CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks are one win away from reaching the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1992, thanks to 257-pound playoff dynamo Dustin Byfuglien.
Byfuglien scored his seventh goal of this postseason 12 minutes, 24 seconds into overtime Friday night, and the Blackhawks beat the San Jose Sharks, 3-2, to take a three-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.
The Blackhawks can finish the sweep and make the finals with a victory Sunday at the United Center.
Byfuglien went straight down the middle and took a nice pass from Dave Bolland, who was behind the net, to beat Evgeni Nabokov and set off a deafening roar from the crowd of 22,311.
Bolland scored on a breakaway to put Chicago ahead, 2-1, in the third period, but Patrick Marleau answered with a rebound goal with 4:23 remaining in regulation to tie it and force overtime.
Marleau also scored in the second period on a power play, giving him four goals in two games. Patrick Sharp had a man-advantage goal for the Blackhawks.
San Jose 0 1 1 0 – 2
Chicago 0 1 1 1 – 3
First period: None. Penalties: Bolland, Chi (goaltender interference), 1:16; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 5:35.
Second period: 1, San Jose, Marleau 6 (Pavelski, D.Boyle), 3:58 (pp). 2, Chicago, Sharp 7 (Toews, Kane), 6:59 (pp). Penalties: Bolland, Chi (holding), 2:00; Hossa, Chi (hooking), 2:33; Couture, SJ (slashing), 5:53.
Third period: 3, Chicago, Bolland 4 (Toews), 13:05. 4, San Jose, Marleau 7 (Heatley, D.Boyle), 15:37. Penalties: Keith, Chi (hooking), :22; Byfuglien, Chi (tripping), 6:08; Bolland, Chi (tripping), 10:35.
First Overtime: 5, Chicago, Byfuglien 7 (Bolland, Campbell), 12:24. Penalties: None.
Shots on Goal: San Jose 10-13-18-5–46. Chicago 12-9-6-11–38.
Power-play opportunities: San Jose 1 of 6; Chicago 1 of 2.
Goalies: San Jose, Nabokov 8-6-0 (38 shots-35 saves). Chicago, Niemi 11-4-0 (46-44).
Referees: Bill McCreary, Dan O'Rourke.
Linesmen: Derek Amell, Shane Heyer.
A: 22,311 (19,717). Time: 3:00.
Blackhawks beat Sharks in OT for a 3-0 series lead.