The Chicago Blackhawks even the Stanley Cup Finals at 2-2 after a 2-1 win in game 4 with a Brandon Saad winner while Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane finally help out on some goals, but the performance of Corey Crawford, outplaying backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy might have been the main difference.
Vasilevskiy started instead of the injured Ben Bishop, and should have done a lot better on Saad’s third period goal which won the game for the Blackhawks. Two nights earlier a Saad goal was just the prologue for the Lightning’s big comeback and win. This time, the Blackhawks did blow one lead in the second period, but didn’t let the Lightning respond in the 13 minutes left for them to score in the third.
And what about Toews and Kane, the two veterans who have been absent from a statistical standpoint in this series? Toews scored the opening goal for the Blackhawks, his 10th of the postseason but only his first since the game 7 win over the Ducks. Kane, who assisted on Saad’s game winner, picked up his first point of the series after finishing the conference finals with three assists in that game 7 win.
The series now takes a two day break before moving back to Tampa Bay, and the Blackhawks holding the mental edge thanks to their experience and picking up the momentum in the series, which has shown us, like almost every NHL postseason, that having home ice advantage means very little.