Sports

Why do the Hawks struggle in Game 3s?

With the Stanley Cup Final tied at one win apiece, the Blackhawks will try to regain control of the series—and snap two streaks—when they hit the ice for Game 3 on Monday in Boston.

One streak is the Bruins' six straight wins at home. The other is the recent bane of the Hawks' existence in the playoffs.

The Hawks have lost every Game 3 in the playoffs since they won the Cup in 2010. Because they have had home-ice advantage in the 2013 Stanley Cup run, the third game in each series has been on the road. Game 3 resulted in losses to Minnesota, Detroit and L.A.

"I don't really know what our history has been in Game 3s during these playoffs and in previous years," captain Jonathan Toews said. "So it doesn't matter what game we're in or what the score is in the series, we try and play like it's Game 7 no matter what, so that doesn't change."

"Well, I thought Game 3, three Game 3s, we played pretty well in Detroit when it was 1-1 in the series," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had a 2-0 lead in Minnesota.  In L.A. maybe we were comfortable with the situation coming off two  nice wins. I thought Detroit got our attention after Game 2. It was one of those games could have gone either way.

"Certainly that's got to be our approach going into [Monday's] game, desperate, something  to prove."

Of course, the Hawks wanted to head to Boston with two wins under their belt. The overtime loss Saturday in Game 2 was "frustrating," players said after the game. Especially after they dominated in the first period.

"We just got away from the way we play the game, the way we were playing early on in the game," Toews said. "So it had nothing to do with them turning it on. I think we just started letting them do whatever they wanted to and we gave them chance after chance, which you saw in the overtime period with turning pucks over."

Heading into Monday, the team knows it must hang on to the momentum it builds for the entire game.

"We've got to keep playing our game and not get down," said goalie Corey Crawford, who made 26 saves Saturday.

The Hawks and their fans would have liked a win—and a little extra breathing room—but instead ended up with a tie series.

"It's a challenge; you got to win four games and it's a race to get there," said Patrick Sharp, who scored the only goal for the Hawks on Saturday. "Both teams aren't going to give up, that's for sure. There's no point in hanging our heads. We'll regroup and get ready to go for the next game."

The Hawks will be without their loud, loyal and supportive fans when they play at Boston's TD Garden.

"We know what we're getting ourselves into heading over to Boston and how well they play in their building. But that's not going to change our mindset at all," said Sharp, who leads the NHL this postseason with nine goals, along with the Bruins' David Krejci. "We're going to find a way to play our best game. We're going to have to."

Even if the game goes into overtime again. Unless the Hawks want to break yet another streak like the three games in a row going into overtime.

lvivanco@tribune.com  

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BAD THINGS IN THREES

The Blackhawks have lost every Game 3 in the playoffs since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010.

2011: lost 3-2 vs. Vancouver in Western quarterfinals

2012: lost 3-2 (OT) vs. Phoenix in Western quarterfinals

2013: lost 3-2 (OT) at Minnesota in Western quarterfinals

2013: lost 3-1 at Detroit in Western semifinals

2013: lost 3-1 at Los Angeles in Western finals

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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