Sports Outside the Beltway

Rally time- Vancouver beats Chicago 5-3

Last night’s game marked only the third time in NHL playoff that a team up by three goals saw it disappear in a single period’s time.

The blood was still oozing out of five stitches above Kyle Wellwood’s left eye and a fat lower lip, and yet the Canucks forward couldn’t stop smiling.

Wellwood had two assists, drew five power plays, lost one tooth and chipped another, but his biggest play in Vancouver’s 5-3 series-opening victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night didn’t show up on the score sheet.

Wellwood made the pass that started a 4-on-1 rush, and defenseman Sami Salo finished the play by banging in a rebound with 1:13 remaining, putting the Canucks back ahead after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.

Ryan Johnson scored into an empty net with 15.5 seconds left to secure the Game 1 win.

Here’s a interesting fact- Blackhawk Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin hasn’t beaten the Canucks since January of 1998. I think that streak will come to an end in a few days.

The Chicago-Vancouver series may be the best conference semi-final matchup this year. Unfortunately if you don’t have NHL Center Ice or Versus, you will be unable to watch it. NBC televises NHL hockey but sticks to east coast teams and Detroit only till they have no other choice. The NHL’s television deals are just mind boggling to me.

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