Sunday, November 29, 2015

Blackhawks End Circus Road Trip with 3-2 Loss to Kings in OT

The last game of the 6-game circus road trip for the Chicago Blackhawks ended tonight with a showdown with the Los Angeles Kings.  The Blackhawks had a 2-0 lead heading into the 3rd period, but could not hold it as the Kings scored twice and then scored again in overtime to take the 3-2 win, in overtime.

It only took Patrick Kane 9:50  in order to get on the score sheet and become the new record holder for consecutive game point streaks for U.S. born players as he extended his point streak to 19 games with a power play goal thanks to Duncan Keith causing a Drew Doughty turnover.  The Hawks managed to nurse the lead and finish the 1st period with a 1-0 lead.  Scott Darling got the nod tonight in goal for the Hawks and he had to come up big.

In the 2nd period, the Kings came out peppering Darling with shots.  Amazingly, it was the Blackhawks who found the back of the net again as Niklas Hjalmarsson scored his first goal of the year at the 12:56 mark of the period to give the Hawks a cushioned 2-0 lead.

The Kings came out even harder in the 3rd period.  Jeff Carter scored just 52 seconds into the period to get the Kings on the board and cut the lead to 2-1.  Darling and the Hawks managed to hold off the Kings up until the 14:05 mark, when Brent Seabrook mishandled a puck, and Anze Kopitar found Marian Gaborik who slid the puck passed a diving Seabrook and through the legs of Darling to knot the game at 2.  Jonathan Toews had a breakaway in the closing seconds of the period, but snapped a shot that went just wide of the net to force overtime.

In the overtime, both teams would have multiple chances to end the game.  It would be Marian Gaborik again that would find the back of the net as he placed a shot up and over Darling on a breakaway to give the Kings the 3-2 win.

Notable mentions: The Blackhawks finished the circus trip with a respectable 3-1-2 record, although they were outplayed in more games than not.  Since Duncan Keith's return from injury, Keith has played in 8 games, and has 8 points (4G 4A).

Three Stars of The Game
1st - LAK - Jeff Carter (1G)
2nd - CHI - Patrick Kane (1G 1A)
3rd - LAK - Marian Gaborik - (2G)

Next game: Tuesday, December 1st, Home versus Minnesota Wild


Friday, November 27, 2015

Blackhawks Come Back In Last Two Minutes To Roast The Ducks in OT, 3-2

Thanksgiving dinner must have been good for the Chicago Blackhawks yesterday, because they played very sluggish for the first 98.9% of the game against the Anaheim Ducks.  Then, an empty net, a power play, with 1:41 left in the game, saw the Hawks score twice to tie the game.  In overtime, Artem Anisimov scored the game winner, as the Hawks came back to win, 3-2.

The turkey hangover was present early for the Hawks as Andrew Cogliano started a 2-on-0 break and finished with a nice backhand shot behind Corey Crawford just over a minute into the game.  The Blackhawks received 3 power plays in the period and could still only muster 9 shots for the entire period.

The second period saw the the Hawks peppered Anaheim goalie, John Gibson with 14 shots, yet none were able to break the goal crease.  Crawford, although he only faced 8 shots, gave up a goal to Chris Stewart.  Although, a turkey coma relapse forced the Hawks to have yet another horrible line change in which saw a 3-on-1 develop for Anaheim.  There was nothing Crawford could do.

The third period had to have had 6 icings, 4 offsides, and 5 pucks lofted out of play.  Slow...boring...turkey food coma worthy...S...L...O...W.  Then, with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game, the Hawks pulled Crawford for an extra attacker.  Throughout the game, the Hawks had good puck movement, but could not capitalize on them.  This time however, on the power play, thanks to a stupid penalty by Ryan Getzlaf, it was Marian Hossa, who one-timed a slap shot passed Gibson to get the Hawks on the board to cut the lead to 2-1.  One minute and fourteen seconds later, still with Crawford pulled, Duncan Keith blasted a shot that went through Gibson with 26 seconds left in the game to tie it at 2 to force overtime.

In the OT, Brent Seabrook streaked up the ice and created a 2-on-1 chance in which he flipped a pass to Anisimov, who buried it for the game-winner.

If there is one thing that is clear about these Blackhawks, they are never out of a game.  They may not play a full 60 minutes, but they will flip a magical switch and then all hell will break lose.  Does it make it even better that it came against the Ducks?  Umm....YEAH!!!  LOL!

