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 stole Game 1 of the 2010 Western Conference Final against the Sharks, but Chicago handled business with a 4-2 win for a 2-0 series lead at HP Pavillon in San Jose.
Byfuglien scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period in Game 1, and stepped up in Game 2 to help the Blackhawks take control of the game. With Chicago up 1-0 thanks to Andrew Ladd’s first-period goal from inside the blue line, the big-bodied Byfuglien parked himself in front of Evgeni Nabokov. Patrick Kane fired a puck on net from inside the blue line that deflected off Byfuglien’s stick for a 2-0 lead at 6:59 of the second period.
The Blackhawks then headed to the power play after Douglas Murray was whistled for roughing, and they capitalized with a goal in similar fashion. Duncan Keith sent a shot from the right point toward the net with Byfuglien and Toews in front of the net again, but this time Toews got his stick on the puck to deflect it off the post and into the net for Chicago’s second goal in 90 seconds to take a 3-0 lead.
Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks life with a power play goal at 11:08 of the second period when Joe Thornton sent a cross-ice pass through Kris Versteeg’s legs to the right face-off circle for Marleau to fire a shot past Antti Niemi to cut the deficit to 3-1.
But Troy Brouwer tipped in a shot from Niklas Hjalmarsson at 6:18 of the third period to give Chicago a 4-1 lead. Marleau scored his second of the game when he knocked in a rebound on a delayed penalty with 4:28 to go to make it 4-2, but Chicago and Niemi held on for the win.
Kane and Keith had two assists, and Niemi made 25 saves for Chicago, which had 20 takeaways to only six giveaways.
Marleau scored both goals for the Sharks, who fell to 0-5 at home in conference final games. Nabokov didn’t have much work in net with only 18 saves.
After not having a power play in Game 1, the Blackhawks had four in Game 2 with the Sharks committing six minor penalties that included two with 18 seconds remaining in the game that also saw Brent Seabrook and Ladd removed from the game.