Blackhawks rally to beat Predators, advance to second round


Blackhawks rally to beat Predators, advance to second round

Duncan Keith was just looking for some space, any space through which to take a shot.

Much like in Game 1, the puck was with the Blackhawks defenseman at a critical time. And just like in Game 1, when Keith sent the Blackhawks home happy with a victory, on Saturday he sent them into the second round.

Keith scored with 3:38 remaining in regulation as the Blackhawks came back to beat the Nashville Predators, 4-3, in Game 6 of their first-round series on Saturday night. The Blackhawks won the series 4-2 and will await the winner of the Minnesota-St. Louis Series. The Wild lead the Blues 3-2 in their series; Game 6 is Sunday afternoon in St. Paul, Minn.

[WATCH: Duncan Keith sends Blackhawks to second round with late goal]

Corey Crawford returned to the net midway through the first period and stopped all 13 shots he saw for the victory. Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews also scored for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks looked like they could’ve scored a few times before they finally did get the winner. Then Jonathan Toews won a puck battle along the boards and passed back to Keith, who faked a shot, faked another shot, then fired past Pekka Rinne.

“We knew we had them on the run in their zone. I just wanted to be patient there and make sure on my shot, knowing they may be gassed there with the puck in their end,” Keith said. “I had some room to make a few fakes, try to get a lane — I think (Marian Hossa) was in the high slot — and just try to get it on net. I’m not sure [Rinne] saw it all the way.”

Crawford saw it from his end.

“Oh my God, that was probably one of the better games I’ve seen him play,” Crawford said of Keith. “That last play, that goal, that’s probably one of the better plays you’ll see from a defenseman. That was crazy. And before that the spin-o-ramas and it was just a great play by him, definitely.”

[MORE: Five Things from Game 6: Blackhawks top guys bring top games]

Keith getting the game-winner wasn’t the only similarity between Games 1 and 6. These two, outside of the first going to double overtime and this one ending in regulation, were near carbon copies of each other. The Blackhawks had a shoddy start to both. They started down in both — 3-0 in Game 1 and 3-1 through the first 11-plus minutes tonight. Their starting goaltender got pulled in both; Scott Darling, who came in for Crawford in Game 1, was pulled tonight after allowing three goals on 12 shots — oh, and that’s what Crawford allowed in that Game 1 first period. James Neal scored twice and Matt Cullen scored, prompting the change.

Crawford’s return was met with cheers from the United Center. It was also met with a better defensive performance. The Predators had 12 shots on Darling in the first 11:16 of the game. They had just 13 the next two-plus periods.

“I thought we were horrible to start the game, absolutely dreadful,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We get beat 1-on-2, a 1-on-1… I wasn’t blaming the goalie. But it was easy to get Crow back in there.”

As the defense tightened, the offense opened up. Sharp scored to make it 3-1 not long before the goalie change. Toews’ power-play goal made it 3-2 Predators 58 seconds after Crawford entered the game. Then Kane scored to tie it 3-3 with just six seconds remaining in the first period.

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“It was a good faceoff and Duncs just left it on a tee for me there,” Kane said. “Big plays like that, when you score at the end of periods, you can get momentum. It definitely a good feeling to tie it up after the first.”

It was a better feeling to wrap this one up at home in Game 6. It wasn’t how the Blackhawks drew it up; they know they can’t start games like that. But they found a way to win in another adverse situation, much like they did in Game 1.

“[They are] something we can work on, obviously, our starts. That’s a mental thing more than anything,” Keith said. “We knew there was lots of time and we have confidence in our ability as a team. We showed that.”


Top 6 Blackhawks pop culture salutes ever


Top 6 Blackhawks pop culture salutes ever

The Original Six team with six Stanley Cups in franchise history known as the Chicago Blackhawks has gotten plenty of salutes from movies, TV shows and other avenues of entertainment over the years. Here are the top six pop culture nods according to us:

6. The Dilemma

The 2011 comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James features lengthy scenes shot at actual Blackhawks games at the United Center in 2010. Even Blackhawks arena announcer Gene Honda has lines in the picture. 

5. Sudden Death 

Jean-Claude Van Damme. There's nothing else needed to defend this selection. But, the 1995 action flick puts the Blackhawks against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, of course with the Vice President in attendance.