Notable mentions: Yes, it was close, but it took Patrick Kane 59:33 seconds, before he extended his point streak to 18 games (10G 19A), although he hasn't scored in 5 games now.  Come on, ya slacker!  :)  Kane now joins, Ed Olczyk and Phil Kessel for the longest point streak by U.S. born player.  Lost in the scoring frenzy, late in the game, Brent Seabrook ended up with a 3-point night (3A).  Yet I think the "# Stars of the Game" panel were still stunned by the outcome to include him in any of the stars for today's game.  Artem Anisimov has now scored in 7 of his last 9 games (5G 4A).  In 23 games, he has 3 more goals than he did all of last year (7 in 52 games with Columbus).  Duncan Keith, in his 7th game back from surgery, 4 goals, 2 assists).

Three Stars of The Game
1st - CHI - Artem Anisimov (1G)
2nd - ANA - John Gibson (29 saves, .906 SV%)
3rd - ANA - Ryan Kesler (1A)

Brent Seabrook (3A)
Duncan Keith (1G 1A)
Corey Crawford (23 saves, .920 SV%)

Next game: Saturday, November 28th, Away, versus Los Angeles Kings, 9:30PM


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Blackhawks Take A Bite Out Of The Sharks, Win, 5-2

The Chicago Blackhawks started the California leg of their current 6-game road trip as they visited the Shark tank to take on the San Jose Sharks.  The Sharks came home after going 6-0 on their 6-game road trip.  The Las Vegas pit stop proved a good stop again this year as the Hawks took down the Sharks, 5-2.

The Hawks came out flying in the first period.  Brent Seabrook started the scoring as he blasted a shot from just inside the point after receiving a pass from Patrick Kane and it beat Martin Jones for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead.  It took till the half way point for San Jose to get their first shot on net.  Then after a bad penalty by Ryan Garbutt, the Sharks got a power play goal from Brent Burns to tie the game at 1 as he received a cross-ice pass from Joe Pavelski.  Shortly afterwards, Garbutt redeemed himself by springing Jonathan Toews on a 2-on-1 break.  Toews wristed a shot over the left shoulder of Jones and into the top corner of the net to regain the lead for the Hawks at 2-1.  The Hawks outshot the Sharks in the first, 11-5.

The second period found numerous chances for both teams.  It wasn't until the 12:20 mark of the frame when Duncan Keith flipped a shot from the far boards that had eyes and found the back of the net as Jones was screened by one of his own players, and the Hawks led 3-1.  The Sharks outshot the Hawks in the period, 12-6, but Corey Crawford stood strong with some big saves after a sub-par performance in the 6-3 loss in Vancouver in their previous game.  Crawford stopped 27 of 29 shots.

The third period saw the Hawks get their 5th penalty of the game, but the Hawks killed it off.  San Jose would go 1 for 5 on the power play.  Though later, Patrick Marleau dinged one off the iron through traffic and brought the Sharks to within 3-2.  But 1:07 later, ex-San Jose Shark, Andrew Desjardins, who hadn't scored in 18 games, scored a huge goal on a rebound attempt to put the Hawks back up, 4-2 with 7:33 left in the game.  The Sharks pulled Jones late, and Andrew Shaw scored the empty-netter to finish the scoring to make it 5-2.

Notable mentions: Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 17 games (10G 18A) with 2 helpers tonight.  Jonathan Toews continues to be a dominant force at the faceoff dot as he won 14 of 16 faceoffs tonight.  Duncan Keith scored his 3rd goal in his 6th game back.  Although Trevor Daley was held off the scoreboard, he is showing more confidence with the puck.  Artemi Panarin found the scoresheet after being absent from it the last two games by having 2 assists tonight.

Three Stars Of The Game
1st - CHI - Patrick Kane (2A) +2
2nd - CHI - Duncan Keith (1G) +3
3rd - CHI - Artemi Panarin (2A) +2

Next Game: Friday, November 27th, Away versus the Anaheim Ducks, 4PM


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sedin Twins Too Much for Blackhawks, Lose 6-3.

The Chicago Blackhawks continued their circus trip by visiting the Vancouver Canucks trying to rebound after losing in overtime the night before to the Calgary Flames in overtime, 2-1.  Unfortunately, the Sedin twins had other plans.  They combined for 9 points, Daniel Sedin (3G 1A), Henrik Sedin (1G 4A), as the Canucks used a 3 goal third period to take down the Blackhawks, 6-3.

