One. Step. Closer.

The Countdown is 7.  If the Hawks can win 7 more games they will be the Stanley Cup Champions for the first time since 1961.

If there was any doubt about the Hawks goaltending situation, their shouldn’t be any more doubters.  Antii Niemi was brilliant this afternoon as he made 44 saves on 45 shot attempts by the Sharks.  There were countless times when Niemi made an excellent save today, but the best was probably when he made a spawling save to rob Clowe of a goal nearing the end of the power play.

As the Sharks went on a delayed penalty they had a 6 on 4 opportunity with Nabokov pulled, however, right away a pass was intercepted by a Hawks defensemen.  The Sharks did not score on the power play.  However, the second go around on the power play Patrick Marleau put one in the back of the net to give the Sharks an early 1-0 lead.  That is all theyw ould get.

Patrick Sharp tied it back up in the 2nd with a slap shot from 40 feet.  Big Buff then gave the Hawks their first lead of the game about half way through the 3rd.

A penalty on Kris Versteeg with 54 seconds in the 3rd went for none as the Hawks killed the penalty to take a 1-0 series lead.

Brian Campbell was booed every time he touched the puck as he left the Sharks for free agency a few years ago.

The Hawks now hold a 1-0 series lead and have home ice advantage.

The next game will be Tuesday in San Jose.

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