Blackhawks 6 Canucks 3
VANCOUVER — The Blackhawks are making comebacks a winning habit in the playoffs.
Chicago battled back from a two-goal deficit and used Dave Bolland’s short-handed goal to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 on Saturday night to tie their Western Conference semifinal series 1-1.
It was the fifth time in this year’s playoffs the Blackhawks have battled back when trailing.
“It’s a long game,” said captain Jonathan Toews, who earned an assist in the victory. “As long as you give yourself a chance to get back in there . . . it’s a long ways from being done, especially if we are only down two goals.
“Once we get that first goal it’s a confidence builder. Every single line feels like they can go out there and something will happen.”
Bolland put the Blackhawks ahead 3-2 at 16:50 of the second period while Chicago was killing a hooking penalty to Patrick Kane.
Defenceman Duncan Keith lifted a high pass to Bolland, who had snuck behind the Canuck defence. He broke in alone on Roberto Luongo, deked the Vancouver goaltender to the ice, and slid a forehand shot into the net.
Bolland later scored into an empty net.
Patrick Sharp scored twice for Chicago, his second coming on a five-on-three power play. The Canucks were at a further disadvantage because Ryan Kesler, one of their best penalty killers, had broken his stick.
Ben Eager and Kane also scored for the Blackhawks, who notched five unanswered goals. Three of those came in the second period when Vancouver was outshot 13-5.
The Canucks won Thursday’s opening game of the conference semifinal 5-3. The best-of-seven series now heads to Chicago for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday.
Defencemen Sami Salo and Alexander Edler, with his first of the playoffs, scored for the Canucks. Henrik Sedin also scored late in the third period. All the Vancouver goals came on the power play.
Salo’s goal was his third of the playoffs and second of the series, but he left the game soon after scoring and did not return, forcing the Canucks to juggle their defensive pairings.
Coach Alain Vigneault said Salo had a “lower body injury” and is listed as day-to-day.
Salo missed the fourth game of the Canuck’s first-round sweep of the St. Louis Blues with an injury.
Saturday’s loss was the first of the playoffs for the Canucks.
“It feels like we didn’t play a terrible game,” said Sedin. “We didn’t execute on some plays.
“There shorthanded goal was just a mistake from our side. We did a few mistakes and it cost us.”
Chicago outshot Vancouver 31-21.
One of Luongo’s best saves came in the second period when he made a diving stop his with his stick to block a shot from Eager. That brought chants of “Louuu” from the sellout crowd of 18,630.
The win was the first for Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin against Vancouver in 13 starts. His last victory over the Canucks was Jan. 26, 1998, when he played for the Phoenix Coyotes.
The bad blood between the teams began to boil late in the third period with pushing and shoving after whistles.