The Hawks got a power play early as Jonathan Toews drew a tripping penalty.  On the ensuing power play, Toews wristed a shot over Vancouver goalie, Ryan Miller's shoulder, who went down way too early, giving Toews room up top and he didn't miss, to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead, 6:17 into the contest.  The Hawks did not do themselves any favors as they took two penalties in succession, giving Vancouver a two-man advantage.  Henrik Sedin scored on the 5-on-3 to knot the game at 1 assisted by his brother, Daniel Sedin.  The Canucks would grab the lead as Jannik Hansen found a loose puck in front of the Hawks net and poked it behind Corey Crawford to make it 2-1.  Less than a minute later, Ryan Garbutt scored his first goal as a Blackhawk, as he snapped a shot from the left slot past Miller to tie the game at 2 at the end of one period.

Vancouver would cash in midway through the 2nd period on the power play again when Duncan Keith had his stick lifted by Henrik Sedin.  The puck made its way to Daniel Sedin, and he pushed it between the legs of Crawford, who was wide open in front of the net to put the 'Nucks on top, 3-2.  Although the Hawks outshot the Canucks in the period, 11-6, it was the Canucks that had the better scoring chances in the period.

In the 3rd, Joel Quenneville juggled his lines by putting Patrick Kane on the top line with Toews to try and get some offense generated.  He also tried putting Marian Hossa on a line with Artem Anisimov and Kane.  It paid off at the 12:20 mark when Anisimov took a rebound shot from Trevor Daley and slammed it past Miller to tie the game at 3.  Just over two minutes later, Daniel Sedin struck again as he had a puck find his stick and he beat Crawford, short side to put Vancouver up, 4-3.  On his very next shift, within two minutes, Daniel Sedin, on a back-hander, beat Crawford again, to complete his sixth career hat trick to make it, 5-3.  Alex Burrows would add an empty net goal to finish the scoring and giving Vancouver a 6-3 victory.

Notable mentions:  The Blackhawks are now 32-7-10 against Pacific Division teams since the 2013-2014 season.  Patrick Kane extended his consecutive point streak to 16 games (10G 16A).  Corey Crawford had one of his worst games of the year by saving only 14 of 19 shots.  

The Blackhawks will have 4 days to think about this butt-whooping and figure out how to work on their pathetic road record, 3-6-1, which is the worst in their division.

Three Stars Of The Game
1st - VAN - Daniel Sedin (3G 1A)
2nd - VAN - Henrik Sedin (1G 4A)
3rd - CHI - Joanthan Toews (1G 1A)

Next game: Wednesday, November 25th, Away versus San Jose Sharks, 9:00pm


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Blackhawks Start Circus Trip With 4-3 OT Win in Edmonton

The Chicago Blackhawks started their annual Circus Road Trip in Edmonton tonight as they took on the Oilers.  Last week in Chicago, the Hawks beat the Oilers, 4-2 at the United Center with Corey Crawford registering the win while stopping 34 of 36 shots.  Tonight, Crawford would be on his game again, as he comes up with a goalie win.  He would have to stop 34 of 37 shots as the Blackhawks needed overtime and a game-winning goal from Marian Hossa to take down the Oilers, 4-3.

It didn't start well for the Hawks as they only mustered 3 shots on net in the first period to Edmonton's 11.  The Oilers had the edge, the speed, and the momentum, the entire period, but Crawford kept the Oilers off the scoreboard.

Midway through the 2nd period, Patrick Kane, on the power play, centered a pass that Duncan Keith tipped past Oiler goalie, Anders Nilsson fora 1-0 lead.  Artemi Panarin extended the lead to 2-0, as he received a bouncing puck from Artem Anismov and snapped a wrist shot past Nilsson.  Jordan Eberle would catch the Hawks in a bad line change as he roofed a shot over Crawford's glove on a breakaway to cut the lead to 2-1, late in the 2nd.  Teuvo Teravainen would leave the game during the 2nd period and would not return due to an upper body injury.

The game would get more intense in the 3rd, as four minutes into the period, Benoit Pouliot would knot the game at 2, when he received a nice centering pass from Darnell Nurse and slipped it between Crawford's legs in front of the net.  Midway through the 3rd, Andrew Shaw would give the Hawks the lead back at 3-2 when he received a pass from Tanner Kero in the slot.  He fanned on his initial shot, which brought Nilsson down to his knees, and then he stayed with the play and flipped the puck, top shelf into the net.  But, with less than 3 minutes left, Leon Draisaitl, from a tough angle, found the puck on his stick at the side of the net and fired it past Crawford to tie the game at 3.

