Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Blackhawks Erupt for 7 Goals Against Coyotes in 7-5 win

The Chicago Blackhawks came into tonight losing their last two games while scoring a total of one goal.  Their power play, which came into the game 5th in the league, was in a 1 for 11 slump.  Coach Quenneville was hoping for a change.  He got it with 7 goals, 3 of which were on the power play, and a huge win on the road, as the Hawks took out the Arizona Coyotes, 7-5.

The first period had plenty of scoring.  The Blackhawks started with a Duncan Keith power play slap shot goal as he received a drop pass from Patrick Kane to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead, 6:21 into the game.  Arizona didn't learn from the last power play, as they took another penalty right after, and the Hawks, 1:15 after Keith's goal, took a 2-0 lead when Brent Seabrook fired a shot that Artem Anisimov tipped past Coyotoe goalie, Anders Lindback.  Half way through the period, the Coyotes' ageless Captain, Shane Doan, bounced a puck towards Corey Crawford that bounced on edge and deked past Crawford to bring the Coyotes within 1 at 2-1.  Not quite 2 minutes later, Zbynek Michalek wristed a shot that found the back of the net to tie the game at 2.   Just as things were dying down, towards the end of the period, the Blackhawks found themselves on their 3rd power play of the period.  And like the previous two power plays, the Hawks once again cashed in as Artemi Panarin was given time to snipe a shot past Lindback to end the period with the Hawks leading, 3-2.  The Coyotes had the edge in shots in the period, 12-5.

After a wild 1st period, the 2nd period  had just as much action, if not as many goals.  Arizona replaced Lindback with Louis Domingue to start the period.  Two minutes in, Andrew Desjardins wristed a shot that Domingue whiffed on to extend the #Blackhawks lead, 4-2.  Both teams traded power plays and scoring chances until the 13:48 mark when Erik Gustafsson nicely held the puck in the Coyote zone, found Andrew Shaw, who wanted the puck, and then one-timed a pass to Kane who had an entire open net to deposit the puck to give the Blackhawks a 5-2 lead heading into the 3rd period.

In the 3rd, the Coyotes pressured Crawford early and he stood tall. Five minutes into the period, Desjardins got his 2nd goal of the night as he had his shot initially blockered away by Domingue, but the rebound bounced off of a Coyote defenseman and into the net giving the Blackhawks a 6-2 lead.  Two minutes later, Doan got his 2nd of the game on the power play as Crawford was screened by ex-Blackhawk Antoine Vermette.  Bryan Bickell, with a rare shift, found himself in the penalty box.  I'm sure he will be in Coach Q's doghouse after that.  As that penalty ended, Connor Murphy found the back of the net as Vermette again screened Crawford making the score, 6-4, Blackhawks, with 7 minutes remaining.  The Blackhawks didn't make things easy as they took 4 penalties in the 3rd period.  While on the power play, the Coyotes pulled Domingue.  Jonathan Toews, Captain My Captain, deposited the puck into the empty net to make it 7-4.  While on a 5-on-3 penalty kill, Shane Doan completed the hat trick ending the scoring, 7-5.

Notable mentions: Erik Gustafsson was recalled and he played just under 15 minutes.  In his 8 games this year, he has 4 assists, and is a +8.  The Blackhawks scored 4 goals on their first 8 shots tonight.  As bad as the score looked, it was a goalie win.  Crawford made some huge saves.  Arizona could easily have scored 8 or 9 goals tonight.

Three Stars Of The Game
1st - ARI - Shane Doan (3G   9 shots)
2nd - CHI - Patrick Kane (1G 2A)
3rd - CHI - Duncan Keith (1G 2A)

Next game: Thursday, December 31st, Away vs. Colorado Avalanche, 7PM CT


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sharp, Niemi, Take Down Blackhawks, 4-0

The highly anticipated matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars did not disappoint.  Especially if you like a fast-paced, speedy game.  Pick a story line: Top two teams in the Central, top three scorers in the NHL (Kane, Benn, Seguin), top two of three active NHL winningest coaches (Quenneville, Ruff), the first game against Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya since leaving Chicago.  The list goes on.  It was the ex-Blackhawks haunting their old team as Sharp would have a goal and an assist, Oduya would have an assist,Antti Niemi would shutout the Hawks for the 3rd time in his career after winning a Stanley Cup with them back in 2010, by the score of 4-0.  You wouldn't know the Hawks were the team that had a day off between games after Dallas played a tough game against the Minnesota Wild, yet won, 6-3 last night.

