The Blackhawks took everything the Sharks could throw at them, and came away victorious in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Thanks to Dustin Byfuglien's overtime goal, Chicago is now one win away from its first Stanley Cup Final in nearly two decades.
After an even first 40 minutes, the teams were tied at one goal a piece but the Sharks clearly had the edge in play in a drama-filled third period.
It was the Hawks, though, who would strike in the third period, to take their first lead of the game. Dave Bolland, coming out of the penalty box for the third time on the night, picked up a blocked shot by Jonathan Toews and scored on a breakaway to put the Hawks ahead 2-1 with under seven minutes to play.
But the Sharks responded. Patrick Marleau scored his second goal of the night on a rebound just two and a half minutes later to tie it again. The Hawks were outshot 18-6 in the third but survived to get to overtime.
Marleau had seven shots on net in the game and was a major factor for Todd McLellan as the Sharks coach mixed up his lines and it helped pay off.
The Hawks, who have struggled at home this postseason, didn’t have the same desperation as the Sharks, but can you blame them? A loss in Game 3 would almost assuredly hand the series to Chicago.
Like in Game 2 of the series, the power-play edge went to San Jose, 6-2. Both teams scored on a power play. San Jose scored on a two-man advantage to open the scoring in the second period. Patrick Sharp responded with one a few minutes later.
Toews had two assists in the game and now has a point in a franchise-record 12 consecutive playoff games. He has 25 points this postseason to lead all players in the league.
As has been the case so many times this postseason, Antti Niemi rose to the occasion when it mattered most. The goaltender notched 44 saves in what may have been his most impressive playoff showing.
Game 4 is Sunday afternoon. The Hawks will be going for their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1992.