Mission accomplished...with some extra time.
Game 3 between the Sharks and Hawks turned out to be arguably the best game of the series as both teams skated quick, looked crisp, and never let the opponent get too comfortable with the lead. As always, some factors and plays stuck out from an intense game.
- The Blackhawks did not come out as flat on home ice as they had in the two previous series against Nashville and Vancouver. Despite the early penalty, the Hawks came out of the no goal call and pressed as if nothing had happened.
- Speaking of penalties, a horrible tone was set when David Bolland was wrongly called for goaltender interference early in the first period. The replay clearly showed Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabakov was out of the blue crease and was barely run in to. It could be said his own defenseman had more contact with him than Bolland.
- The no goal call almost made up for the bad penalty. The three camera angles shown on Versus gave clear and convincing evidence that the puck was kicked in and not touched with Joe Pavelski's stick.
- It would be like Dustin Byfuglien to not be anywhere in the game and score the game winner in overtime.
- I get the feeling the hard defense that Marian Hossa is playing is rubbing off on some of the more offensively gifted players on Chicago. Patrick Kane was moving swiftly and aggressively offensively and defensively, and that is not exactly what he is known for doing.
- Niemi's 44 saves were excellent, but his rebound control lacked in my opinion. This is nit-picking.
- Hawks coach Joel Quenneville has said that whoever comes out of a 5-on-3 penalty with a goal or kill in their favor, wins the game. Sometimes it is okay to be wrong.