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.
Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg scored 36 seconds apart early in the second period, and the Blackhawks eliminated the Canucks in Game 6 of the second round for a second straight year with a 5-1 win in Vancouver.
Dave Bolland scored on a shorthanded breakaway with 45 seconds remaining in the second frame, and Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien scored 35 seconds apart in the third. Antti Niemi had 29 saves for Chicago, which eliminated Vancouver in the second round exactly one year ago at the United Center thanks to Patrick Kane’s first career playoff hat trick.
Shane O’Brien scored 3:44 into the third period, and Roberto Luongo had 30 saves for the Canucks, who suffered a second-round exit for the third time in four years.
Luongo was dialed in during the first period with a windmill glove save on Patrick Sharp’s breakaway with 6:13 to go, and kicked out his left pad to prevent Byfuglien’s tap-in attempt only eight seconds later.
Byfuglien’s big hit on Alexander Edler with 3:24 remaining in the period saw the Canucks top defenseman exit the game with an ankle injury. With Edler out for the game, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault had to shuffle his defensive pairings.
O’Brien finished his check on Brent Sopel in Chicago’s end, creating a 3-on-2 for the Blackhawks that Brouwer finished with a redirection from the slot off Sharp’s pass for a 1-0 lead two minutes into the second period. Versteeg made it 2-0 only 36 seconds later when he finished a 2-on-1 off a Kevin Bieksa turnover.
Duncan Keith slashed Henrik Sedin to give the Canucks a power play for the final two minutes of the second, but Pavel Demitra lost the puck at the point and Bolland went the other way for a 3-0 lead.
The Canucks pushed in the final seconds of the second and nearly scored when Sami Salo blasted a shot from the top of the right circle that Niemi saved and Brent Sopel stopped Bieksa’s rebound attempt in front of the net before time expired.
The Canucks came out firing in the third period with 10 shots in the first seven minutes, including O’Brien’s goal to make it 3-1. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville called a timeout to regroup and the move paid off with Kane and Byfuglien scoring on back-to-back shifts at 8:42 for the 5-1 final.
The Blackhawks went 2-0 on this date since 2010, with the aforementioned 5-1 win in Vancouver and a 2-1 victory against the Wild for a 3-2 series lead in the conference semifinals.
Erik Haula put the Wild up 1-0 at 16:33 of the first period, but Bryan Bickell and Jonathan Toews both scored in the next two periods for a 2-1 win. Corey Crawford made 27 saves and Sharp had two assists.