2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – First Round Series Recap
Western Conference Quarterfinals Game 4 - Chicago 7, Vancouver 2 – Canucks lead series, 3-1
Last year Dave Bolland was the ‘X’ factor as the Chicago Blackhawks took out the Vancouver Canucks and went on to win the Stanley Cup. So far this series, Bolland hadn’t been able to play due to injuries, but in his return to the lineup after missing 17 games, he proved why he is such a key part to Chicago.
In his first game back, Bolland had one goal and three assists as the Hawks finally got on the winning side of the ledger in this Western Conference quarterfinal series.
After not being able to get much of anything past the imposing Roberto Luongo in the first three games of this series, the Hawks finally got some pucks past the Vancouver netminder and then some.
The Hawks got the game started on the right foot with a goal 1:43 into the proceedings courtesy of Brad Bickell, who danced right around Vancouver defensemen Kevin Bieksa and buried the puck in the net past an out-of-position Luongo.
The Canucks answered the Chicago goal with a power play goal by Sami Salo at the 4:46 mark of the 1st period and the teams went into the dressing room tied at 1.
Then, however, came the onslaught.
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The Hawks posted four second-period goals including markers from defensemen Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith 17 seconds apart. Campbell’s tally was at the 5:18 mark and Keith’s occurred at the 5:35 mark. Then Bolland scored at 14:45 of the period and Michael Frolik finished off the second stanza’s scoring spree with a goal at 18:57.
The scoring continued for the Hawks in the third period with two power play goals from Patrick Sharp. The first one came at the 2:49 mark and the second came at 13:21 of the period. Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault waited until after the sixth goal to pull Luongo, who experienced cramps late in the first period and should have been pulled after the fourth goal. Will Luongo be ready for Game 5? Will the Blackhawks get in his head and mount a comeback? This series is still Vancouver’s to lose, but now Game 5 will own a measure of genuine intrigue.
The Canucks hope this was their last trip to Chicago for this season. Game 5 is Thursday in British Columbia, where the Canucks try to finally get past Chicago. If they don’t, however, the ghosts of playoffs past could haunt the number one seed in the Western Conference of the National Hockey League.
By: Matt Zemek
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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