Blackhawks add to their playoff souvenirs from the road
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter May 14, 2014 7:55PM
Updated: June 17, 2014 2:06PM
Something had to give. And, not surprisingly, it wasn’t the Blackhawks.
With their 2-1 overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild late Tuesday in Game 6 of their Western Conference second-round series, the Hawks kept alive an impressive streak: They now have won a road game in 12 consecutive playoff series. The Wild had won their previous five home games in the playoffs.
The Hawks’ road playoff streak is the second-longest in the NHL behind the Boston Bruins, who have won a road game in 16 consecutive series.
But it wasn’t easy. The Hawks struggled against the much-improved Wild. As was the case last year when they beat the Wild in five games, the Hawks did not come out of this series feeling they played their best hockey.
‘‘I think it was similar to last year against these guys,’’ said Patrick Kane, who scored the game-winning goal Tuesday. ‘‘It might be a style they play, but it was tough to beat them.
‘‘I don’t think our intensity was as high last year against them, and you could probably say the same thing this year. But it’s good to get through this series and know that we can win these games even when we’re not playing our best.’’
Return of Shaw?
The Hawks never acknowledge a preference of their upcoming opponent, but it’s likely they all were rooting for the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings to go seven games. Besides the wear-and-tear factor of a seven-game series on the winner, it also increases the chances that injured forward Andrew Shaw will be available for the start of the Western Conference final.
Shaw, who suffered a lower-body injury when he was checked hard by Clayton Stoner in the first period of Game 1 of the Wild series, was expected to get back on the ice ‘‘in the next day or two,’’ coach Joel Quenneville said.
Under Quenneville, the Hawks are 14-0 after a playoff series is tied 2-2, including 7-0 on the road.
That’s easily the best mark in a 2-2 series in the NHL in that span — followed by the Penguins (9-4), Red Wings (7-5), Rangers (8-6), Canadiens (3-2) and Sharks (3-2).
The Kane Chronicle
Kane is only the second NHL player with three series-clinching overtime goals — and the first to get three with the same team — according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Martin Gelinas also has three: with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2002 and twice with the Calgary Flames in 2004.
Kane, of course, had the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in overtime of Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010. He also had a series-ending overtime goal in Game 5 against the Kings in the Western Conference final.