Ben Smith’s overtime goal pushed the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks forcing game seven.
After Vancouver looked to have the upper hand in overtime Marian Hossa broke into the offensive zone and made several shifty moves to hold onto the puck. He made a pass back to Niklas Hjalmarsson who had just crossed the blue-line and ripped a shot on goal.
Roberto Luongo made the initial save with his blocker but was unable to stay on his feet. The rebound went to Chicago rookie Ben Smith who put it up and over the sprawled Vezina trophy nominee to force game seven.
The goal came 15:30 and was Smith’s third of the series.
Alex Burrows scored his first of the series and added two assists for Vancouver who, after going up 3-0 in the series, have lost the last three games.
Daniel Sedin scored the first goal of the game 2:07 into the first period. After Burrows intercepted a clearing attempt, Daniel received the puck behind the net from brother, Henrik. He then broke to the front and bounced his shot off the stick of Corey Crawford to record his team-leading fifth goal of the playoffs and make the score 1-0.
Bryan Bickell evened the scoring at 14:57 of the first period with his second of the series. Vancouver defenceman Dan Hamhuis was on the receiving end of a huge hit from Dave Bolland. As a result the puck squirted to the front of the net onto Bickell’s stick who made no mistake putting it behind an unprepared Cory Schneider.
Burrows restored the lead for Vancouver near the end of the first period with a blistering shot from the high slot. The Canucks broke into the offensive zone lead by Christian Ehrhoff who attempted a pass to Ryan Kesler. The play looked like it had been broken up but the puck ended up on the stick of Burrows who recorded his first goal of the post-season and second point of the game to make the score 2-1.
Bolland tied the game for the Blackhawks after a giveaway by Schneider behind his net. The Vancouver goaltender stopped the puck on a Chicago dump in and put it right onto the stick of Patrick Kane. Kane centered the puck to a wide open Bolland who deposited it into the awning cage for his second of the series.
Kevin Bieksa gave the Canucks their third lead of the game 0:58 into the third period on a rebound from a shot by Raymond but it was once again erased less two minutes later by Michael Frolik. Bieksa finished the night with 36:33 of ice time and a plus two rating.
Frolik broke into the Vancouver zone on a breakaway, was tripped by Hamhuis, and awarded a penalty shot. The Czech native came in with a head of steam and made no mistake putting it over the right pad of Schneider. As the Blackhawks celebrated Schneider remained down on the ice in obvious discomfort. He was replaced by Luongo who had not been on the Vancouver bench the entire game. The backup made 17 saves on 20 shots before being replaced.
Game seven will be played Tuesday night in Vancouver.
Notes: Brent Seabrook returned after missing two games with what was called an upper-body injury…Sami Salo let the game in the first period and did not return…Tanner Glass, Aaron Rome, and Keith Ballard were scratched for Vancouver…Tomas Kopecky was scratched for Chicago…