Actual storyline: The Pittsburgh Civic Arena is wired with explosives that could destroy the whole city. It's up to arson investigator Darren McCord to stop it before the game ends. 

The movie even spawned a delightful song in a Chris Pratt Parks and Rec deleted scene. 

4. NHL '94 Roenick in Swingers

Vaughn and co. play the 1994 installment of the EA Sports NHL video game in the 1996 film with the Blackhawks taking on the LA Kings and hilarity ensues. 

3. Queen's We Will Rock You music video

Off the 1977 album "News of the World", the music video for We Will Rock You features bassist John Deacon sporting a sweet Hawks letterman-type jacket. 

2. Christmas Vacation 

[*Strong language]

"The silent majesty of a winter's morn; the clean, cool chill of the holiday air...." 

This Blackhawks shoutout in the classic Christmas comedy is too great not to make the top 2. You'll still see "Griswold" white Blackhawks jerseys pop up at the United Center during the holiday season to saltue the 1989 film. Rusty also wears a red Hawks sweater when Clark is putting the infamous bright lights on the house. 

1. Wayne's World

It might be a predictable No.1 pick, but come on. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey worked the Hawks into this iconic 1992 comedy in an epic way. The duo also gave the Blackhawks a big shoutout on Feb. 15, 2015 when Mike Myers wore a Hawks sweater as Wayne in a Wayne's World sketch for SNL's 40th anniversary. 

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Patrick Kane’s love-hate relationship with St. Louis fans highlight of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

USA Today

Patrick Kane’s love-hate relationship with St. Louis fans highlight of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

ST. LOUIS — Patrick Kane has been booed all weekend in St. Louis and the nine-time Blackhawks All-Star poked a little bit of fun at Blues fans for their, shall we say, warm welcoming. But Saturday put the crowd in a weird spot.

On one hand, Kane is an arch rival in St. Louis. On the other, he represented the Central Division and was teammates with the four Blues All-Stars (Jordan Binnington, Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo).

After falling into a 3-0 hole to the Pacific Division, the Central Division stormed back for three straight goals. Perron scored the second goal, which drew huge cheers. Fourteen seconds later, Kane scored the equalizer, which also drew loud cheers. 

But then the St. Louis fans realized who had scored and Kane had some fun with them by holding his glove up to his ear. 

"Tried to like put my hand up to my ear to hear the boos," Kane said. "But then I was showing them that hey, I’m playing with the Blues players, I’ve got the same jersey as them. Just had fun with it. "

The Blues found themselves conflicted for a second time when Kane evened the score at 5-5 after converting on a breakaway. The interaction between Kane and the crowd was the most memorable moment of the night.

"It’s all in good fun," Kane said following a 10-5 loss to the Pacific Division. "To be honest with you, sometimes you get booed, you kind of like it a little bit. It’s St. Louis and Chicago, it’s a huge rivalry. Not only in hockey, but pretty much every other sport they play against each other. I guess that’s only baseball, but, you know what? Had a lot of fun this weekend and I thought that was a pretty cool moment."

Even the Blues had fun with it.

"Those were boos," a smiling Pietrangelo said. "Not cheers."

But at least somebody had sympathy for Kane.

"I felt bad for Kaner," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "He comes out in his introductions and is getting booed and stuff and then he scores and they're cheering for him. Tough situation for him. Players all know. They all handle it very well. It's a fun event."

In the end, it provided entertainment and brought some life to the event. What Kane is really trying to figure out is why he's snake bitten at All-Stars Games. He hasn't won since 2012 in Ottawa when Team Zdeno Chara defeated Team Daniel Alfredsson 12-9 under the fantasy draft format.

"I know, right?" Kane said. "Central can’t get over the hump. We won one last year and lost in the final. I think every time you look at the roster, you always think you have a really good roster with some of the players that are on the team, and for whatever reason we can’t do it."

The Central Division slipped to 1-5 under the 3-on-3 format, but Kane may have a solution on how to fix their struggles.

"Maybe it would be better if the Central played an Eastern team next year or something," Kane said half-jokingly. "Maybe you could switch it up that way."

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