The Blackhawks' defense of their Stanley Cup is on the brink of being swept away.
The Hawks are one game from being eliminated from the Western Conference quarterfinals after the Canucks defeated them 3-2 on Sunday night at the United Center. The win gave Vancouver a commanding 3-0 lead in the series with Game 4 — and a possible end to the Hawks' season — Tuesday night at the UC.
The Hawks have never rallied in a postseason series in 17 previous attempts after dropping the first three games.
Mikael Samulesson scored the game-winner in the third for the Canucks and Daniel Sedin and Christian Ehrhoff each had a goal and an assist to provide goaltender Roberto Luongo (30 saves) with enough offense to earn the victory.
"Everyone wants to look at the stats all year and talk about what (the Canucks) do well and how good of a team they are," a frustrated Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We're not exposing them for what they are. I think a lot of people outside this locker room are giving them too much credit and maybe we are as well. We know that we can be a better team than them, but we just haven't shown it yet."
Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp each had power-play goals in the losing effort and Corey Crawford suffered the loss in goal for the Hawks, who need to win the final four games of the best-of-seven series.
"We can't think four in a row," Sharp said. "The only thing we can focus on right now is Game 4 (and) coming out, playing with the lead and working for a better result."
Despite seizing a lead on Keith's goal early in the first, the Hawks couldn't maintain the intensity helped fueled by a hometown crowd of 21,743. Ehrhoff and Sedin scored :54 seconds apart in the second to take the lead, and after Sharp tied it a short time later while on a man advantage, Samuelsson notched the winner early in the third.
Blackhawks on brink of elimination
Chicago Tribune | Apr 18