The defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks were down 3-0 in the best of seven first-round series of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
On the verge of being swept, the Blackhawks showed the heart of a champion, fighting back to even the series at three games a piece, forcing a series-deciding Game 7 on Tuesday night back in Vancouver.
Down a goal for most of the game, things only got bleaker for the Blackhawks. With just 3:17 left to play, a crucial hooking penalty put Chicago a man down.
Their season had come down to three minutes and facing a penalty kill, the Blackhawks season looked to be over, until the Captain, Jonathan Toews came up with the biggest play of the night.
Toews picked up a loose puck, drove hard to the net, got knocked down, then stuffed in the game-tying goal five-hole on Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.
Game tied 1-1 and two minutes later; Game 7 would be decided in overtime.
Despite falling in overtime, the Chicago Blackhawks were impressive. Down 3-0 in a best of 7 and coming back to force OT in Game 7 isn't something any hockey team can do.
If not for Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows and his two goals, including the game winning goal, Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford may have been the games most valuable player.
Crawford was magnificent in net, stopping 27 shots in the second and third period, including a penalty shot with Chicago trailing 1-0. His stops kept the Blackhawks in play throughout Game 7 and allowed Chicago a chance to be competitive until the very end.
Sadly, the magical run of Crawford and the Chicago Blackhawks is over, there will be no repeat. There is however, no shame in failing to defend their title the only way they knew how—like champions.
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