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NHL Playoffs 2011: Chicago, Philadelphia Force Game 7s, Nashville Advances

The Chicago Blackhawks will try to become the fourth team in NHL history to come back from an 0-3 series deficit after defeating Vancouver 4-3 in overtime to force a decisive Game 7. Philadelphia also forced a Game 7 with Buffalo and Nashville became the second team in the West to advance to the semifinal round.

Chicago 4, Vancouver 3 (OT): Ben Smith put a rebound past Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo 15:30 into overtime for Chicago, guiding the Blackhawks to a third straight win and forcing a Game 7 in Vancouver on Tuesday. Luongo started the game on the bench in favor of Cory Schneider after being drilled in back-to-back five goal losses, but was forced into action when Schneider was injured trying to stop Michael Frolik’s game-tying penalty shot goal 2:31 into the third period. Chicago became the seventh team in league history to tie a series after being down three games to none, and will try to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and the 2010 Flyers as the only teams to win the series.

Philadelphia 5, Buffalo 4 (OT): Red Wings castoff Ville Leino scored 4:43 into overtime to help the Flyers stun the Sabres with a 5-4 win. Nathan Gerbe tallied a late second period goal to give Buffalo a 4-3 lead, but Scott Hartnell beat MSU product Ryan Miller midway through the third period to knot the score and force overtime.

Nashville 4, Anaheim 2: Nashville got third period goals from Nick Spaling and David Legwand as the Predators won the first series in franchise history. Pekka Rinne stopped 25 of 27 shots in net for the Predators. If Chicago and San Jose both win their series, Nashville will play the Red Wings in the second round.

Series Standings Through Sunday
WEST
Detroit defeated Phoenix 4-0
Nashville defeated Anaheim 4-2
Vancouver and Chicago tied 3-3
Monday’s game: San Jose at Los Angeles, 10 p.m. Versus (SJ leads 3-2)

EAST
Washington defeated New York 4-1
Boston leads Montreal 3-2
Buffalo and Philadelphia tied 3-3
Monday’s game: Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m. Versus (PIT leads 3-2)