VANCOUVER — Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg scored 36 seconds apart early in the second period, and the Blackhawks eliminated the Canucks in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals for the second straight year with a 5-1 win Tuesday night.
Dave Bolland scored on a shorthanded breakaway with 45 seconds left in the second, and Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien added breakaway goals 35 seconds apart in the third to send Chicago back to the Western Conference final, where it will face the West's top seed, the Sharks.
Antti Niemi made 29 saves for the Blackhawks, who won all three games in Vancouver in the series.
Shane O'Brien scored 3:44 into the third period and Roberto Luongo finished with 30 saves for the Canucks,
Canucks defenseman Sami Salo played 48 hours after taking a slap shot in the groin that forced him out of Game 5 and required a hospital visit. But his partner on the top pairing, Alex Edler, left the game favoring his right leg after being thrown hard into the end boards by the 6-foot-4, 257-pound Byfuglien with 3:24 left in the first period.
He didn't come back for the second, and the mixed-up defensive pairings quickly allowed two goals.
|Blackhawks win series 4-2|
First Period—None. Penalties—Brouwer, Chi (high-sticking), 8:37.
Second Period—1, Chicago, Brouwer 1 (Sharp, Keith), 2:00. 2, Chicago, Versteeg 3, 2:36. 3, Chicago, Bolland 3, 19:15 (sh). Penalties—Keith, Chi (slashing), 18:57.
Third Period—4, Vancouver, O'Brien 1 (Burrows, Kesler), 3:44. 5, Chicago, Kane 7 (Toews, Byfuglien), 8:17. 6, Chicago, Byfuglien 4 (Kane, Campbell), 8:42. Penalties—Samuelsson, Van (hooking, cross-checking), 12:08. Shots on Goal—Chicago 12-11-12—35. Vancouver 13-6-11—30. Power-play opportunities—Chicago 0 of 2; Vancouver 0 of 2. Goalies—Chicago, Niemi 8-4-0 (30 shots-29 saves). Vancouver, Luongo 6-6-0 (35-30). A—18,810 (18,630).
Bruins-Flyers: Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren said goaltender Brian Boucher is expected to miss at least a month with a ligament sprain in his left knee and injuries to his right knee. Boucher was hurt in Monday's 4-0 Game 5 win in the East semifinals in Boston when teammate Ryan Parent fell on him during a goalmouth scrum 4:35 into the second period. Michael Leighton finished the game — his first since sustaining a high left ankle sprain March 16 — and made 14 saves to notch the second combined shutout in playoff history. He will start Game 6 tonight.
Leafs pull Nonis out of Lightning GM pool
Dave Nonis, who was on the list of potential candidates to become the Lightning's new general manager, signed a contract extension to remain the Maple Leafs' senior vice president of hockey operations and the general manager of AHL Toronto. The deal runs through the 2011-12 season.
Nonis, 43, joined the Maple Leafs' management team in December 2008. Before that, he was the Ducks' senior adviser of hockey operations.
In other Lightning GM news, Red Wings vice president Steve Yzerman, whose name has also been in the mix, told ESPN.com he had no comment on the situation.
World championship: Alex Ovechkin had a goal and Capitals teammate Alexander Semin a goal and two assists to lead Russia into the second round with a 4-1 victory over Kazakhstan at Cologne, Germany. Sweden also advanced, beating France 3-2 in Mannheim. Recently signed Lightning forward Johan Harju, a 2007 draft pick, scored Sweden's winner.
In other games, Lightning 2009 draftee Richard Panik had two assists as Slovakia beat Belarus 4-3, and Norway beat the Czech Republic 3-2, the first time in 18 games and 73 years that the Norwegians had beaten the Czechs at worlds or the Olympics. Former NHL scoring champion Jaromir Jagr had both Czech goals.
Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.