Blackhawks' Whacks Square the Stanley Cup Final
The Cubs and White Sox woulda been proud.
Chicago's Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad batted pucks out of the air and into the net to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the ultimate Stanley Cup showdown.
Saad took advantage of a nifty pass from Patrick Kane after a faceoff ruck at 6:22 of the third period to knock home the winning goal.
The continuing confusion quickly gave the speedy winger all the space he needed:
It wasn't just the South Side environs around the United Center, but the entire Chicago metro area that erupted into Chelsea Dagger when Saad's swat eluded Andrei Vasilevskiy, who was valiant in relief of the injured Ben Bishop. The 20-year-old rook played like a 20-year veteran, matching Corey Crawford -- holder of two Cup rings -- in every other category except bouncing pucks:
There isn't much in this world that can accurately convey how close this series is, but here are two ... barely:
Actually, if Chicago prevails, it could come down to coach Joel Quenneville's mastery of line juggling. So far this spring, he's outmaneuvered Nashville's Peter Laviolette and Anaheim's Bruce Boudreau. Tampa Bay's Jon Cooper has won at every level he's coached, but the crafty Quenneville put the right combinations on the ice at the right time in Game 4:
- First goal: Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Marian Hossa
- Second goal: Saad, Kane, and Brad Richards
Dude's got the Midas touch, and it cues the tune: