VANCOUVER -- After getting a reprieve to their season, the Chicago Blackhawks are ready to defend their Stanley Cup championship.
The Hawks face off against the Vancouver Canucks at 9 p.m. Central in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals and the excitement in the dressing room following Wednesday's morning skate at Rogers Arena was palpable.
"We can't wait to get started," forward Patrick Sharp said. "It's been a long couple of days (after) a pretty emotional day on Sunday, being out of the plaoffs and back in them. We're excited to get things going."
The Hawks seemingly were out of the postseason following Sunday's loss to the Detroit Red Wings, but clung to the final spot in the West when the Minnesota Wild eliminated the Dallas Stars later that night.
"We feel a little bit fortunate to be here but we're excited to go now," defenseman Brian Campbell said. You're playing in the playoffs (so) re-focus and get ready to go. We're just going to go out and have some fun and work hard and see what happens."
Added starting goaltender Corey Crawford: "We're excited. We're a confident bunch. It should be a fun game. This will be a loud building. I'll probably have a little bit of nerves going into the game but I imagine it's going to be a tough game. Both teams are going to be battling hard and it will be a lot of fun."
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