Dave Bolland playing his first game of the series had a goal and three assists as Chicago hammered Vancouver 7-2, Bolland had missed Chicago’s previous 17 games with a concussion. Chicago will have a chance to draw one game closer on Thursday when they travel to Vancouver for Game 5. Vancouver still leads the series 3-1.
With Chicago’s season on the line, Blackhawks came out strong in the first period as they played like they are not ready for their season to end. They were getting on the Vancouver defense, which they have not done enough in this series, causing a number of turnovers. Chicago opened the scoring early in the first period at 1:43 on a beautiful individual effort from Bryan Bickell, who skated around Vancouver defensemen Kevin Bieksa and slid the puck past Luongo’s right pad to give Chicago a 1 -0 lead for the second consecutive game. Vancouver responded quickly however on the power play just three minutes later when Sammy Solo’s slap shot pin balled off Chicago defensemen Brian Campbell who was standing to the side of the net and into the Chicago net. Roberto Luongo made a couple of big saves to keep the score tied, especially off Jonathan Toews who broke in on the left side and snapped a shot that Luongo trapped in his glove. Chicago outshot Vancouver 13 – 7 as the first period ended tied 1 -1.
Vancouver played the second period like they plan on waiting until Thursday to wrap up the series as they continued to be out hit and lose battles for the pucks. Chicago got the scoring going early and often in the second period, scoring four goals in the second period. Brian Campbell scored on a feed from Patrick Kane to give Chicago a 2-1 lead, Chicago goalie Corey Crawford got an assist on the goal. Duncan Keith scored: 17 later on a slap shot from the point. Dave Bolland playing his first game of the series then got in on the fun when he slid the puck past Luongo, and finally Michael Frolik finished the scoring beating Luongo on a breakaway as Chicago dominated on the scoring sheet as well as shots on goal, outshooting Vancouver 13 -6. Based on the first two periods Chicago looked like the team that was leading the series 3-0, not Vancouver.
Chicago continued their dominance in the third period as Patrick Sharp scored two power play goals, his first goal on a slap shot early in the period, spelling the end of Roberto Luongo as he was replaced by backup goalie Cory Schneider. Sharp scored his second goal of the period when he tapped in a pass from Marian Hossa to make it 7-1 and the route was officially on. Daniel Sedin scored a meaningless goal for Vancouver late in the third period to close out the scoring. The Sedin twins like most of Vancouver player’s did not show up tonight and they may have just woke up a sleeping giant. The only victory for Vancouver was when Kevin Bieksa won his fight with Viktor Stalberg. Chicago dominated in shots on goal as well, outshooting Vancouver 35-23.
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Written by Kevin Kelly