Game 7: Blackhawks look to complete comeback

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Game 7: Blackhawks look to complete comeback

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Posted: 3:06 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com
VANCOUVER, British Columbia Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault summed it up best in his trip to the podium on Tuesday morning.

Theres really not much else to say is there? he said.

No, there really isnt. Its Game 7, its win or go home, its just all about the game now.

Tomas Kopecky is out and Marcus Kruger andor Fernando Pisani could be in tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks face the Vancouver Canucks one more time in this best-of-seven series.

CHAT with Steve Konroyd, Chris Boden during Game 7 tonight

Other than stating a few roster items updates Kopecky and Bryan Bickell (wrist) are obviously out for the Blackhawks and Roberto Luongo is starting for Vancouver neither coach was tipping his hand as to lines and those who may suit up for injured players.

The Blackhawks looked and sounded like a loose group following this mornings skate. Many players said theyre still not feeling the pressure, despite it being first Game 7 for most.

We have to go with the same mindset tonight as the last three games. Were having fun and pressures on them, Viktor Stalberg said. This city isnt going to be happy if they lose four straight to us. Thats how we feel. Its fun for us. We can go in without pressure and go with it.

Bickells work

The Blackhawks knew Bickell was going to be missing at some point after he had severed ligaments in his wrist during Game 2 of these playoffs. Quenneville said he was happy with what the forward was able to do through the next few games.

WATCH: Hockey Central's Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones predict Blackhawks will advance

I thought he gave us three solid games and that line was really effective, said Quenneville of the Bickell-Dave Bolland-Michael Frolik combo. We didn't know what to expect when we first put it together but it was a great surprise the first game and they played pretty solid ones after that. But itll give somebody some quality ice time tonight and a good opportunity to play with a couple guys that have been playing well as well.

Official talk

Vancouver GM Mike Gillis was very vocal on Monday regarding the officiating through this series. Gillies pointed to the discrepancy in power plays, which favor the Blackhawks by a good margin.

READ: Bickell has wrist surgery, will miss 6-8 weeks

The Blackhawks talked about it Tuesday.

To be honest I think its a good move by him, Patrick Kane said. You try to get the emphasis on something else and maybe the league or refs start thinking about it but I dont think its going to matter. I think itll be a pretty fair game.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

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Comfortable Kero: Quick hits from Blackhawks-Penguins

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USA TODAY

Comfortable Kero: Quick hits from Blackhawks-Penguins

PITTSBURGH – Well, that looked more familiar, didn’t it?

The Blackhawks put talk into action on Wednesday night, storming out to an early lead and never letting up in a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’re sitting in a good spot right now, sporting a nine-point lead over the Minnesota Wild – yes the Wild still has that game in hand – and, with five games remaining, they once again played the complete game they’d been missing.

The schedule doesn’t let up, so let’s get to the notables.

What Worked: The Blackhawks’ first period. If there’s such thing as a statement 20 minutes, the Blackhawks made it in Pittsburgh. If the Penguins made a bad pass, the Blackhawks turned it into an opportunity and, a few times, a goal. The Blackhawks had a similarly sharp first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. On Wednesday, however, they didn’t lose any steam later.

What Didn’t Work: The power play. Yeah, you really have to reach to find something that didn’t work for the Blackhawks in this one. Their power play, however, didn’t do much. Their best chance on it was a Jonathan Toews shot on their second power play; that shot was blocked before it got to Marc-Andre Fleury. Their third power play, which came on a phantom tripping call on Conor Sheary, was their quietest of the night.

Star of the game: Tanner Kero. The kid’s been alright at second-line center, and he did a little bit of everything on Wednesday night. Kero had five shots on goal, the secondary assist on Artemi Panarin’s early goal and added a breakaway goal of his own early in the third period. He also won five of 11 faceoffs. Centering Patrick Kane and Panarin could be daunting but in his short time there, Kero’s handling it very well.

He Said It: “It’s a nice opportunity that he’s taken advantage of in a short amount of time. You get a little more defensive responsibility. The upside with him is we wanted him to get better offensively as well, so it’s been a good couple of games.” Coach Joel Quenneville on Kero.

By the Numbers: 

850 – Career coaching victories for Quenneville.

524 – Career goals for Marian Hossa, who scored his 25th of the season late in the first period.

39 – Time, in seconds, in which the Blackhawks scored two goals late in the first period (Marcus Kruger at 19:05 and Marian Hossa at 19:44).

6 – Consecutive victories for the Blackhawks over the Penguins. They’ve outscored the Penguins 20-8 over that span.