The Blackhawks’ top liners whacked away at the puck, generating rebounds and knocking a shot off the post before Bryan Bickell lifted it over Jonathan Quick.
That goal didn’t change the outcome of Game 4; the Los Angeles Kings had staked themselves to a 4-1 lead by the time Bickell scored his seventh goal of the season. Still, it was the reason Bickell, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were put together: to get something going.
Now they have to do that promptly on Wednesday night.
[MORE: Facing elimination, Blackhawks focusing only on Game 5]
Bickell, Toews and Kane were thrown together in Game 4, and they’re looking to set the pace on Wednesday when the Blackhawks host the Kings in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final.
It’s a tall order, for sure; the Kings have a 3-1 edge in the series and have been dominating as of late, especially on the power play. The Blackhawks are looking to start a game strong and keep it going for 60 minutes; that’s proven elusive up to this point. But Bickell said he, Toews and Kane have to make a statement immediately on Wednesday.
“Last game we only got one and felt like we could’ve gotten three or four,” Bickell said. “We need to spark our team and give that energy. Or if the momentum’s down, lift up the team.”
[ALSO: Can the Blackhawks solve their penalty-kill woes?]
Of the three, Toews has been the most potent offensively this series with three goals in four games. Bickell’s goal on Monday was his first since Game 5 against the Minnesota Wild. Kane’s assist was his first point of this series. The grouping, especially with Toews and Kane, usually comes in the latter stages of the playoffs and especially if an individual or the team needs a spark. So it was no surprise to see them together on Monday night.
Coach Joel Quenneville liked what he saw.
“They were good, they were all right,” he said. “They generated enough and they were fine.”
They’ll have to be more than fine on Wednesday night. Everyone in a Blackhawks uniform will have to be.