Chicago at Vancouver

Blackhawks one win from Western finals after taking Game 5


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.

  Series: Blackhawks 3, Canucks 2 | Goldstein: Big man playing like one | Talk!

"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."

Defenseman Brian Campbell set up a pair of goals by Dustin Byfuglien, including the tying tally during a power play with 1:38 left in the second period, for the Blackhawks.

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."

Mats Sundin had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Kesler also scored for Vancouver, which has lost two straight at home, matching its total there for the last three months of the regular season.

"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.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
The 'Hawks might bend, but they don't break and now they are close to the conference finals.  (Getty Images)
The 'Hawks might bend, but they don't break and now they are close to the conference finals. (Getty Images)
Chicago  (3-2) «1124
Vancouver (2-3)1102
Three Stars
D. Bolland

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
D. Byfuglien

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
N. Khabibulin

Saves: 19
Save Pct.: .905

Related Video

October 16, 2017
NHL Power Rankings (Week of 10/16) (0:57)
September 24, 2017
2017-18 NHL Preview: Chicago Blackhawks
June 24, 2017
Post-draft NHL power rankings
April 9, 2017
2017 NHL Playoff Picture
Scoring Summary
15:27Dustin Byfuglien (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Campbell, Versteeg
17:54Power Play - Ryan Kesler (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Wellwood, Sundin
11:16Mats Sundin (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Sedin
18:22Dustin Byfuglien (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Campbell
14:55Power Play - Dave Bolland (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kane, Keith
18:58Martin Havlat (5), Empty Net, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
16:35Ladd, 2 min, Roughing
02:24Edler, 2 min, Holding
08:48Sedin, 2 min, Holding the Stick
12:44Ladd, 2 min, Roughing
17:12Versteeg, 2 min, Cross-Checking
17:12O'Brien, 10 min, Misconduct
17:12O'Brien, 2 min, Roughing
17:12Bieksa, 2 min, Roughing
17:12Walker, 10 min, Misconduct
13:16Bieksa, 2 min, High-Sticking
16:07Kesler, 2 min, Holding
Shots On Goal
Nikolai Khabibulin59:59192
Roberto Luongo58:48263
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 18630
Referees - Paul Devorski, Dennis LaRue
Linesmen - Brad Lazarowich, Jay Sharrers
Other Games
Pitt 4 Final
Wash 3