If you have a need for speed, this was the period to watch.  Fast-paced, up and down skating between both teams.  Not a lot of chances for either team in the period as neither team scored.  The Blackhawks had two power plays during the period and it generated 0 shots.  The Stars pressured them constantly.  To make things worse, the Hawks were outshot, 7-3.

In the second, it was Dallas' turn to go to the power play and they cashed in on their first attempt as Jason Spezza, somehow, squirted one through the pads of Corey Crawford, not a good goal given up, to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.  Late in the period, the Hawks had a scramble in front of Niemi, but could not find the back of the net.  The period would end with Dallas clinging to a 1-0 lead.  The Hawks did better at getting shots on net in the period, out-shooting Dallas, 14-8.

In the third period, the Stars took the game to the next level as ex-Blackhawk, Patrick Sharp haunted his old team as he sniped a shot over the right shoulder of Crawford, just 11 seconds into the period to give Dallas a 2-0 lead.  Just over 2 1/2 minutes later, the Stars struck again as a re-directed shot by Colton Sceviour made it past Crawford and gave Dallas a nicely-cushioned, 3-0 lead.  With 5 1/2 minutes remaining, a centering pass by Mattais Janmark went off the skate of Michal Rozsival and into the net to give Dallas a commanding 4-0 lead.  Dallas skaters were flying the entire 3rd period as they outshot the Blackhawks in the period 17-3 and 32-20 in the game.

Notable mentions: No excuses, but this was the 8th game in 13 days for the Blackhawks.  They will take this game and chew on it for a while and remember it down the road.  Bryan Bickell continues to struggle with the puck and losing battles on the boards.  Dallas had an outrageous 14 takeaways in the game.

Three Stars of The Game
1st - DAL - Antti Niemi (20 saves, 1.000 SV%)
2nd - DAL - Patrick Sharp (1G 1A)
3rd - DAL - Jason Spezza (1G)

Next game: Sunday, December 27th, Home vs. Carolina Hurricanes 6:00PM CT



Thursday, December 17, 2015

Blackhawks Top Line, Crawford, Shutout Oilers, 4-0

The Edmonton Oilers came into Chicago, their 3rd stop on a 4 game road trip, to take on the Blackhawks at the United Center.  The Oilers came in winning 6 of their last 7.  The Blackhawks, 4-2-1, in their last 7.  It was the Blackhawks though who would take this game as the top line of Toews-Hossa-Teravainen combined for 3 goals and 6 assists and Corey Crawford recorded his 5th shutout of the year to beat the Oilers, 4-0.

In the first, both teams took turns having scoring chances, but could not find the back of the net.  The Oilers held slight momentum for the first half of the period and the Hawks had the slight edge for the second half of the period.  With exactly six minutes left in the period, Teuvo Teravainen made a nice outlet pass to Marian Hossa who floated a pass to Jonathan Toews who one-timed a slapshot past Oiler goalie, Cam Talbot, to complete a 2-on-1 break, to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead, which held till the end of the period.

The second period was similar to the first.  Both teams with great chances to dent the net, but nothing happening.  Then once again, it was the top line of Toews-Hossa-Teravainen that did the damage.  Teravainen slapped a one-timer past Talbot after a nice defensive play by Hossa to keep the puck alive and Toews with a great pass to find Teuvo for a 2-0, Hawks lead.  At the end of two periods, the Blackawks outshot the Oilers, 30-24.

