For the eighth straight year, the Chicago Blackhawks are heading to the Stanley Cup playoffs after they beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Sunday night.
The Blackhawks coughed up their lead late in the third period, but Andrew Ladd scored with two and a half minutes to go to punch the Hawks' ticket into the postseason. Teuvo Teravainen and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for the Hawks as they won their second consecutive game and put themselves four points ahead of the Nashville Predators in the Central Division standings.
Unlike in Saturday's game, the Blackhawks got off to a red-hot start offensively, and their efforts were rewarded with a goal. With a slew of traffic in front, Tomas Fleischmann's shot was deflected and evaded Ryan Miller, giving the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Later in the game, the Blackhawks' domination suddenly came to a halt, and the Canucks took advantage as they tied the game. Viktor Svedberg was relieved of the puck in the corner, and it eventually found its way out to the front of the cage, and Alex Burrows hammered home a one-timer past Scott Darling to knot things up at 1-1.
Early in the third period, the Blackhawks' second line found their rhythm again, and they were able to put their team back out in front. Patrick Kane circled the net to get the defense out of position, and he combined with Trevor van Riemsdyk on a quick two-touch pass that Teravainen grabbed and blasted past Miller to put the Hawks ahead by a 2-1 margin.
With about six minutes to go, the Canucks tied things up. On a quick rush up the ice, Emerson Etem got inside position and slid a pass across the ice to Sven Baertschi, and despite Teravainen tangling him up he was able to deflect home a puck to knot the game at 2-2.
With the game looking like it was headed to overtime, Ladd ended up changing the narrative. Jonathan Toews broke into the offensive zone and cut across the slot, sliding a backpass to Ladd in the faceoff circle. The veteran winger quickly snapped a one-timer shot just inside the far post to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 victory.