Playoff rally vs. Canucks in 2011 gives Hawks confidence
BY MARK LAZERUS email@example.com May 24, 2013 8:44PM
At Hawks 4
At Hawks 1
At Wings 3
At Wings 2
7 p.m. Saturday
at Hawks, Ch. 5
GAME 6 if necessary
GAME 7 if necessary
Updated: June 26, 2013 6:13AM
Two springs ago, the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks found themselves down 3-0 in a first-round playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks. The series was over. And then it wasn’t.
The Hawks won three consecutive games to force a Game 7, then Jonathan Toews scored with less than two minutes left to force overtime before the Canucks finally escaped with a victory. Thirteen Hawks played in that Game 7, and they hope to draw confidence from the experience.
‘‘It’s huge,’’ defenseman Brent Seabrook said. ‘‘Everybody’s counting us out now except us in here. The only thing you can really do is look back at past experiences and go from there.’’
There have been 229 teams that have trailed 3-1 in a Stanley Cup playoff series; 20 have come back to win. It last happened twice in 2010, with the Montreal Canadiens rallying to beat the Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers becoming the first team since the 1975 New York Islanders to erase a 3-0 deficit by beating the Boston Bruins. Daniel Carcillo was on that Flyers team that eventually lost to the Hawks in the Stanley Cup finals.
Coach Joel Quenneville’s St. Louis Blues won a first-round series against the Phoenix Coyotes in 1999 after trailing 3-1.
‘‘Things happen,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘Momentum — we talk about how important it is come playoff time. [The Red Wings] obviously have it right now, but one game can turn everything around.’’
Despite scoring only one goal in the two games in Detroit, the Hawks were relatively pleased with the chances they were getting against Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. But they’re hoping to increase the traffic in front of the net even more to make life harder on the red-hot Howard, who has stopped 86 of 88 shots in the last three games.
‘‘We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing,’’ Toews said. ‘‘We’ve been getting in front of him; we’ve been shooting from all over the place. We’re going to keep doing that and even more so.’’
Quenneville said he hoped
returning home will give the Hawks a boost in Game 5.
‘‘It’s a fun building to play in,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m sure it’s going to be rocking. Starting with the anthem [Saturday], it’s a good place to start.’’