If you’re a an of themes, Wednesday was all about first-round series getting tied up 2-2, mostly in dramatic ways.
The Columbus Blue Jackets probably took the cake from a jaw-dropping standpoint, raging back against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Dallas Stars didn’t need overtime but left the Anaheim Ducks gritting their teeth. Finally, Patrick Kane added to his big-game legacy with a 4-3 OT winner to lock his Chicago Blackhawks up 2-2 with the St. Louis Blues.
The ‘Hawks two biggest names enjoyed outstanding nights overall. Kane collected two goals and one assist overall while Jonathan Toews generated two assists of his own.
Chicago comes back this time
Remarkably, this is the third game in this series that ended 4-3 in overtime.
That said, in a bit of a role reversal, it was the Blackhawks managing to send a tight game to overtime with a late goal this time around. Granted, the tally Bryan Bickell managed wasn’t in the absolute last minute/seconds like the Blues’ goals in Game 1 and 2 – his came with a little less than four minutes remaining – yet it still got the job done.
Chicago generated a 2-0 lead in the second period, but goals by Vladimir Tarasenko and Maxim Lapierre tied things up 2-2 (all in the second period). Tarasenko’s second goal gave St. Louis a 3-2 lead before Bickell tied it.
(Not bad work by Tarasenko, actually … especially for a guy who wasn’t supposed to return from wrist surgery this soon.)
The Blackhawks and Blues now shift back to St. Louis for Game 5. So far, home teams have won every game in this series, yet each victory has been by a narrow margin (Chicago’s 2-0 win in Game 3 represented the largest margin and only regulation finish).
It’s silly to expect overtime dramatics, yet this series screamed “first-round classic” on paper. So far, it hasn’t been far from that.