Blackhawks rally in second period to beat Blues, force Game 7

Blackhawks rally in second period to beat Blues, force Game 7

The Blackhawks were not a comeback team this season. When they faced a deficit, even if it was established in the first period, they usually didn’t recover from it.

But on Saturday night, down 3-1 after the first period and facing elimination, the Blackhawks came up with that rare comeback at just the right time.

Dale Weise scored the game-winner, his first goal in a Blackhawks uniform, as the Blackhawks scored five unanswered goals to beat the St. Louis Blues, 6-3, in Game 6 at the United Center. The series, tied at 3, goes back to St. Louis for Game 7 on Monday night.

“When we’re down 3-1, we had nothing to lose and the pressure was on them. And now it’s even more. So it’s one game,” coach Joel Quenneville said of Monday’s game, which will start at 7:30 p.m. “I know we have momentum, that’s what we’re looking to get: Let’s go in there and have some fun.”

The Blackhawks were having anything but fun after the first 20 minutes Saturday. Sure, they got the early lead that they wanted, thanks to Andrew Ladd. But 11 minutes into the first they were down 3-1; the Blues scored three goals in a span of four minutes, 42 seconds (Scottie Upshall, Alex Pietrangelo and Vladimir Tarasenko).

In the regular season, when the Blackhawks trailed after 20 minutes, they were 3-15-1. The first intermission was probably a trying time, but Corey Crawford said the Blackhawks’ mood never changed.

“Stays the same. Not much changed,” said Crawford, who stopped 25 of 28 shots in the victory. “Guys were excited to get back out there hungry. That’s a lot of character there. We battled back. We didn’t give up too many chances after that. The guys played awesome.”

Apparently the Blackhawks didn’t lose their cool. Their incredible second period was evidence of that. They outshot the Blues 19-6 and got three goals past Blues goaltender Brian Elliott. Artem Anisimov’s power-play goal cut the Blues’ lead to 3-2 just 4:13 into the second period. Trevor van Riemsdyk, off a great pass from Jonathan Toews, tied it at 3 at 12:21. Then Weise, after knocking down Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk behind the net, came back in front to score the go-ahead goal at 16:18.

“We didn’t get too down. We knew we just had to defend a little better,” Weise said. “We gave them too many odd-man rushes. They’ve got too many good players over there who can score on us. We just needed to defend better. We’ve got enough offense. We never have to worry about that. We started to defend, and we kind of fed off the crowd.”

Andrew Shaw, who was back after serving a one-game suspension, scored a power-play goal with 3:07 remaining, and Marian Hossa scored an empty-net goal to finish the game.

The Blackhawks were looking like their postseason was done 20 minutes into Game 6. But once again they somehow found a way to break through and force a Game 7. Do they complete the comeback? They did so against Detroit in the 2013 Western Conference semifinals. Or do the Blues regroup and close this out on their home ice? The Blackhawks are thrilled that they forced a Game 7, but they know there’s plenty of work ahead.

“We haven’t done anything yet, right? We just wanted to give ourselves a chance to get to a Game 7, and we achieved that. So now you gotta regroup and get ready for another big game,” Ladd said. “They’re a tough team, they’ve got a lot of pride over there, and we know they’re going to come out with their best game of the series. We’re going to have to be ready for that.”

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals


Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: