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

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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.