Back in business: Blackhawks force Game 6

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Back in business: Blackhawks force Game 6

Thursday, April 21, 2011Posted: 11:45 p.m. Updated: 1:09 a.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

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.

Crawford stellar

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.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Do Blackhawks need to make a trade now?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Do Blackhawks need to make a trade now?

In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Laurence Holmes (670 The Score), George Ofman (WBBM Newsradio 780/105.9) and Jordan Bernfield join Kap on the panel.

Jimmy Butler says he doesn’t care about the All-Star Game right now. That can't be true, right?

Jonathan Toews is slumping. Do the Blackhawks need to make a trade to get the captain going?

Also, the guys discuss whether Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live broadcast will distract the Steelers and motivate the Patriots.

Plus, a Hawk Harrelson alarm clock??? You gotta be… bleepin’ me!

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below.

Blackhawks tinker with lines vs. Avalanche

Blackhawks tinker with lines vs. Avalanche

Corey Crawford will get the start and the Blackhawks' lines will have a very different look when they face the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center.

Not surprisingly, the Blackhawks' second line of Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane remain the same. Those three are still doing the bulk of the scoring. The top line is now Ryan Hartman and Richard Panik with Jonathan Toews while Marian Hossa goes to the third line with Vinnie Hinostroza and Tanner Kero.

As with any line changes, it's clear the Blackhawks, who are riding a two-game losing streak, aren't happy with how things have been going. 

"You gotta get the message and I think everyone can compete harder, at least a little harder than we have the last few games," Toews said. "Sometimes you go through spurts when you're not playing with the most energy or firing on all cylinders. You just have to find ways to play smart and still create but still limit the chances you give up against."

Hossa said everyone else needs to help the second line.

"[There's] one line consistent on the offensive side. The other lines have a good stretches and then we have dry stretches. We're trying to find where it's no longer just one line consistent on production," Hossa said. "It's going good for a little bit but then we have a dry stretch and I don't know way, exactly. But we have to find [a solution] before the playoffs start."

Marcus Kruger did not make the trip with the Blackhawks. Coach Joel Quenneville expected Kruger to skate in Chicago on Tuesday. Quenneville added that he's going back to 12 forwards and six defensemen in tonight's game. The defensive scratch was unknown.

[SHOP BLACKHAWKS: Get your Blackhawks gear right here]

Meanwhile, the Avalanche have had an awful season and now trade rumors abound for a team that could part with several players. Colorado general manager Joe Sakic told the Denver Post there were only three untouchables in the organization. Gabriel Landeskog ($5.57 million cap hit through 2020-21) and Matt Duchene ($6 million hit through 2018-19) would be coveted at the trade deadline by teams that can afford them.

This is the third meeting between these two teams. The Blackhawks beat the Avs 4-0 on Nov. 3 before the Avalanche took the Dec. 23 game 2-1. The Avalanche have been especially bad at home, going 5-15-1 at the Pepsi Center this season.

Broadcast information

Time: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN
Live stream: CSNChicago.com

Blackhawks forward lines

Ryan Hartman-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Vinnie Hinostroza-Tanner Kero-Marian Hossa
Andrew Desjardins-Dennis Rasmussen-Nick Schmaltz

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Brian Campbell-Brent Seabrook
Michal Rozsival-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

Injuries

Marcus Kruger (right arm)

Avalanche forward lines

Mikko Rantanen-Nathan Mackinnon-Gabriel Bourque
Gabriel Landeskog-Matt Duchene-Matthew Nieto
Blake Comeau-Carl Soderberg-Jarome Iginla
Andreas Martinsen-John Mitchell-Mikhail Gregorenko

Defensive pairs

Fedor Tyutin-Tyson Barrie
Francois Beauchemin-NikitaZadorov
Patrick Wiercioch-Cody Goloubef

Goaltender

Semyon Varlamov

Injuries

Erik Johnson (broken leg)