probably expected them to go into the locker room with a two goal lead and all the momentum heading into the third. Most probably took a restroom break, or went to get another beer. They came back to an unsettling surprise. It was a tie game.
With a little over a minute left in the second, Vladimir Tarasenko sniped a goal past Corey Crawford to cut the Hawks lead to one. Then, with only moments left in the period, Maxim Lapierre launched a desperation shot that clanked of the left post, hit Crawford in the back, and trickled past the line into the goal. Just like that, the Blues had tied it at 2 and it appeared as though they were going to come out firing on all cylinders in the 3rd. They did just that.
The third period seemingly belonged to the Blues, but it wasn’t until around the 7 minute mark that they converted. Tarasenko struck once again. All seemed lost for the Blackhawks. A lesser team may have given up, packed up, and prepared themselves for a must-win game in their opponents arena. Not these Hawks. A familiar popped up on the big board of the United Center. Marian Hossa sent a pass to Michal Rozsival on the blue line who then fired a shot on Blues goalie Ryan Miller. The shot was tipped by none other than Big Bryan Bickell! The 2013 Stanley Cup playoff hero guided the puck right past Miller and the United Center erupted. Nearly three minutes later, the horn sounded. The game would go into overtime for the third time this series.
In overtime though, another familiar hero shined. The Blackhawks controlled a lot of the possession time in the fourth period, so it was only necessary that Patrick Kane caught the Blues defensemen pressing, received a beautiful pass from Ben Smith and froze Miller with the game winner. The celebration was epic and this series was tied.
This win gives the Hawks an incredible amount of momentum heading to St. Louis for game five. It also puts the Blues in a tough position. They do not want to drop a game at home and then face an elimination game back in Chicago. Hawks fans hope that the momentum of two straight wins, and the Blues recent playoff history holds true. If so, they will be one step closer to repeating as Stanley Cup Champions.