Monday, March 28, 2016

Ladd, Darling, Propel Blackhawks To Playoff Birth, With 3-2 Win Over Canucks

A late goal by Andrew Ladd, along with phenominal goaltending from Scott Darling, helped the Chicago Blackhawks get by the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2, and punch a ticket for entry into the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Both goalies were tested early in the period, but it wasn't until late in the period when Tomas Fleischmann got the Blackhawks on the board with a wrist shot from the top of the right slot that went stick high on Canucks goalie, Ryan Miller.   With 2:18 left in the period, the Hawks took a 1-0 lead into the 1st intermission.

In the 2nd, the Canucks would find the back of the net as Alex Burrows took a centering pass from a board battle win by Linden Vey, to tie the game with 8:31 remaining in the period.  The Hawks outshot the Canuckleheads in the period, 9-6, but the score at the end of 40 minutes was tied at 1.

The first two periods, the Canucks managed 13 shots, in the third period, 15 shots.  Darling shined as he stopped them all, including point blank shots from Burrows on at least two occasions, not to mention other scoring chances made available by the Hawks defense.  For the 2nd night in a row, Ladd provided another huge goal as he wristed a shot similar to Fleischmann's first period shot, high, stick side, and into the net with just 2:17 left in regulation, which proved to be the game-winner.

Notable Mentions:  The Blackhawks have now qualified for the playoffs for the 8th consecutive year.  For the 2nd consecutive night, Scott Darling was #1 Star Of The Game.  Christian Ehrhoff returned to the lineup after missing 4 games played 15:11 minutes, had an assist on Fleischmann's goal, and was a +2.  Patrick Kane gained another assist to give him 94 points on the season.

Three Stars Of The Game
1st - CHI - Scott Darling - 26 Saves, .929 SV%
2nd - VAN - Sven Baertschi - 1G
3rd - CHI - Andrew Ladd - 1G, 3 Blocked Shots

Next game: Tuesday, March 29th, Away vs. Minnesota Wild, 7PM CT

Previous games between Chicago and Minnesota:
Chicago Blackhawks - 4 at Minnesota Wild - 5 ~ 10/28/15
Minnesota Wild - 2 at Chicago Blackhawks - 1 ~ 12/01/15
Chicago Blackhawks - 1 at Minnesota Wild - 6 ~ 02/21/16
Minnesota Wild - 3 at Chicago Blackhawks - 2  OTL ~ 03/20/16


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