In overtime, Corey Crawford may have made the Blackhawks Save of the Year, when, on a 2-on-1 break, Draisaitl threw a cross-ice pass to Edmonton sniper, Taylor Hall, who fired a one-timer that Crawford had to sprawl and go post to post to make an outstretched glove save to rob Taylor of the game winning goal.  Shortly afterwards, Brent Seabrook threw a pass from his own face off dot, cross-ice to the Oiler blue-line, to Marian Hossa, who was coming off the bench.  Hossa broke in and slapped a shot beyond Nilsson for the game-winner.

Notable mentions: Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 13 games (10G 14A) as he assisted on the first two Hawk goals.  Artemi Panarin extended his point streak to 6 games (5G 4A) with his 2nd period goal.  Brent Seabrook wore a visor after taking a puck to the face in the previous game against the Calgary Flames in Sunday's 4-1 win.  Duncan Keith, in his 3 games back, has 3 points (2G 1A), +5, and is averaging over 26:00 TOI.

Three Stars of the Game
1st - CHI - Artemi Panarin (1G)
2nd - EDM - Leon Draisaitl (1G)
3rd - CHI - Marian Hossa (1G)

Next game: Friday, November 20th, Away versus the Calgary Flames, 8:00pm


Sunday, November 15, 2015

3 Goal Eruption Sends Hawks On Road Trip with a 4-1 Win Over Flames

The Chicago Blackhawks enjoyed their last home game for the next 16 days as they hosted the Calgary Flames.  An eruption of 3 goals in less than 2 minutes helped the Hawks get past the Flames, 4-1.

The first period consisted of scoring opportunities for the Hawks, but although they led in shots on goal for the period (10-4), neither team found the back of the net.

In the second, it was the Flames that scored first.  David Jones captured a rebound that was initially stopped by Scott Darling and slid it past his outreached blocker to give Calgary a 1-0 lead 3:47 into the period.  From that point, the Blackhawks hit in rapid succession three times within a span of 1:55.   The first was scored by Patrick Kane.  An initial shot by Trevor van Riemsdsyk was stopped by Calgary goalie, Karri Ramo, but Kane was there to deposit the rebound on a backhand shot.  The next came from someone long overdue, Marian Hossa.  He took a pass from Duncan Keith and slapped a knuckler from the top of the slot that handcuffed Ramo and fluttered into the back of the net.  Right after that goal, Artemi Panarin took a pass from Kane from behind the net and snapped a wrist shot past Ramo to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead which they would protect to end the period despite killing off a 5-on-3 penalty.  Towards the end of the period, Brent Seabrook took a deflected puck to the face.  He would get stitched up and come back to start the 3rd period. 

The Flames came out flying early in the third.  Darling stood up to the assault.  The Flames had some great opportunities, but the bounces did not go their way.  Captain Jonathan Toews capped the scoring with an empty net goal.

The Hawks now start a 6-game road trip starting Wednesday in Edmonton.  Last night's game in St. Louis was a huge emotional win and it was followed up tonight with a solid performance.  Their road record is 2-5-0 this year.  Let's hope this freight train is on track to roll on the road the next two weeks.

Notable mentions:  Patrick Kane's goal in the 2nd period, extended his goal-scoring streak to 7 games, and his point-scoring streak to 13.  Marian Hossa's goal, was his first since October 17th against the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Toews continued his mastery at the faceoff dot by winning 13 of 18 draws tonight.  Duncan Keith in his 2nd game back, did a repeat performance from last night (1A +2, 24:13 TOI).

Three Stars Of The Game
1st - CHI - Patrick Kane (1G 1A)
2nd - CHI - Marian Hossa (1G)
3rd - CHI - Artemi Panarin (1G)

Next Game: Wednesday, November 18th, Away versus Edmonton Oilers, 8:30pm


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Blackhawks Get Two Huge Road Points, Beat Blues, 4-2

The Chicago Blackhawks received a big boost to their defense tonight as Duncan Keith and Michal Rozsival both made their returns to the lineup tonight as the Blackhawks tried to improve on their dismal road record of 1-5-0.  Patrick Kane's power play goal late in the 2nd period proved to be the game-winner as the Hawks took down the Blues in a typical Hawks/Blues game where tempers were high.

The 1st period was relatively calm for a typical divisional rival game between these two teams.  Andrew Shaw got the Hawks on the board as he tipped a shot from Duncan Keith that went past Blues goalie, Jake Allen 4 minutes into the game.

