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Chicago Blackhawks’ Best Second-Round Playoff Series

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Jan 1, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville talks to the media during practice for the Winter Classic hockey game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville talks to the media during practice for the Winter Classic hockey game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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No. 2: 2009, vs. Vancouver Canucks

The Blackhawks were coming off a somewhat surprising first-round win over Calgary, while the Canucks felt they had what it took to make the conference final, at worst. They had no reason not to feel that way after a 5-3 home win in the opener.

But Game 2 got this series’ heat ramped up in a major way. Not only did Chicago post a 6-3 road win, but the teams piled up penalty minutes. The teams combined for 102 penalty minutes, including six 10-plus-minute penalties.

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On top of that, the Blackhawks overcame a 2-0 deficit after one period with five consecutive goals. So the Canucks knew they had their hands full, though they took Game 3 at the United Center 3-1.

Game 4 wound up being a thriller, as Marty Havlat tallied with less than three minutes remaining in regulation to tie the game at 1. Then, Andrew Ladd scored less than three minutes into overtime to tie the series at 2.

The two teams engaged in more non-scoring antics in Game 5, with 32 penalty minutes in the second period alone. Tied at 2 entering the third period, however, the Blackhawks got goals from Bolland to Havlat to give them a chance to clinch on home ice.

And clinch they did, in a game that will most likely be remembered for the Blackhawks making Roberto Luongo cry in postgame. The teams went into the third period tied at 3 before engaging in a wild scoring battle. Down 5-4 with less than eight minutes to play in regulation, Kane, Toews and then Kane scored to send Vancouver home n a sort of preview of their heroic actions to come.

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