Mikael Samuelsson scored the go ahead goal early in the third period and Roberto Luongo made some key saves as Vancouver took a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference quarterfinals. They can complete the sweep on Tuesday night; Vancouver can turn the tables on Chicago at the United Center on Tuesday as the Blackhawks have eliminated Vancouver the last two years.
The Chicago Blackhawks knew they couldn’t go down 3 – 0 in the series and in the first period they dominated the Vancouver Canucks and scored the only goal of the first period. Christian Ehrhoff took a tripping penalty and just five seconds into the power play Duncan Keith’s blast from the point beat Roberto Luongo and Chicago had their first lead of the series and went into the first intermission leading 1 – 0. It was Duncan Keith’s first goal of the playoffs, who is a minus 3 in the series. Chicago has won its last 10 playoff games when they scored first. Chicago outshot Vancouver 16 – 10 and forced Vancouver into four penalties.
In the second period Chicago continued have the better of the play, having more hits, more scoring chances and having the territorial advantage. Vancouver looks like a completely different team, they are being outworked, outhit and are not skating like they did in Game 1 & 2. Even though Chicago had the better of the play they only led by one, and when enforcer John Scott took a penalty it only took the Vancouver power play seven seconds to score on a blast from Christian Ehrhoff. Vancouver seemed to be sparked by that goal and Daniel Sedin scored on a pass from his brother Henrik 54 seconds later and just like that Vancouver led 2 – 1. Vancouver started to have the better of the play, but Raffi Torres who is playing his first game since being suspended for a blind side hit, blindsided Chicago’s Brent Seabrook and was given just a two minute penalty, and Chicago wasted no time in scoring the equalizer as Toews found Sharp in the slot and he beat Luongo to tie the game at two.
The third period was more evenly played with Chicago and Vancouver trading chances, both teams had seven shots on goal in the final period. Vancouver killed off a penalty to Victor Oreskovich early in the third period and about one minute later Mikael Samuelsson scored his first goal of the series on a rebound shot to give Vancouver the lead and Luongo stopped everything else making 30 saves as Vancouver is on the verge of sweeping The Chicago Blackhawks.
Notes: Raffi Torres can expect a phone call from Gary Bettman and explain himself as he delivered another blind side hit to Chicago’s Brent Seabrook.
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Written by Kevin Kelly