It took Pat Foley two periods too long to mention something on the air on Sunday night.
The play-by-play man for Chicago Blackhawks television waited until the middle of the third period to mention that Roberto Luongo had only one postseason shutout in his career. Less than two minutes later, Jonathan Toews (finally) got the Blackhawks on the board, but it was too little too late. After Alex Burrows added an empty net goal in the closing moments, the Hawks lost an at-home close-out opportunity 4-1 to the Canucks on Mother’s Day.
Antti Niemi was very average in the game, allowing three goals on only 23 shots (.870 save percentage). Two of the Vancouver goals were scored by Kevin Bieksa, who scored only three goals in the entire regular season. Bieksa has spent most of the series initiating contact with Blackhawks players in the corners and after the whistle, but was clearly the most effective player on the ice Sunday night. He added an assist to his two goals and was credited with four blocked shots and two hits.
Luongo was, in sharp contrast to Niemi, fantastic in Game Five. The roles were dramatically reversed from the two games in Vancouver, where Niemi was strong between the pipes and the Blackhawks were able to victimize the Kleenex spokesman. Luongo allowed only Toews’ goal on 30 shots (.967 save percentage), prompting the Chicago media to draw Samson comparisons to the clean-shaved Vancouver netminder.
Toews goal was his sixth of the playoffs and gave him 19 points in the postseason, making him the overall NHL leader.
At the end of the first period, while trying to kill off a penalty, Canucks defenseman Sami Salo was hit with a puck in his… man-area. TSN reported late Sunday night that he ruptured a testicle blocking a Duncan Keith shot. His status for Game Six is questionable.