Blackhawks Find Route to Playoffs

Written by Kevin Woodley at NHL.com

Andrew Ladd and Jonathan Toews played parts of three seasons together leading up to the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship in 2010, so it shouldn’t be surprising they’ve had chemistry since Chicago reacquired Ladd from the Winnipeg Jets last month.

Ladd scored the winning goal on a drop pass from Toews with 2:27 left in the third period, and Chicago clinched its eighth straight berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Sunday.

It was Ladd’s third goal in two games and his sixth in 13 since the Feb. 25 trade with Winnipeg.

“Every game, you are getting more comfortable,” Ladd said of playing with Toews and Marian Hossa. “You know what to expect from each other.”

Canucks forward Sven Baertschi tied it 2-2 with 5:42 left in the third period, but the Blackhawks restored their lead a little more than two minutes later.

Toews had a 2-on-1 rush with Hossa driving to the net, but Toews pulled up, cut into the middle from the left faceoff circle and dropped the puck to Ladd, who one-timed a shot past Vancouver goalie Ryan Millerhigh on the blocker side.

“I figured as soon as he got the middle there that would probably open up a lane and just tried to find a spot and get ready to shoot,” Ladd said. “We’re just starting to figure out exactly the way we need to play as a threesome, and hopefully it will only get better.”

Ladd had two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

“I love the way he played the last couple of games,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “He brings that presence and has had some pace to his game and some energy, and he was rewarded with some huge goals for us.”

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