The Chicago Blackhawks took game five against the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night by a score of 2-1 and now hold a 3-2 series lead and are headed back to the windy city for game six. The Blackhawks have a chance to do something they haven’t done since 1938, win the Stanley Cup in front of their home crowd. In 1961 the Hawks beat the Red Wings 5-1 in a cup clinching game in Detroit. In 2010 Patrick Kane netted the cup clinching goal in Philadelphia, and in 2013 Dave Bolland scored the second goal of those beautiful seventeen seconds and the Hawks raised the cup in Boston. The Hawks will return to a buzzing United Center in hopes of raising the Stanley Cup in front of 22,000-plus screaming fans.
This series has proved far closer than most people would’ve thought, but Tampa has hung in with the Hawks and even made Hawks fans a little nervous at times. According to NHL public relations, this is “the first time in NHL history, there has not been a multi-goal lead at any point in the opening five games of the Stanley Cup Final.” Like I said, it’s been a pretty close series. The Hawks now smell blood and should pounce on the Lightning and close this thing out in Chicago.
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Corey Crawford was excellent last night, stopping 31 of 32 shots, and making a number of key saves in the third period to hold onto the one goal lead. Patrick Sharp netted the first of the game off a busted play by Bishop, when he collided with his own defensemen, and that’s exactly why I am not a big fan of Crawford leaving the crease to play the puck. The game remained scoreless until Valteri Fillpula fired one past Crawford tying the game at one until early in the third period. Antoine Vermette put a Kris Versteeg rebound past Bishop and that was all the Hawks needed to get the W. Duncan Keith continues to prove everyone wrong with that concept of being tired. Keith played almost thirty minutes again last night and could be well on his way to a Con Smythe Trophy.
Game six is Monday night at the madhouse on Madison, and that place will be thunderous. Although the Hawks seem to play better when their backs are against the wall, their home crowd should will them to a cup clinching victory. Hopefully the next time you hear from me it will be something about when and where the parade will be, but until then lets focus on game six. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for some “I don’t feel like working, so I’ll read about the Blackhawks” fun. Go Hawks!
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