CHICAGO - MAY 23: The Chicago Blackhawks shake hands with San Jose Sharks players after the Blackhawks 4-2 victory to advance to the Stanley Cup after winning Game Four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on May 23, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The team got swept in the Western Conference Final Sunday in Chicago.
The Blackhawks now go on to compete for the Stanley Cup, while the Sharks took a long plane ride home to the South Bay.
"I'm not going to criticize the effort," San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle said. "We didn't find a way to get it through and I'm not really sure why that is."
The Blackhawks can thank a big goal by Big Buff for their big win.
Dustin Byfuglien scored his third go-ahead goal, converting on a third-period power play. The 257-pound Byfuglien was parked in front of the net with 7 seconds left on the power play. He took a nice pass from Patrick Kane and knocked the puck past Evgeni Nabokov to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead at 14:05 of the final period.
Kris Versteeg added an empty-net goal with 42 seconds left, and the red-clad fans at the United Center erupted, littering the ice with souvenir towels.
Sunday was another disappointing ending for the Sharks, who won the conference in the regular season by a point over the Blackhawks. They outshot Chicago in three of the four games but couldn't break through, scoring only seven goals in the series.
"There's a level of frustration about the way we approached this whole series," San Joe defenseman Rob Blake told the Associated Press. "We put ourselves in a position to be successful throughout the season and we didn't accomplish what we needed to."
"They seem very destined right now," coach Todd McLellan said of the Blackhawks. "They have a goaltender that's on fire. They're getting scoring not necessarily from their superstars, I mean that with all due respect to the Byfugliens, the Bollands, those type of players.
"They're doing the things they need to do to win."