Blackhawks Avoid Sweep with 3-1 Win in Game 4 over Golden Knights

The Chicago Blackhawks avoided elimination with a critical 3-1 win in Game 4 over the Vegas Golden Knights last night. The win not only prevented the Hawks from a second consecutive post-season sweep, but also broke Vegas’ undefeated streak in the playoffs this year.

Four minutes into the game, Chicago would finally score the opening goal for the first time in this series. Drake Caggiula snapped a pass from Olli Maatta past ex-Hawk goalie Robin Lehner, scoring his first goal of the playoffs when the Blackhawks needed it most. The assist gave Maatta his sixth point (3 goals, 3 assists) in eight playoff games, as the defenseman continues to produce offensively.

With Vegas pushing the tempo, rookie Matthew Highmore doubled the Hawks’ lead with a fluky goal from an impossible angle, ricocheting the puck off Lehner’s mask for his first point of the series. The 2-0 lead would be short lived, as Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore rocketed a slap shot from the right point 18 seconds later, cutting the deficit in half.

Although the Blackhawks would escape the opening frame with a 2-1 lead, the Golden Knights controlled much of the play, out-shooting the Blackhawks 20-8 in the period. Vegas’ fourth line was particularly dangerous, with Ryan Reaves, William Carrier, and Patrick Brown causing major problems for the Hawks defensively.

Vegas continued their barrage in the second, but Corey Crawford rose to the occasion, stoning the Golden Knights with 35 saves through 40 minutes of play. The Golden Knights would pepper Crawford with 49 total shots before Hawks forward Alex Debrincat scored an empty-net goal, securing the 3-1 victory.


After a rough start to the series, Crawford was utterly sensational in Game 4. Playing with an early lead made Vegas a desperate team, but the Hawks were up to the task, blocking 32 shots and killing all three of the Golden Knights’ power plays.

As the Blackhawks live to fight another day, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Dominik Kubalik, and Brandon Saad will have at least one more opportunity to find their stride this series. On a night when many assumed the Blackhawks would need their star players to shine — with the exception being Crawford — it was a role player in Drake Caggiula and a rookie in Matthew Highmore that wound end up saving the Hawks’ season.

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