The 2nd period?  Not so quiet.  Three minutes in, David Backes received a Boarding penalty for ramming Niklas Hjalmarsson into the boards.  Hawks Captain/Goon, Jonathan Toews took exception to that and dropped the gloves with the coward who only takes on non-fighting players.  St. Louis held the momentum early in the period as phenom, Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice within two minutes.  Shortly afterwards, Kane and Alex Pietrangelo tangled with one another and both went off for Unsportsmanlike Conduct.  A controversial no-goal occurred when Marko Dano appeared to have scored when his shot, although gloved, by Allen, went across the goal line.  The War Room in Toronto appeared to think that it was not conclusive because you could not see the puck.  ????  That would be because the puck was in the glove...which was beyond the goal line.  Regardless, no goal.  On the next shift, ex-Blackhawk, Troy Brouwer, took a Slashing penalty which allowed the Hawks a power play.  Kane capitalized as he received a tip pass from Artemi Panarin and pushed it through the 5-hole of Allen to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead just before the end of the period.

The Blues came out fully in the 3rd.  They kept the Hawks from getting a shot on goal till there were five minutes left in the game.  Corey Crawford kept the puck out of the net during that barrage with some point blank saves.  The Blues pulled Allen late in the game and with 47 seconds left, Hjalmarsson worked the puck to the Blues line where he passed to Artem Anisimov, who buried it into the open net for his 7th goal of the year.  Game over. 

Notable mentions: Jonathan Toews now has as many fights (2) as ex-Blackhawk, Brandon Bollig.  They meet up tomorrow at the United Center.  Will they drop the gloves?  Duncan Keith played 27:34 minutes in his first game back from meniscus surgery a month ago.  He was a +2 and had an assist on the opening goal for the Hawks.  He continues to be a freak of nature.  Patrick Kane's goal tonight earned him new career high's in goal-streak (6 games), and point-streak (12 games).

Three Stars of the Game
1st - STL - Vladimir Tarsenko (2G)
2nd - CHI - Patrick Kane (1G)
3rd - STL - Jori Lehtera (2A)

Next Game: Sunday, November 15th, Home versus Calgary Flames, 7:30pm


The 'Bulin Wall Calls it Quits

Ex- Chicago BlackhawkNikolai Khabibulin declared his retirement from the NHL where he played 18 years. 

Khabibulin, a 4-Time NHL All-Star ends his career with 333 career wins, good for 21st on the All-Time list.  He falls 2nd behind Evgeni Nabokov (353 wins) for most wins as a Russian goalie.

"The Bulin Wall" as he was referred to, started his career with the Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes back in 1994.  He spent 5 years there where he racked up three 30+ win seasons in a row.

He spent the next 4 years with the Tampa Bay Lightning, where in his last year, won his only Stanley Cup as they defeated the Calgary Flames in 7 games.

The Blackhawks then signed him for the following 4 years.  He ranks 9th on the All-Time Blackhawks list for wins (91) and goals against average (2.84) and 5th for save percentage (.902).

He went on to play with a bad Edmonton Oilers team where he accumulated the worst numbers with a team for his career, 33 wins, 67 losses, 3.00 GAA.

He made a brief return to the Blackhawks in the 2013-14 season, but only appeared in 4 games.

He did not play in the NHL at all last year.

Khabibulin captured 2 Olympic medals, Gold in 1992 as part of the Unified Team in the Winter Games in Albertville, and Bronze in 2002 as part of Team Russia in Salt Lake City. 

Khabibulin is looking into managing in the KHL.

From all Blackhawk fans, "THANK YOU KHABI!!!"


Devils Take care of Blackhawks For 2nd Time In a Week, 3-2.

The Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils met for the second time in as many weeks.  The Devils handled the Hawks in New Jersey last week, 4-2.  The Blackhawks would have liked nothing better than to get redemption against them tonight in Chicago, but it was the Devils, once again, taming the Hawks for a 3-2 victory.

The Blackhawks received a 2-man advantage 5 minutes into the game and Patrick Kane cashed in by threading a shot, short side, over the shoulder of Devils goalie, Corey Schneider.  With that goal, the current NHL scoring leader extended his point streak to 11 games.  Corey Crawford made some tough saves to keep the Devils off the scoreboard in the first.  Marko Dano had a great chance with Schneider out of position, but a defensive stick got in the way of Dano's shot attempt and deflected it off the crossbar.  The period ended 1-0, Hawks.  Chicago lead in shots 10 to 7.

