The Chicago Blackhawks came out in Game 5 after losing two straight contests on the road to beat the Philadelphia Flyers and take a 3-2 series lead in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. The Hawks exploded for three goals in the first period and never lost the lead.
Home ice has certainly been beneficial for the Blackhawks during the playoffs. They have lost there just three times throughout the post-season. Coming off a close overtime loss in Game 3 and a two goal loss in Game 4, the ‘Hawks looked to retake control of the series at home.
Chicago was led by Dustin Byfuglien, who scored two goals and two assists in the 7-4 victory. He set up the last two goals of the period for the Blackhawks, and added the last goals in the second and third periods.
“Getting down there two games in their building, we had to come back with some fire and get on them and show them we weren’t going to quit,” Byfuglien said. “Right from the get-go we moved our feet and were physical.”
Byfuglien had eight goals in the first three rounds of the playoffs, but hadn’t scored in the last four games, stopped that streak Sunday. Teammate Patrick Kane also added a goal and assist, and praised his winger after the game.
“I think he got rid of us and started performing. That’s all he needed,” said Kane. “He was a force and had some big hits, one on [Chris] Pronger I think everyone remembers.”
The line of Kane, Byfuglien, and Jonathan Toews was split up by Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville after they failed to perform in the finals like they had during the opening rounds of the playoffs. The players were willing to try anything to break up their poor performance.
“We had to change things up. We didn’t really have time to sit and think about who we were playing with. It was kind of like the last second,” Byfuglien said.
Now, the Blackhawks are one win away from reaching the pinnacle of professional hockey. They will try to take the cup from the Flyers at Philadelphia in Game 6.
NHL Sportsbooks have set the ‘Hawks as the underdogs to close out the series at +110. The Flyers underdog line has been set at -130, and the over/under for total goals scored in the game is 5 1/2.