Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition

Hawks well-versed in eliminatio­n games


The Blackhawks know a thing or two about fighting off eliminatio­n.

Now, at home Saturday night, the defending Stanley Cup champions have a chance to draw even and force a seventh game.

“The longer this series goes, the more pressure will be on that team,” Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “But they’re as hungry as ever and I don’t think if you ask any of them they’ll say any of that matters.”

The Blues took Games 3 and 4 at the United Center as well as two of three during the regular season.

But since the start of the 2009 playoffs, the Hawks have won 12 of 16 games when facing eliminatio­n. They have won three of the last six Cups, but also are trying to avoid first-round eliminatio­n for the third time in six seasons.

“We’ve been playing some decent hockey, but I still feel that we have one more level,” defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsso­n said. “We just have to be a little bit deeper. We have another level that we have to reach if we want to go past this round and if we want to have a big comeback.”

Ducks back on track: The road team has won every game in the Predators-Ducks series.

But now the Ducks look like the team that dominated the league the second half of the season after evening the series with two wins in Nashville.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau doesn’t want his players relaxing just because they won two road games.

“You put yourself into too many holes, and you won’t dig yourself out,” Boudreau said. “We would like to not do that too much more.”

Boudreau said he’ll probably stick with Frederik Andersen in net after the goalie set a career postseason shutout streak in Nashville of 91 minutes, 26 seconds before allowing his only goal in two starts.

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