The Blackhawks were down 3-1 in the series and they found a way to come back and tie it. Down 3-1 last night, they found a way to comeback, tie it, and win it. The Blackhawks relentlessly mentality of never giving up was on full display after coming back from a 3-1 first period hole to the Blues. After Andrew Ladd scored just under 4 minutes in, the Blackhawks had a golden opportunity to go up 2-0 but Andrew Desjardins missed the empty net wide. On the ensuing rush, Scottie Upshall tied the game, a huge momentum shift. Alex Pietrangelo gave the Blues the lead with a blast from the blue line and Vladimir Tarasenko added yet another snipe to give the Blues 3 goals in 4:42.
With 40 minutes left to save their season, the Blackhawks came out firing in the 2nd period, absolutely dominating the entire frame. Artem Anisimov scored on the powerplay, batting a puck out of the air, then Trevor van Riemsdyk joined the rush and finished a crossing pass from Jonathon Toews. The Blackhawks took the lead on Dale Weise’s first goal with the Blackhawks late in the second. An Andrew Shaw powerplay goal and a Marian Hossa empty netter gave the Blackhawks a 6-3 win, tying the best of series 3-3. Game 7 is Monday night in St. Louis.
It really should surprise no one the Blackhawks have come back to tie the series, they simply never give up. Always finding a way to answer when it seems like everything is against them. Game 7 should be a dandy, Joel Quenneville is 2-2 all time in Game 7s with the Hawks including a Game 7 win in Anaheim last year. But this Blues team won’t go quietly, the Blackhawks have come back to tie a series (down 3-0 to Vancouver) in 2011 but wound up losing Game 7 on the road. Nevertheless, their arrow is clearly pointing up and the Blues first round failures of recent years certainly will be ringing in their ears until puck drop tomorrow night.
Here’s how the Blackhawks come away with a win:
- Richard Panik on the top line. The Blackhawks have had the most success on the top line with Panik on it and that was evident again last night. Andrew Shaw played the first period on the top line and after being down 3-1, Joel Quenneville flipped Shaw & Panik. Panik plays so cool and collected especially with Toews & Kane, something the Blackhawks will need for Game 7.
- Continued scoring from the stars. In Games 5 & 6, the Blackhawks have goals from Patrick Kane, Andrew Ladd, Marian Hossa, Artemi Panarin, and Artem Anisimov. Jonathon Toews has also played a big role with a couple big assists. Stars come out in Game 7 and the Blackhawks have seen Toews & Kane step up in big moments, they need them to again on Monday.
- Limit penalties. It seems obvious but the Blackhawks need to stay out of the box. Despite not having a power play goal in Game 6, the Blues power play has been very good all series and in order to minimize the amount of chances, the Hawks have to be careful and not give the Blues an extra man.
- Leave it all out there. There’s nothing to lose, it’s Game 7. Players live for moments like these and the Blackhawks, who have been there before, will have to play with the same mentality as the last two games. If they do, I like their chances.