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Blackhawks avoid elimination with 7-2 win over Canucks

Apr 20, 2011 - 6:07 AM
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Dave Bolland notched a goal and three assists as the defending-champion Blackhawks avoided elimination with a convincing 7-2 victory over Vancouver in Game 4 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series from United Center.

Bolland saw his first action since March 9 when he was sidelined with a concussion, and posted a career-high in playoff points.

"We had to do anything we could to get a point, score a goal, make a big hit, something to get you going," said Bolland about Chicago's mindset from the opening seconds. "They came out flat, and we did a good job of coming on from the start tonight."

Patrick Sharp tallied twice, while Michael Frolik, Duncan Keith, Bryan Bickell and Brian Campbell also scored for the Chicago, which could have been the first club since the 2003 Detroit Red Wings to be swept in the first round following a Stanley Cup title, but fought back to return the series to Vancouver on Thursday.

Corey Crawford stopped 21-of-23 shots for the win.

"We've improved every single game and we still haven't played our best," said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. "There are some very good things that happened, but now we have some momentum in our game, we played well on the road all year. It's a proud bunch."

Sami Salo and Daniel Sedin provided the offense for the Canucks, who were looking for their first series sweep since taking out St. Louis in the opening round two years ago.

Roberto Luongo was yanked early in the third after giving up six goals on 28 shots. Cory Schneider finished the game yielding one goal on seven chances.

After outshooting the Canucks 13-7 in the first period, the Blackhawks continued to outwork the visitors, and it paid off with two scores in a 17- second span early in the second.

Patrick Kane carried down the right wing, then flipped the puck to Campbell on the left wing for a successful wrister at 5:18, and on the next shift, Keith ripped a shot high to the short side from the slot at 5:35 and it was 3-1.

Bolland put Chicago up by three at 14:45, then Frolik broke in up the slot and scored on the forehand at 18:57 and the 'Hawks went to intermission up 5-1.

Sharp added a pair of power-play scores in the third and Sedin added one of his own with 3:36 remaining.

"We gotta keep our composure, not get too high or too low," Luongo said of the blowout loss which still left Vancouver with a 3-1 series edge. "We'll have to forget about this one, and at least we don't have to sit on it for another five months before we get to play them again."

Bickell soloed from the right wing, cut into the slot and beat Luongo with a low shot inside the left post just 1:43 after the drop of the puck, but Vancouver equalized on the power play at 4:46 when a point shot from Salo deflected twice off Chicago bodies before veering in.

Game Notes

Chicago's last seven-goal playoff game was a 7-4 victory over Philadelphia in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on June 6, 2010...Vancouver last surrendered seven goals on May 7, 2010 in Game 4 of the Western semifinals against the Blackhawks...Bolland's return eased the burden of losing defenseman Brent Seabrook, out with an upper-body injury suffered when he was hit from behind by Canucks forward Raffi Torres...Kane posted two assists...Bickell, Frolik, Bolland and Niklas Hjalmarsson all finished plus-4, while Henrik Sedin and Alexander Edler were minus-3 for Vancouver.