SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 16: Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks attempts a shot as he goes between Brent Seabrook #7 and goaltender Antti Niemi #31 of the Chicago Blackhawks in the second period of Game One of the Western Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 16, 2010 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Dustin Byfuglien and Jonathan Toews scored on deflections 90 seconds apart in the second period and the Chicago Blackhawks rolled to their record-tying seventh straight road win in the playoffs, 4-2 over the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the Western Conference final Tuesday night.
The series moves to Chicago for Game 3 on Friday night. That may not be the best thing for the Blackhawks, who are only 3-3 at home this postseason.
The two San Jose goals came from Patrick Marleau. He scored one in the second period and one in the final minutes of the game. Even if he had pulled off a hat trick it wouldn't have been enough. Sharks lost 4-2.
"The good news is that everybody thinks we're done," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "We're going to go to Chicago and try to disappoint everybody. I'm not quitting and no one else in this room is going to quit. You can throw the stats out the window. I don't care. The task is going to be absolutely very difficult. It can be done and it will be done."
The Team in Teal will have to come back from a 0-2 deficit.
And they will have to do it in enemy territory.
The Sharks have done it before, but their fans are a little exhausted from all the "come from behind" series wins.
This is the closest Chicago has been to making the Stanley Cup final since getting there in 1992.
Tuesdsay night, the Blackhawks took control midway through the second period. Byfuglien and his 257-pound body played a big role once again.
With Byfuglien planted right in front of Evgeni Nabokov, Patrick Kane threw a puck on net from just inside the blue line that deflected off Byfuglien's stick to give Chicago a 2-0 lead 6:59 into the second.
With Douglas Murray in the penalty box for roughing, the Blackhawks added to their lead when Duncan Keith fired a shot from the point with Toews and Byfuglien in front of the net. This time Toews got his stick on the puck to redirect it past Nabokov, make it 3-0 and silence the sellout crowd that greeted the Sharks with earsplitting applause less than two hours earlier.
"You're not going to move that man," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of Byfuglien. "He's that big, that strong, he establishes his self. Better be able to control his stick. We failed to do that. Obviously, he made a huge impact on the game."