The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to put a major strangle hold on the San Jose Sharks tonight in Chicago. The home team comes home after winning two games on the road over the top seed in the Western Conference. After the Sharks scored the first goal of the series, the Blackhawks have pretty much dominated to that point.
Chicago won game one 2-1, and then came back with a 4-2 win in game two. Goaltender Antti Niemi saved 44 shots in the game one win, and Jonathan Toews scored a goal and assisted on another in the game two win.
San Jose provides a high powered offense, led by leading goal scorer Patrick Marleau, and the always explosive Joe Thornton. Thornton led San Jose with 89 points during the 2010 season. Chicago saw right winger Patrick Kane score 30 goals and assist on 58 others to rank 9th in the NHL in points scored.
Game four of the Western Conference finals will take place on Sunday afternoon at the United Center. Game five, if needed, will take place back in the Shark tank, Tuesday May 23rd, 2010. If the series moves to game six, the Blackhawks will once again host in the Madhouse on Madison. The game will take place Thursday May 27th, 2010. The seventh and final game of the series, if needed, would take place on Saturday May 29th, 2010 in Northern California.
The winner of the San Jose/Chicago series will take on the Eastern Conference champion. On Thursday night the Montreal Canadiens picked up their first win of the series, to tighten things up at 2-1. Game four of the Eastern Conference Finals will take place on Saturday May 22nd in Montreal. The series will shift back to Philadelphia for game five on Monday May 24th. If the series needs to go six games, Montreal will be the host – on Wednesday May 26th. The seventh game of the series will be played in Philadelphia, on Friday May 28th.
After Philadelphia completed dominated games one and two, outscoring Montreal 9-0, the Canadiens bounced back in big way Thursday night. Montreal scored the first four goals of the game, including two in the first period to send the Bell Centre into frenzy. Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak saved 25 of the 26 shots taken by the Flyers in the win.