Author: Cam Tucker

From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks


Antoine Vermette admitted he wasn’t happy with being a healthy scratch for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3. Back in the lineup on Saturday, he played the role of hero in Game 4.

Vermette scored the winner at 5:37 of the second overtime, pushing the Blackhawks to a 5-4 victory in a thriller against the Anaheim Ducks that evens the Western Conference Final at two games apiece.

Head coach Joel Quenneville explained that his decision to remove Vermette and Teuvo Teravainen on Thursday was to get some “fresh legs” in the lineup.

Back on the ice Saturday, Teravainen contributed an assist on the winner in 18:07 of ice time. But Vermette came through with a huge goal for the Blackhawks, and his second of the post-season, ensuring this series goes a minimum of six games.

It also capped off a thoroughly entertaining game that saw six goals scored in 10 minutes in the third period.

The two teams entered the third period tied 1-1. Jonathan Toews, with his first of the series, and Brent Seabrook scored to give Chicago a two-goal lead on home ice. But the Ducks, masters of third-period comebacks in these playoffs, scored three times in 37 seconds to take back the lead in stunning fashion.

Patrick Kane scored on a power play, which had been an area the Blackhawks had struggled in during this series, jamming the puck by Frederik Andersen to eventually send this game to overtime.

Video: Chicago’s close calls in OT include a cross bar and breakaway save

The Chicago Blackhawks were outshot 17-5 in the first overtime in Game 4, but had two golden chances to win it and even the Western Conference Final with the Anaheim Ducks at two games apiece.

The first came on a scramble in the Anaheim crease, as Andrew Shaw hit the cross bar on a rebound opportunity to the right of Frederik Andersen. Credit Hampus Lindholm for immediately clearing the puck out of harm’s way, with Jonathan Toews looking at an open net.

And then there was Patrick Sharp, on a breakaway late in the extra period. Sent in all alone, he was unable to beat Andersen on the glove side.

Video: Ducks score three goals in 37 seconds to take third-period lead

Toronto Maple Leafs play the Anaheim Ducks

What a third period between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4.

The Ducks scored three goals in 37 seconds to take the lead from the Blackhawks, who had previously jumped out to a two-goal lead of their own on goals from Jonathan Toews, his first of this series, and Brent Seabrook.

But suddenly, the Ducks came back in stunning fashion. First, it was Ryan Kesler to get Anaheim back within a goal. Matt Beleskey tied it up and Corey Perry gave the Ducks the lead.

Now, the Blackhawks came back with a power play goal from Patrick Kane to tie the game at 4-4. That’s six goals in 10 minutes, one second.