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Blackhawks seek and gain redemption in Game 2

By Colleen Boyle

The Blackhawks needed to bounce back and fast after a disappointing loss in Game 1 of the semi-finals against the Vancouver Canucks.

Antti Niemi gave up five goals last Saturday—only the second time he has given up five or more in a game all season (and the previous instance was still a Win). Christobal Huet substituted Niemi in the third period as a quiet hush spread through the United Center for the first time all season.

Game 2 became so much more important for the team as they needed at least one win before heading to Vancouver to play games 3 and 4.

The Blackhawks took control of the game even with a slow start—giving up two quick goals in the first 5:02—one during a Vancouver two-man advantage. Defenseman Brent Seabrook scored in the first to cut the lead in half, and the Blackhawks came out in the second to play a solid but scoreless second period.

Patrick Sharp opened the third period scoring sheet with a shorthanded goal that tied the game at 2. With a minute and a half left in the third, Kris Versteeg scored the game winning goal, and Patrick Kane sealed an empty net goal to make the final score 4-2.

The game was not without flaw for the Chicago Blackhawks. One major issue that needs to be addressed before facing the Canucks on home ice is limiting the time spent in the penalty boxes. The Blackhawks took six penalties in the game. Although one penalty kill yielded a shorthanded goal, the team spends most of the time in the defensive zone, and the added pressure to the Goalie can sometimes lead to multiple scoring chances.

The Blackhawks outshot the Canucks 34-26 and had two power-play opportunities that did not produce any goals. The team has recently performed great on penalty kills but has not had as much success in power plays goals.

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