Hawks need win to get back into series
Sunday, 04.17.2011 / 10:54 AM
NHL.comBLACKHAWKS at CANUCKS
(Vancouver leads best-of-seven series, 2-0)
TV -- CBC (HD), VERSUS (HD), RDS (HD), CSN-Chicago (HD)
-- The Canucks held serve on their home ice, winning Game 1 by a 2-0 score and hanging on for a 4-3 win in Game 2. The series shifts to Chicago, where the Blackhawks won only 24 of 41 home games this season. Duncan Keith
said at the end of the regular season that "for whatever reason we're a better team on the road," but the Hawks have to win at least one game at home to extend the series beyond Tuesday.
-- For two straight games the Blackhawks have admittedly not matched Vancouver's urgency or intensity in the first period, and it essentially cost them both games. The Canucks grabbed a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes in Game 1 and that was the final score. They were up 1-0 after 20 minutes in Game 2, but scored a power-play goal 30 seconds into the second period before the Hawks finally got on the board. Chicago outscored Vancouver, 3-2, over the final 39:30 of Game 2, but it wasn't enough.
Chicago has not gotten anything more than a secondary assist out of its top six forwards.
"Very desperate," is how Chicago captain Jonathan Toews
described the Hawks position. "We have to find a way to rejuvenate ourselves and be excited going home. And, we've got to use that crowd. There's no looking back now. We've got to go. We're running out of time. We've got to play our best hockey now."
-- The Canucks have not yet trailed in this series and have needed less than eight minutes in each game before scoring the first goal. Daniel Sedin paced his team on Friday in Game 2 with 2 goals and an assist. Henrik Sedin also added an assist. The twins were held off the scoresheet in Game 1.
The Canucks have been the more physical of the two teams, outhitting Chicago by a combined 92-61 through two games. Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler have led the hit parade with 11 each. Maxim Lapierre has 10, including eight in Game 1. Vancouver is getting another rugged forward back in its lineup Sunday as Raffi Torres is set to return from his four-game suspension.
"I'm very excited," Torres said Saturday morning. "It's been a fun two games, the boys have been playing great, but just watching on the outskirts there -- I can't wait to get in."
-- For Vancouver, Daniel Sedin had a 3-point night in Game 2 after going pointless in Game 1. Jannik Hansen has goals in each of the first two games and Ryan Kesler has an assist in each game. .. For Chicago, rookie Ben Smith
scored his first two career playoff goals in Game 2. They were only his second and third career goals in the NHL.
-- Blackhawks forwards Tomas Kopecky
and Bryan Bickell
have suffered injuries in the series. Their status will be updated Sunday morning. Dave Bolland
is still doubtful with his concussion. … Canucks forward Mikael Samuelsson missed Game 2 with an illness. His status for Game 3 will be updated Sunday morning.
-- Chicago is 4-31 in series when losing the first two games. ... Toews has just 1 point in his last nine games. He was held without a shot on goal in Game 2. ... Chicago has won the battle in the faceoff circle with a 58-50 record through two games. ... Keith has logged the most minutes of any skater in the series (55:08). ... Canucks' fourth-liner Victor Oreskovich played only 6:59 in Game 2, but he still finished with three hits and a takeaway. ... The Canucks are averaging 46 hits per game against the Blackhawks, 20 more than they average per game in the regular season.
-- "They find a way how to get another goal, they always find a way to get another one," Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa
said. "It's going to be a different game if we score first, and we have to find a way to score first."