Kane, Hawks tie series in OT
When game 4 went to overtime for the third time of the series, Hawks fans couldn’t help but put their heads down in fear of the previous OT results.
The Hawks had dropped the first two overtime games in heartbreaking fashion, putting them down 2-0 in the series. They fought a tough battle in game 3, coming out on top with the help of Corey Crawford’s shutout. To many, game 4 was the pivotal moment in the series. In the words of Patrick Kane, “There’s a big difference between being down 3-1 and being tied 2-2”. Many feared that with a Hawks loss in game 4, the series would end upon its return to St. Louis.
The Hawks energy early clearly gave them the advantage and with Andrew Shaw and Patrick Kane putting them up 2-0 in the second period. The lead and stadium noise were erased with two last minute goals by Vladimir Tarasenko and Maxim Lapierre. The momentum further shifted to the Blues with Tarasenko’s second goal, his fourth of the series. Crawford was visibly frustrated with himself, as it evidently brought back haunting memories of the late goals, he gave up in the first two games of the series.
Despite looking fatigued and run-down into the third period, the Hawks refused to give up. The United Center rose again with several near-goal sequences, likely resulting in line changes that separated Kane and Toews. Finally, in a sequence with palpable energy, Marián Hossa and Michal Rozsival found the ever-tenacious Bryan Bickell with under 4 minutes to go to tie the game at 3 and force overtime.
The Hawks had 11 shots in overtime, the 12th being the most important. Patrick Kane had just hit the post and had an undeniable look of hunger in his eyes leading up to his goal, a short-side, top-shelf shot freezing Ryan Miller. It was the first time since his late-season injury that Kane showed his true, clutch colors, reminding everyone why he is a Conn Smythe winner and one of the best performers in the playoffs.
It is evident that Kane lives for the big moments, as he has showed the hockey world time and time again. In his post-game interview, he put the focus on the team, mentioning how much the game ebb-and-flowed and stating “It was a huge win, now we’ve gotta keep the momentum”.
If there was doubt about the Hawks’ ability to overcome adversity going into game 4, the display last night should erase all negative thoughts. The Hawks reminded people why they are the defending Stanley Cup champions, and proved they will fight until the very end.
With the series even at two games apiece, Game 5 is set to be a thriller. The return to St. Louis and Blues’ frustration with back to back losses could stack up against the Hawks. If they are the team Chicagoland wants them to be, they will rise to the occasion, use the adversity to their advantage, and quiet the typically rowdy Scottrade Center. So Blackhawk fans, let’s all take a deep breath, regroup, and buckle up. Game 5 in St. Louis is about to be a wild ride.