Antoine Vermette wins it in double OT as Blackhawks tie series


Antoine Vermette wins it in double OT as Blackhawks tie series

Antoine Vermette’s frustration with his Game 3 scratch was apparent the following day.

“I was not happy with that,” Vermette said on Friday. “But my job is to be ready whenever I have a chance to be in the lineup, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Ready, he was.

Vermette scored the winning goal in double overtime, and the Blackhawks overcame a three-goals-in-37-seconds barrage by Anaheim to beat the Ducks 5-4 on Saturday night. The Blackhawks and Ducks are tied 2-2 in the Western Conference Finals series, which continues with Game 5 in Anaheim on Monday night.

[MORE: Five Things from Game 4 - Blackhawks back with a bang]

Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored their first goals of this series. Brent Seabrook also scored for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford stopped 47 of 51 shots, including all 17 the Ducks had in the first overtime, for the victory.

For Vermette, there was no bitterness as he sat at the podium following Saturday’s game. There was also no it’s-about-me talk, with that game-winning goal lessening the scratch frustration.

“I mean, at the same time you don’t want to make an individual a story,” Vermette said. “The main focus is about the team’s success. That’s all that matters, so I’m glad we won tonight.”

Coach Joel Quenneville called Vermette, “a great pro.”

“I was very happy for him. What a huge goal for him and for us,” he said. “What makes our game so great is that players are so competitive, they want to play in the worst way and want more ice time as well. You can understand where he was at, very disappointed. But he stayed with it. That line had a couple of looks in overtime and I’m glad he finished it because that was a huge, huge goal. Huge.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

It wasn’t looking like the Blackhawks would even get to overtime after the Ducks scored three times in 37 seconds in the third period. The Blackhawks had just taken a 3-1 lead on Seabrook’s goal when Ryan Kesler scored barely a minute later. Then Matt Beleskey and Corey Perry also scored, putting the Ducks up 4-3 midway through the third period.

“We played a pretty good hockey game in regulation and go up 3-1 and probably would havebeen a tough one to swallow if we would have lost that, especially in regulation,” Brad Richards said. “Glad I don’t have to talk about it and it’s just a what-if now.”

It is that, because Patrick Kane evened it at 4-4 with his power-play goal at 12:39 of the third period. After getting through the Ducks’ shooting barrage of the first overtime, Vermette scored his winner on a second-chance effort 5:37 into the second one.

How Vermette handled the Game 3 scratch on the inside is anyone’s guess. But he handled it well on the surface and couldn’t have capped his return any better.

“The emotion in the corner was pretty fun,” Vermette said of the post-game euphoria. “This is a fun group and we had a fun celebration. Hopefully we can do it again.”

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here:

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

The Blackhawks have banned the four fans — who were ejected from Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals for their racist remarks towards Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly — from future home games.

On Monday, a Blackhawks spokesperson released this statement:

We have contacted the select individuals involved in the incident on Saturday to notify them that they are no longer welcome at our home games. Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks also wanted to remind fans that they can alert security at the United Center by texting the following to 69050: UCASSIST <SPACE> followed by the seating section, row and a brief description of the issue.