That’s 3: Blackhawks’ patience quiets Pietrangelo’s prophecy

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The Blackhawks forced a Game 7 of their 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs series with a 6-3 win over the Blues in Game 6 on April 23rd at the United Center.

CHICAGO – There’s nothing wrong with confidence, even a bit of arrogance.

It can show leadership for a team that just took a devastating loss and need an immediate pickup. That’s what a captain or an assistant captain is supposed to do. It’s what defenseman Alex Pietrangelo did when his Blues lost their first chance to close out the Blackhawks on Thursday night.

“It’s going to be fun here to win it in Chicago,” he said to reporters following the Blackhawks’ 4-3 victory that came in double overtime on a goal by Patrick Kane.

For a team tormented by first round failures, it might have been the right thing to do. Instill confidence quickly that a recent past will not carry into the future. But it’s risky, too. Pietrangelo “poked at the bear” so to speak when speaking about the Blackhawks, who’ve won three of the last six Stanley Cups despite the fact they may not have looked it for much of this series.

So when Saturday night arrived, the question to be asked was if Petrangelo would indeed fulfill his prophecy. Well, he did for 20 minutes

Blackhawks patience made it fall about 40 minutes short.

“Everyone feels that confidence that we’re never out,” said forward Andrew Desjardins, even when he missed a chance to make this a potentially easy night for the Blackhawks.

With a 1-0 lead early in the the first, Desjardins got a look at a wide open net but couldn’t capitalize. What went from an easy goal turned into three-straight by the Blues in about five minutes. Suddenly a two-goal lead was a 3-1 deficit and all that was left was a little defense to make Petrangelo’s promise come true. Late in the second period some close chances for the Blackhawks failed to come to fruition as it seemed the Blues may finally be ready to shut the door.

Seemed being the correct word here.

“There’s a lot of guys who’ve been around long enough to understand that there is time left,” said Andrew Ladd-whose own patience paid off in the series as he scored a goal in the first. “There’s enough confidence in the room that we could. We just had to get one.”

Instead they got four, with the first coming four minutes into the period. Showing patience, Artem Anisimov waited for a loose puck to drop in the right spot to get a stick on it which snuck it by Elliott to get it to one. Jonathan Toews could have tried himself to tie the game on a break later in the second period, but instead slid a pass to an open Trevor van Riemsdyk who put in his first goal of the playoffs.

A patient Artemi Panarin then danced behind the goal for a bit before finding Dale Weise to the side for his first goal of the playoffs. In just 20 minutes, a two-goal deficit was tuned into a one score lead. A methodical power play in the third, one whose slow pace even got the crowd a bit antsy, paid off in a goal for Andrew Shaw that sent the Blackhawks to a seventh game.

Going out on a limb, as it turns out, was problematic for Pietrangelo. Maybe next time he’ll use the patience his opponent did to make his next prophecy come true.