Hawks take flight

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:50 PM ET

VANCOUVER -- Fans littered the ice with debris with just over a minute to play after the Chicago Blackhawks scored an empty net goal to put the Vancouver Canucks away in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal here last night.

Partially in response to two penalties called late by referees Paul Devorski and Dennis LaRue and partially in frustration with the home town hockey team, the garbage came from the stands as thousands of fans got up from their seats and left the building.

Dave Bolland, a player who won a gold medal for Canada at the World Junior here in 2006, put Canada's Team one loss from being eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Boland was left unprotected on the backside and banged in a cross-crease pass from Patrick Kane to break a 2-2 tie on the power play with Kevin Bieksa in the penalty box at 14:55 of the third period.

The goal by the former London Knight, followed by an empty net goal by Martin Havlat gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-2 win in Game 5 and a 3-2 series lead heading back to Game 6 in Chicago Monday.

For the first time in the series the Hawks had managed to score the first goal of the game.

After finding themselves down 3-0, 2-0, 3-0 and 1-0 in the first four games of the series, the Blackhawks finally pulled the trigger to go up 1-0 on the Canucks in Game 5.

But the novelty of being in the lead early only lasted 79 seconds for the team which had only managed 23:10 of the first 252:52 minutes of play in the series in the lead.

It was Dustin Byfuglien who batted in a rebound off the pad of Roberto Luongo to give Chicago the lead at 16:35 of the first period.

A penalty to Andrew Ladd, the Maple Ridge B.C. product who scored the winner in Game 4 resulted in a power play goal by Ryan Kesler on a deflection through the legs of Nikolai Khabibulin.

After two boring bouts in Chicago the two teams came back here and picked up the pace where they left off when they checked out of G.M. Place a week earlier after Game two.

There was more action in the first few shifts here last night than the two games combined in Chicago.

The Canucks, who only had 15 shots on goal in Game 4, including only eight after they scored eight minutes into the second period, outshot Chicago 11-10 in the first period -- the first time they outshot the Blackhawks in any period in the series and their highest shot total for any period in the series by Vancouver.

Sundin's goal came on the Canucks 16th shot of the game.

It was Henrik Sedin who found his fellow Swede at the top of the faceoff circle to drive a shot behind Khabibulin at 11:16 of the second period for his second goal of the playoffs. Sundin was set up for another chance later in the period but fanned on the shot.

Byfuglien's second goal of the game, at 18:22 of the second, was a rare softie which slipped through the pads of Luongo.

Kyle Wellwood was presented with an excellent chance to put the Canucks ahead in the third period but put it off the post.

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos