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Hawks specialize in closing, Blues dealing in spooky coincidence

By Mike Harrington

CHICAGO -- The Blackhawks have everything in their favor going into Game Six today against the St. Louis Blues in the United Center (TV reminder: 3 p.m. Eastern on NBC and CBC).  Chicago has won three straight in the series, the last two in OT, and has a history of coming through in the clutch late in a playoff series, which I documented in my column for today's editions.

The print version of the column included the following chart, which pretty starkly shows how good the numbers are.

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BLACKHAWKS AT CRUNCH TIME

Analyzing the Chicago Blackhawks' playoff record the last five seasons:

Series record: 8-2
W-L record: 40-23
Games One-Three: 16-17
Games Four-Seven: 24-6
Overtime: 13-9
OT Games One-Three: 4-7
OT Games Four-Seven: 9-2

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Meanwhile, the Blues are dealing with some incredibly bizarre history comparing  this series  to last year's loss to the LA Kings, a six-gamer that saw St. Louis also win the first two at home and then collapse. Look at what's happened in BOTH years. Wow

Game One: Alex Steen scored overtime winners.
Game  Two: Barrett Jackman scored the game-winning goal, this year’s coming in overtime.
Game  Three:  The Blues outshot the Kings and Blackhawks by nine but lost by shutout.
Game  Four:  The Blues blow a late 3-2 lead and lose, 4-3, to even the series.
Game Five (both years, remember!): Alex Pietrangelo scores the game-tying goal, his first of the playoffs, and gets assisted by Jaden Schwartz. But the Blues lose in OT, 3-2.

Last year in Game  Six, the Blues lost to the Kings, 2-1, and were eliminated. If they lose here today, 2-1 .... that would just be theater of the absurd.

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