Chicago Gets an OT Win; Pittsburgh Moves Closer to a Sweep
The Chicago Blackhawks were finally able to push back against the experience and depth of the Detroit Red Wings and captured an overtime victory in game 3. Feeding off their hometown crowd, Chicago's Patrick Sharp scored the winning goal just two minutes into the extra session for his second of the night and his seventh of the postseason.
The Blackhawks continued their streaky postseason play. All throughout the playoffs they have scored in bunches and given up goals in bunches. In Game 3, the Blackhawks struck first. Sharp scored on a slap shot on the power play about nine minutes into the first period with assists from Brent Seabrook and Dave Bolland. Just one minute later, Chicago scored again. This time Bolland and Martin Havlat notched assists on a Andrew Ladd goal. Suddenly the score was 2-0 and Chicago had a massive amount of momentum.
Moving into the second period, the Blackhawks extended their lead to 3-0 just 45 seconds into the stanza on a Sammy Pahlsson tip in goal, off of a Duncan Keith shot. But Detroit would not let themselves be dominated. On the power play 15 minutes into the second, team leader Niklas Lidstrom scored on a slap shot. Two and a half minutes later Dan Cleary continued his hot streak, cleaning up the mess from a Brian Rafalski shot. Less than two minutes after that, Jonathon Ericcsson tipped in a Brad Stuart shot, as Marian Hossa grabbed his second assist.
Suddenly the score was tied at 3 and the Chicago players and fans were in shock. For the period Detroit out shot Chicago a whopping 18 to 8.
With both teams picking up their intensity in the third, they were each held to just six shots and no team drew a penalty. In overtime, the younger, fresher Blackhawks quickly pounced on the Red Wings, as Sharp secured the 4-3 victory and brought Chicago back into the series. Chicago will have a chance to tie the series at two games a piece on Sunday afternoon.
The Carolina Hurricanes have found out the hard way against the Pittsburgh Penguins that grit and determination cannot always trump extraordinary skill. On Saturday evening the Penguins put up 40 shots, including a dominating 31-16 edge over the first two sessions and put another six goals into net. The Penguins won the game 6-2, although the game was far closer than the score lets on. Pittsburgh now holds a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Leading the charge for the Penguins were the usual suspects, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. However it was Carolina who jumped to an early led in the game. Matt Cullen scored four minutes into the first period to the delight of the intense home crowd. Less than three minutes later the Penguins were on the power play. Sergei Gonchar passed to Crosby who fed Malkin for the goal.
With 45 seconds left in the period Crosby tipped in a Bill Guerin shot for a 2-1 edge and his 14 th goal of the playoffs. Just 30 seconds after that with 10 seconds left on the clock Malkin grabbed his second of the night and 12 th of the postseason to jolt the Penguins to a shocking 3-1 advantage.
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The second period saw a rare break in the scoring action as neither team got on the board. Then in the opening minutes of the third, Sergei Samsonov breathed life into the team and into the crowd with his fifth goal of the playoffs. The score was now 3-2 and Carolina was within striking distance.
However, midway through the session Malkin left a beautiful between the legs drop pass for the trailing Ruslan Fedotenko to extend the lead to 4-2. Craig Adams then added an empty netter with two minutes left, and Bill Guerin tacked on another goal, this time on the power play with one minute left in the game. His sixth of the postseason extended the score to its final, 6-2.
Game 4 will be on Tuesday night in Carolina, as the Hurricanes just fight to survive another day.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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