Thursday, April 21, 2011Posted: 11:45 p.m. Updated: 1:09 a.m.
By Tracey Myers
VANCOUVER, British Columbia Duncan Keith stood with a media swarm around him, his defensive partner Brent Seabrooks sweater hanging in the empty locker beside him.
Seabrooks missed the last two games after taking Raffi Torres shoulder to the head in Game 3. The Blackhawks didnt like seeing that hit, didnt like seeing it go unpunished afterward. But Keith said thats in the past. Sort of.
WATCH: Keith on his career night
Weve moved on from that incident, he said. But at the same time hes a good teammate, a good friend and we use everything we can as motivation to come out fighting.
That apparently goes quadruple for Keith.
Keith had a career-best four-point night and Marian Hossa had two goals and a helper as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-0 in their Western Conference quarterfinal series. The Blackhawks are now within one, 3-2, in the series that goes back to Chicago for Sundays Game 6.
Corey Crawford was also stellar, stopping all 36 shots he faced for his first career postseason shutout.
Be it Keiths huge offensive night, Crawfords net work or the Blackhawks big offensive guns awoke from their slumber Hossa and Patrick Kane got their first goals of the series the Blackhawks were relentless. Hossa and Keith scored within 24 seconds of each other -- the second time the Blackhawks tallied bang-bang goals -- to stun the Canucks and silence Rogers Arena.
WATCH: Kane says the group is confident
And for the second straight game the Blackhawks ended Roberto Luongos night early. Hossas breakaway was the final blow, sending Luongo off just 1:26 into the second period. Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said Luongo will start Game 6 in Chicago.
Keith was stellar on all fronts but made his biggest impact on the score sheet. He had a team-high eight shots on goal the Blackhawks had 26 as a team and was a plus-2 at the end of the night.
WATCH: Hossa wants to do the same thing in Chicago
Asked how the Canucks could slow Keith down, Vigneault said, well analyze tonight and see what we can come up with.
And if not for a Kane deflection, Keith has a hat trick and a five-point night.
I kind of felt bad about that, Kane said. But he was awesome. Hes been great all series but you expect him to show up in big games like that.
And Keith has been showing up in several ways lately. Keiths a quiet guy in front of the cameras and tape recorders, but according to Jonathan Toews, hes been making himself heard lately nonetheless.
WATCH: Toews looking forward to coming home
Hes been a force verbally in the locker room and on the bench, Toews said. Hes killing penalties, scoring big goals on the power play. You saw him in the last game, hes getting in (the Canucks) faces and hes not afraid to get into it after the whistle. At the same time, nothings going to take him off his game right now. Every guy in this room can take a page out of his book right now.
The Blackhawks last two games have been more the type of hockey theyve wanted to play. Theyve outscored the Canucks 12-2, theyve chased Luongo twice and they very well could be getting to Vancouvers psyche once again.
But for the Blackhawks its all about them.
Honestly, were focused on our team and what were doing, Keith said. Im not just saying that. Were facing elimination, we believe in our team and we believe we can play with this team. Its not a coincidence theyre Presidents' Trophy winners. But we believe we can play with them.
The Blackhawks did what was necessary at one end and Crawford more than did his part at the other, stopping 36 in what coach Joel Quenneville called a special night for the rookie goaltender.
WATCH: Q says it was a special night for Crawford
Corey Crawford was dazzling in his performance in Game 6. Crawford saved all 36 Vancouver shots for his first postseason shutout. (US PRESSWIRE)
But Crawford was once again calling it a team effort. He pointed specifically at the 20 blocked shots the Blackhawks gathered.
There were a couple of times in the slot when they had a good opportunity and we came up with a huge block. Those things are important, he said. We were hard on pucks all around the ice and making smart plays. Our PK was really good tonight. When all those things come together it makes for a really good game.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.