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Wednesday, January 20

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Blackhawks Fri Apr 23 2010

Tied up and heading home

Well, that's a little more like it. The Blackhawks finally looked like they had something to play for, and used the return of Brian Campbell to spark some offense and finally get through to Predators goalie Pekka Rinne for a 3-0 victory, sending the series back to Chicago tied 2-2.

Patrick Sharp finally broke through for 2 goals and Jonathon Toews picked up a goal and an assist as the Blackhawks big guns made a gamewide impact. Antti Niemi picked up his 2nd shutout in 4 starts, turning away 33 shots but was seemingly rarely tested.

Seeing Campbell back on the ice after his March injury was a welcome sight, and though he looked a little rusty in the limited minutes he played, he also helped open up the Hawks dynamics in a number of ways, and could be an even bigger factor once he gets his game legs back under him.

A key to the game was once again the powerplay. The Blackhawks got there first goal from Sharp 10 seconds into their first powerplay, and killed off a 5-on-3 later in the first to gain more momentum. Nashville went 0-for-5 with the man advantage, and in fact has yet to score a power play goal this series. Though the Hawks defense has been shaky at times, they've done an admirable job on the penalty kill.

With the win, the Hawks took back home ice, and will look to take the series lead in tomorrow's 2 p.m. matinee at the United Center. If the team can build on their Game 4 performance and cut down on the penalties, those prospects look a lot better than they did 24 hours ago.

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