The Chicago Blackhawks have shown a flair for late heroics in playoff games recently. However, before Saturday night, they hadn't been able to turn those dramatics into wins.
They were able to do so in Game 2 of the their first-round series against the Phoenix Coyotes with a 4-3 overtime victory at Jobing.com Arena after once again tying the game in the dying moments of regulation. It was just their second win in their last six playoff road games.
The victory allowed the Blackhawks to avoid falling into a 2-0 series hole before returning home to the United Center for Game 3 on Tuesday, which forward Patrick Kane had made a point of emphasis before the game.
"It's huge," Kane said. "You never want to go down 2-0, and if we split here and go back home with a 1-1 score, I think it's probably in our advantage going back to our building. We know how well we've played there this year and what kind of crowd (we have). They give us a huge boost back at home."
Joel Quenneville was forced to jumble his lines following the ejection of rookie winger Andrew Shaw, but the Blackhawks coach had already began to juggle the lines before that -- with Patrick Kane returning to the role at center between Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa that he played down the stretch during the 22-game absence of Jonathan Toews due to a concussion.
Toews was moved to center between Patrick Sharp and Viktor Stalberg.
Sharp wound up scoring the tying goal with 5.5 seconds left, knocking in a Kane shot. Bryan Bickell's second goal of the game, on an assist from Stalberg, was the winner 10:36 into OT.
"Getting Kaner in the middle picked it up, and we had more balance in that," Quenneville said. "I didn't like changing too much in the lines going into this playoffs. That line with (Toews, Kane and Hossa) was pretty good in the first game, but we seemed to get a little bit more with those two guys at center."