The 2nd period started with the Devils taking advantage of some lazy play by the Hawks as Adam Henrique was allowed to skate over the line and wristed a shot at Crawford from the high slot that somehow  found the back of the net to tie the game within the first minute of the period.  The Hawks were able to get 10 shots on net in the period, but none of which was able to get behind Schneider.  With 3 minutes left in the period, a bad pass from forward, Brandon Mashinter, was intercepted by Kyle Palimieri and it was off to the races.  Niklas Hjalmarsson was able to poke the puck, but it went to Sergey Kalinin, whose shot was stopped by Crawford, but not contained, which left a juicy rebound for Palimieri who buried it beyond Crawford for a 2-1 New Jersey lead to end the period.

In the 3rd, it was the Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line that would find a way to get a puck past Schneider, 7 minutes into the period.  After a huge save by Crawford at the other end of the ice, Kane took a lose puck and streaked across the Devils line, found the trailer, Erik Gustafsson, whose shot was blocked, but the rebound went to Artemi Panarin, who snapped a shot, short side over the shoulder of Schneider.  It was New Jersey though, who just 8 seconds into a power play because of a Kane high-sticking penalty, was able to get the game-winning goal.  Palmieri snapped a shot on net that was stopped by Crawford, but the rebound was scooped up by Kalinin, who was left alone in front of the net, and was able to push it past Crawford.

Notable mentions: It was the 2nd loss in a week to the Devils as they go 2-0 against the Hawks on the year.  Both, Marcus Kruger and Andrew Desjardins have both played 16 games, bot with 0 points, both with a +/- of (-8).  Desjardins did not see the ice in the 3rd period.

Three Stars of The Game
1st - NJD - Kyle Palmieri (1G 1A)
2nd - NJD - Sergey Kalinin (1G 1A)
3rd - CHI - Artemi Panarin (1G)

Next game: Saturday, November 14th, @ St. Louis Blues


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Home Cookin' With Panarin And Kane Make Right Recipe in 4-2 Win Over Oilers

The Chicago Blackhawks welcomed back to the lineup, Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov as they hosted the Edmonton Oilers tonight.  The Oilers were without the young phenom, Connor McDavid due to a clavicle injury, similar to what Patrick Kane went through last year.  Although Edmonton is full of young talent, it was the Blackhawks' young talent mixed with veteran talent that starred tonight.  Artemi Panarin (2G 1A), and Patrick Kane (1G 3A) helped the Hawks take down the Oilers, 4-2.

It took just 58 seconds when Panarin took a cross-ice pass from Kane and one-timed the shot off of an Oiler stick, off of Oiler goalie, Cam Talbot, and into the back of the net for a quick, 1-0 lead.  With 2 1/2 minutes left in the period, the Breadman (Panarin), struck again.  He took a bouncing puck in the slot and lifted a puck over the shoulder of Talbot to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead to finish the 1st period.  The Hawks outshot the Oilers, 9-5 in the period.

After a very good 1st period. the 2nd period consisted of the ice being tilted in the Blackhawks zone as Edmonton rattled off the first 13 shots of the period as Corey Crawford shut the door through a barrage of shots.  The Oilers had at least 3 semi to full breakaways against Crawford and Crow slammed the door who ended the night with 36 saves.  Jonathan Toews has taken his new role as an antagonizer well as he was present a couple of skirmishes in the period.  The period ended with the score still 2-0 in favor of the Hawks.  The Oilers outshot the Hawks in the period, 22-6.

In the 3rd, play was more even, but not without some theatrics from Crawford.  The Oilers went to the power play early and Jordan Eberle collected a juicy rebound and buried it past Crawford to bring Edmonton to within 2-1.  With 6:32 remaining in the game, Kane corralled a bouncing puck and flipped a back-hander that somehow got past Talbot to cushion the Chicago lead to 3-1.  They would need it as Edmonton pulled their goalie and with just under 2 minutes remaining in the game, Andrej Sekera blasted a shot from the point that Crawford never saw as Andrew Miller screened him in front of the net to cut the lead to 3-2.    Oscar Klefbom was called for holding with 14 seconds left in the game.  On the ensuing faceoff, Anisimov took a nice pass from Kane and buried the power play goal in the back of the net to close the scoring.

Notable Mentions:  For the first time in a very long time, the Hawks headed into the game giving up more goals than scored (36 allowed, 35 for).  Panarin became the first Blackhawk rookie to score a goal within the first minute of a game since Niklas Hjalmarsson did so (0:16) on 04/11/09 against the Detroit Red Wings.  Panarin also became the first Hawk rookie to score twice in a first period since Jonathan Toews on 02/14/08 against the Nashville Predators.  Tonight was Panarin's 2nd career 3-point night.  Kane ended with 4 points (1G 3A).  Kane now has a 10-game point streak (7G 10A) and is now among the leaders in the NHL with 10 goals, 23 points, and a +11.

