VANCOUVER, British Columbia — After polishing off the Canucks with three wins in Vancouver, the Chicago Blackhawks don't mind opening the Western Conference finals at top-seeded San Jose.
Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg scored 36 seconds apart early in the second period, and the Blackhawks eliminated Vancouver in Game 6 of the second round for the second straight year with a 5-1 win last night.
"Starting on the road might be a good thing," Brouwer said after the Blackhawks improved to 4-1 away from Chicago in the playoffs. "We have confidence on the road. We play a good tight road game and try not to give up too many opportunities."
Dave Bolland scored on a short-handed breakaway with 45 seconds left in the second period, and Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien added breakaway goals 35 seconds apart in the third to send Chicago back to the Western Conference finals.
"Bolland's goal at the end of the second was the most important goal of the game," said Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, who extended his point streak to nine games with an assist on Kane's goal. "It gave us that distance and confidence."
Antti Niemi made 29 saves for the second-seeded Blackhawks, who will face San Jose with a trip to the Stanley Cup finals on the line.