With the NHL on pause and the World Championship tournament canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Second City Hockey will look back at Blackhawks playoff games since 2010 with an “On this date in Blackhawks history” series.
The Blackhawks advanced to the second round for a second straight year thanks to a couple bounces and strong penalty killing.
Jonathan Toews scored a power-play goal on a rebound to cap a seven-goal first period that had a goal go off Patrick Kane’s right skate in the neutral zone, and the Blackhawks killed three penalties in the final 8:05 to hold for a 5-3 win against the Predators in Game 6.
The Predators held a 2-1 series lead before the Blackhawks won three straight to clinch the series, setting up a second-round matchup against the Canucks for the second straight postseason.
Patrick Sharp and Toews each had a goal and two assists, and Marian Hossa had three assists. Antti Niemi made 25 saves.
Duncan Keith’s blast from the left point gave Chicago a 1-0 lead at 6:38 of the first period.
Shea Weber tied it 1-1 at 8:50 with a wrister from the high slot through traffic, but Chicago regained the lead 64 seconds later when Brent Seabrook’s dump-in attempt off a faceoff in front of the benches bounced off Kane’s right skate.
Hossa chipped and chased the puck into the offensive zone past Dan Hamhuis then sent a backhand pass to the slot where Sharp batted it in at 12:03 for a 3-1 lead.
Jason Arnott scored two goals in a 3:21 span to tie it 3-3. Arnott’s first goal came on the power play at 15:44 when he was left open to the right of the net and tapped in a rebound off a Weber shot, then Arnott redirected Hamhuis’ shot from the left point with 55 seconds remaining in the first.
Only 17 seconds later, Jerred Smithson took a hooking penalty and Toews scored on the ensuing power play to put Chicago back up 4-3 with 31 seconds left in the first. He lost an offensive zone faceoff to David Legwand, but Keith intercepted Hamhuis’ clearing attempt and fired a shot on net which bounced off Rinne’s toward Toews for a tap-in goal.
The Blackhawks outshot the Predators 15-4 in the second period, but didn’t score even though they spent half the period on the power play.
The Predators pulled Rinne with 1:15 left in the third, but John Madden scored into an empty net with 7.8 seconds remaining to seal the win.
The other one
The Blackhawks went 1-1 in playoff games on April 26 this past decade with the elimination games occurring in back-to-back years. Chicago found itself on the other side of the result in 2011 when Alex Burrows scored two goals, including the game-winner 5:22 into overtime off a Chris Campoli turnover, for a 2-1 win against the Blackhawks in Game 7 of their first-round series. The Blackhawks won the previous second-round playoff series against the Canucks in six games in 2009 and 2010.