Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) – Dustin Byfuglien scored his first three goals of these playoffs for his second career hat trick and Antti Niemi made 31 saves, as Chicago took control in its Western Conference semifinal series with a 5-2 win over Vancouver in a chippy Game 3 from GM Place.
Byfuglien matched his career playoff scoring output with the three-goal game, was responsible for both of Chicago’s power-play goals and became the first Blackhawk to record a playoff hat trick on the road since Bobby Hull netted three against Pittsburgh in the 1972 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Marian Hossa netted a big third-period goal for some breathing room as Chicago gained a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven set.
Kris Versteeg, who scored the game-winner Monday in Chicago, opened the scoring this time with a first-period tally, and Jonathan Toews recorded three assists for the Blackhawks, who ripped off three straight goals in the final 20 minutes of Game 2 to skate away with a 4-2 victory and even the series.
Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen had the goals for the Canucks, who will host Game 4 on Friday. Alex Edler and Sami Salo each picked up two assists in the setback.
Roberto Luongo was charged with all five goals on 35 shots and looked shaky in doing so with each of Chicago’s scores coming via the rebound.