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Chicago Blackhawks Morning Links: Time to Seal the Deal in Game 5

By Ericka McFee
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Happy game day, Chicago Blackhawks fans!

Barely 24 hours after the last huge win, the Hawks have a chance to close it out tonight by winning Game 5 in Nashville to take the first-round series against the Predators, 4 games to 1.

Entirely possible for the Hawks, who have seemed to “flip the switch” after their Game 2 implosion. But as long as we are using hockey cliches, just remember that it’s the NHL, anything is possible, and you can’t count out desperate teams facing the brink of elimination.

Especially if the Preds get their star players back, it’s possible that the Hawks would force a return to Chicago for Game 6. Mike Fisher left Game 1 with a lower-body injury and has yet to return. Then in Game 2, Captain Shea Weber sustained a lower-body injury and is “unlikely” to return for tonight’s game. Then again, our very own Patrick Kane was initially considered “unlikely” to return until the Western Conference Final round, at best. It is going to be an interesting day, and an even more interesting evening.

Let’s just hope this one doesn’t go beyond triple overtime. The fifth (and hopefully final) game of the series begins at 8:30 p.m. central time.

Did you remember to get your late slip for work or school from the Chicago Blackhawks? (NBC Chicago)

Always upbeat, Antti Raanta looks at the bright side…even though he realizes that his chances of seeing playoff action are slim (ESPN)

Antoine Vermette goes from healthy scratch to hero in Game 4 (NHL)

Forget Pekka Rinne – if the Hawks want to succeed in their quest to bounce the Preds, it’s not (just) the goalie they have to solve (Blackhawks Buzz)

Giving credit where credit is due, the Nashville’s blue line has been key in giving the Hawks a run for their money … fortunately, our gentle giant in net has been stealing the show (HockeyBuzz)

Scott Darling’s epic rise to the highest levels of his sport may seem like a “Cinderella” story, but his road to the NHL was by no means a fairy tale (Chicago Tribune)

Not playoff-related, but no less important – Daniel Carcillo reveals a side of himself that we never see in order to shed light on an important issue (The Players’ Tribune)

Elsewhere in the league, some teams avoided elimination… (Ottawa Citizen)

…While others found themselves swept away by stronger teams (Yahoo! Sports)

Preds look to regroup and rally to stave off elimination in Game 5 (and yes, their head quote did paraphrase a line from “Annie”) (NHL)

Game 5 Preview from the Predators’ perspective (Nashville Predators)

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