Three Stars of The Game 
1st - CHI - Artemi Panarin (2G 1A)
2nd - CHI - Patrick Kane (1G 3A)
3rd - CHI - Corey Crawford (36 saves, .944 SV%)

Next game: Thursday, November 12th, Home versus New Jersey Devils, 7:30pm


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Blackhawks Road Woes Continue in 4-2 Loss to Devils

The road has not been nice for the Chicago Blackhawks this year.  Losers of the last four road games, they come into New Jersey where they have won their last five against the Devils.  The Devils helped the Hawks keep one of those streaks alive as they beat the Hawks, 4-2 in the Prudential Center.

The Devils found the score sheet first, when Lee Stempniak capitalized on a Niklas Hjalmarsson turnover and slipped it past Corey Crawford, just three minutes into the game.  The Hawks managed 8 shots on goal, but did not really test Devils goaltender, Corey Schneider.  The Hawks continued their horrible play of not finishing strong at the end of periods.  Kyle Palmieri game New Jersey a cushion when he took a loose puck right off a faceoff and beat Crawford, stick side to make it 2-0, with just over 2 minutes left in the period.  Shortly afterwards, Jonathan Toews showed his frustration by scrapping with Adam Henrique and winning the fight.  Unfortunately, it did nothing to get the rest of the team motivated.  26 seconds after their last goal, the Devils extended their lead to 3-0 when Travis Zajac picked up a rebound and buried it past Crawford.

The 2nd period came with Scott Darling replacing Crawford in goal.  Artem Anisimov left half way through the period which later was to be a lower-body injury. Quenneville mentioned after the game that he is day-to-day.  The Devils added to their lead when Mike Cammalleri took a cross ice pass and deposited it behind Darling to make it 4-0.  The Hawks finally get on the board late in the period (now a strong finish to a period) when Patrick Kane found the back of the net with a wrist shot from the far slot with a minute left in the period to make it 4-1.

In the 3rd, the Hawks outshot the Devils 14-5, but Schneider was strong.  Joel Quenneville pulled Darling with 6:42 left in the period to try and find a way to get things rolling.  It wasn't until there was 1:26 left that rookie, Tanner Kero scored his first career NHL goal with a nice backhand that found the back of the net.

Notable mentions: After allowing just two goals in the first three games without Duncan Keith, the Blackhawks have given up 20 goals in their last five games.  Going further, the Hawks gave up 8 straight goals going back to when they led St. Louis 5-2 before losing in overtime, 6-5 on Wednesday.  Then tonight, New Jersey jumped out to a 4-0 lead.  It is possible that the Hawks may see the return of Marian Hossa on Sunday when they play Edmonton at home.  Hossa has missed the last three games.

Three Stars of The Game: 1st - NJ - Kyle Plamieri (1G 1A), 2nd - NJ - Lee Stempniak (1G 1A), 3rd - NJ Travis Zajac (1G 1A)

Next game: Sunday, November 8th, Home Vs. Edmonton Oilers, 7:00pm


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blackhawks Stop Kings Winning Streak With 4-2 Win

The Los Angeles Kings came into the United Center as the hottest team in the NHL winning their last 7 straight games.  The Chicago Blackhawks came home after losing two tough games on the road in Winnipeg and Minnesota.  Would both streaks continue?  The Hawks would say no, as they came from 2-1 down to defeat the Kings, 4-2.

The Blackhawks made a roster move before the game started by bringing up top prospect, Marko Dano from the Rockford IceHogs, and sent down veteran Bryan Bickell, who has struggled all season.  They also did not have the services of Marian Hossa for the game as he is still listed day-to-day after suffering a lower body injury Friday night in Minnesota.

The Blackhawks were the first to get on the board on a very nice no-look, clearing pass by Artemi Panarin.  Ryan Garbutt picked up the loose puck and had a two-on-one with Jonathan Toews.  Garbutt threaded a saucer-pass between two LA players and Toews buried the one-timer past Kings goalie, Jonathan Quick for a 1-0 lead.  LA tied the game when Alec Martinez threw a knuckler to the net that handcuffed Corey Crawford and found the back of the net.  Then with just over a minute to play in the period, the Hawks continued their bad habit of giving up late goals as Anze Kopitar was left alone in front to pick up a loose rebound and sneak it by Crawford to give LA a 2-1 lead at the end of 1.

