VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- With Chicago on a power play and the puck on Patrick Kane's stick, David Bolland found a soft spot behind the Canucks defense and trusted the puck was coming. The hardest part was waiting for it.
When the puck finally arrived, Bolland patiently gathered it and then snapped a shot past the stick of a diving Roberto Luongo and into an empty net. The goal with 5:05 left gave the Chicago Blackhawks the lead they turned into a 4-2 victory over Vancouver on Saturday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal series.
"Kane just stepped off the boards and saw me open and threw a little saucer, and I knew it was going to get to me. Roberto couldn't get over that quick," Bolland said. "I didn't want to mishandle it. I just wanted to make sure."
Martin Havlat added an empty-net goal with 62 seconds left, and Chicago took a 3-2 edge over the Canucks in the series. The Blackhawks can advance to the conference finals on Monday at home.
After Canucks forward Ryan Johnson failed on a great chance to clear the zone, and with defenseman Willie Mitchell missing his stick, Kane walked off the right boards and looked off Luongo before finding Bolland open on the backdoor.
"Kane is a tremendous passer, a tremendous player and he's going to get you the puck," said Bolland, who has four goals in the second-round series.
The Blackhawks trailed 2-1 midway through the second period, but rallied to win for the third time in the series. Chicago hasn't been to the conference finals since 1995, following a second-round sweep of the Canucks.
If the Canucks stay alive, they would host Game 7 on Thursday.
"We don't want to come back," Bolland said. "We want to finish it at home."
Chicago was less than three minutes from being down 3-1 in the series before rallying late and winning Game 4 in overtime at home.
"I don't know what it is, it's crazy," Kane said of the comebacks. "We have a young team and it's almost like we don't know any better but to come back."
"We're going to regroup," said Luongo, who finished with 26 saves. "We're going to come Monday and we're going to play the hardest game we've played all year, make sure we play our best game on the ice, and bring us back here."
Nikolai Khabibulin made 19 saves for Chicago, getting a break when Kyle Wellwood hit the post midway through the third period, but also getting a blocker on Kesler's short-handed 2-on-1 chance with seven minutes left.
After Chicago won what Canucks coach Alain Vigneault called a "chess match" in Game 4 on Thursday, the teams played a faster-paced, highly physical game Saturday with plenty of big hits and scrums after the whistle.
The Canucks got top defenseman Sami Salo back after he missed two games with an undisclosed lower-body injury, but Chicago opened the scoring for the first time in the series with 4:33 left in the first period. Byfuglien beat Mattias Ohlund to a rebound of Campbell's point shot through traffic and off Luongo's pad.
"We had guys all over the puck and kept it in when we need to and we found a way to sneak some by Luongo," Byfuglien said.
The Blackhawks controlled much of the play in the opening period, pinning the Canucks in their own end for long stretches, but Kesler tied it on a lucky power-play bounce with 2:06 left. Sundin gave the Canucks the lead midway through the second, but Byfuglien tied it again after Vancouver was whistled for an extra penalty during a post-whistle scrum.
"A lot of people are going to write us off, but we believe in this locker room that we can win," Luongo said. "We should have won both games in Chicago, so we know we can go in there and win a game."
- Canucks D Shane O'Brien and Chicago D Matt Walker both received misconducts late in the second period, but it was an extra roughing penalty to O'Brien that gave the Blackhawks the penalty that led to the tying goal.