In the 2nd, both teams traded goal post shots as the play picked up.  There was no scoring in the period, thanks to some nice saves by both goalies.

The 3rd period started quickly for the Hawks as Patrick Kane wristed a shot that had eyes to tie the game at 2.  The shot went through the legs of Martinez and froze Quick who barely made a play for the puck as it found the back of the net before he knew it.  Half way through the 3rd, Teuvo Teravainen was a recipient of a filthy pass from Kane behind the net that gave him an empty side which he deposited the puck into to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead.  The Kings peppered Crawford with 19 shots in the 3rd period, but none would find the twine.  With less than 2 minutes left in the period on an LA power play, Artem Anisimov took a nice pass from Toews and finished a breakaway to put the Hawks ahead to stay, with a short-handed goal.

Notable mentions: Niklas Hjalmarsson led all skaters with 25:55 TOI, and had 4 blocked shots.  Brent Seabrook extended his scoring streak to six games with an assist Kane's 3rd period goal.  Marcus Kruger wore the "A" as Assistant Captain since both Ducna Keith and Hossa were both out with injuries.

Three Stars of the Game: 1st - CHI - Patrick Kane (1G 1A), 2nd - CHI - Corey Crawford (35 Saves, .943 SV%), 3rd - LAK - Jake Muzzin (2A)

Next Game: Wednesday, November 4th, Home Vs. St. Louis Blues


Blues Score 4 Unanswered Goals to Beat the Blackhawks in OT, 6-5.

The Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues usually have exciting games that contain a lot of hits.  Tonight, it was a lot of goals.  One would say it was a flashback to the mid-80s where teams would combine for double-digit goals.  The Blues used overtime to complete a 3 goal deficit comeback to beat the Blackhawks, 6-5, in overtime.

It didn't take long for the Hawks to find the scoresheet as Marko Dano scored his first goal as a Blackhawk as he jumped on a rebound in front of the net and got it past Brian Elliot for a quick 1-0 lead just over 2 minutes into the game.  Just as quickly as the Hawks took the lead, the Blues tied the game less than a minute later as Alexander Steen had a shot bounce off of him and deflect into the net.  The Hawks regained the lead 95 seconds later when Andrew Shaw was taken down and rewarded a penalty shot.  Shaw buried a wrist shot, stick side, to make it 2-1.  Just under 2 minutes later, it was Teuvo-time as Teravainen back-handed a loose rebound behind Elliot to extend the lead to 3-1.  Then, 6 1/2 minutes actually went by without any scoring before 19 year old rookie, Robby Fabbri wristed a shot past Corey Crawford to bring St. Louis to within a goal at 3-2.  With 3 minutes to go in the period, Brent Seabrook extended his scoring streak to seven games with a blast from the point that beat Jake Allen, who replaced Elliot in net for St. Louis to give the Hawks their 2 goal lead back, 4-2.  The Hawks wound find themselves back to the power play and within 43 seconds of their last goal, Patrick Kane's wrist shot found the back of the net thanks to a great screen in front by Shaw.  The period ended, 5-2 Hawks.

The 2nd period wasn't as exciting.  at least, if you were a Blackhawks fan.  The St. Louis Blues scored 3 unanswered goals in the period.  Steen scored his 2nd of the game as he deflected a shot 3 minutes into the period.  The game calmed down until the Hawks once again continued their bad habit of giving up late goals in a period.  Jay Bouwmeester scored on a St. Louis power play with under 3 minutes left in the period.  Then with 34 seconds remaining in the period, David Backes from a sharp angle, beat Crawford to tie the game at 5 to end the period.

In the 3rd period, both teams decided to play defense as there was no scoring in the period.  The Blackhawks had 2 power plays in the period and had 14 shots while holding the Blues to 7.

Overtime lasted almost 4 minutes, before Vladimir Tarasenko beat Crawford to end the game as St. Louis scored 4 unanswered goals to win the game.

Notable mentions: Niklas Hjalmarsson wore the "A" as the Assistant Captain tonight.  He had 3 blocked shots on the night.  The Hawks had 4 players with a goal and an assist tonight (Teravainen, Kane, Shaw, and Seabrook).  The Blues played the night before and did not get into Chicago until 4am, yet they managed to win the game in overtime.

Three Stars of The Game: 1st - CHI - Brent Seabrook (1G 1A), 2nd - STL - Alexander Steen (2G), 3rd - CHI - Patrick Kane (1G 1A)

Next game: Friday, November 6th, Away Vs. New Jersey Devils, 6:00pm CDT