The Oilers came out flying in the 3rd, and Crawford had to make some tough saves to keep Edmonton off the board.  Then, 3rd time is a charm.  The top line once again cashes in as Hossa with another nice defensive play, gets the puck to Toews, who throws the puck on net, and Teravainen is there to pick up the garbage goal to make it, 3-0, Hawks.  Shortly after, Artemi Panarin, scored his 4th goal in 3 games against the Oilers to finish the scoring from a nice stretch pass from Brent Seabrook.

Notable mentions: The untold story tonight was the play of Corey Crawford who stopped all 33 shots for his 3rd shutout in his last 4 games and 5th of the season, which leads the NHL.  The last time a Blackhawk goalie did that was February, 1995, when Ed Belfour did it.  Marcus Kruger fell awkwardly into the boards in the middle of the 2nd period and did not return for the 3rd period.  He looked to have been holding his wrist/shoulder.  And for the Patrick Kane streak watch, he got an assist on the Panarin goal.  Point streak at 1 game and counting.

Three Stars Of The Game
1st - CHI - Teuvo Teravainen (2G 1A) +3
2nd - CHI - Jonathan Toews (1G 2A) +3
3rd - CHI - Marian Hossa (3A) +3

Next Game: Saturday, December 19th, Away vs. Buffalo Sabres 12PM


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blackhawks, Kane, Shutout By Varlamov, Avalanche, 3-0

Two of the hottest goalies in the NHL went at it tonight as the Colorado Avalanche visited the Chicago Blackhawks.  Corey Crawford and Semyon Varlamov, both came into this game winners of their last 3.  But it was Varlamov that would continue his winning ways as the Avs beat the Hawks, 3-0, at the United Center.

The first period saw both teams have some good opportunities, but it was the Avalanche that got the first strike as a Matt Duchene shot was inadvertently deflected by Marcus Kruger, and it sailed up over the left shoulder of Crawford.  The Blackhawks were outshot in the period, 12-9.  Colorado had 6 scoring chances in the period to the Hawks' 2.

In the 2nd, the Blackhawks once again gave up a quick goal at the beginning of the period as Zach Redmond snapped a shot past Crawford to extend the Avs' lead to 2-0 just 1:43 into the period.  The Hawks would then start to put on pressure Varlamov, but they couldn't find a way to get a puck past him.  Artem Anisimov got called for tripping and took away any momentum the Hawks had built up in the period.  When the Hawks did have an odd man break, they managed to shoot the puck right into the pads or chest of Varlamov.  The Hawks outshot Colorado in the 2nd, 13-9.

In the 3rd, the ice was wide open as both teams had scoring chances, but both goalies managed to fend off their respective opposing team.  Coach, Joel Quenneville juggled his lines around to try anything to generate some scoring chances, but to no avail.  Andrew Shaw shouldered Francois Beauchemin in the head, midway through the 3rd that took Beahchemin out of the game.  That put the Hawks on a penalty kill which the team did not need at that point in the game.  From there, the Avalanche played a defensive game and played it well.  The Blackhawks would empty the net with 3 minutes to go, but Gabriel Landeskog would add an empty net goal to give the Avalance the 3-0, shutout, win.  Throughout the game, they out-hustled the Hawks to loose pucks, won board battles, and therefore, won the game.

Notable mentions: Patrick Kane's 26-game scoring streak came to an end.  It was the longest since Mats Sundin went 30 games in a row while playing for the Quebec Nordiques. Corey Crawford's scoreless streak was broken at 155 minutes, 16 seconds when Duchene opened the scoring in the 1st.  Semyon Varlamov in his career against the Blackhawks is now 11-3-0 with 3 shutouts.  Marian Hossa was the bright spot for the Hawks tonight as he played a good game on both sides of the ice.  He led all skaters with 6 shots.

Three Stars of The Game
1st - COL - Semyon Varlamov (29 saves, shutout)
2nd - COL - Matt Duchene (1G  +2)
3rd - COL - Gabriel Landeskog (1G 1A) +2

Next Game: Thursday, December 17th, Home vs. Edmonton Oilers, 7:30pm


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Crawford Shines, Kane Extends Streak, Hawks Win, 4-1

All eyes were once again on Patrick Kane tonight and not so much the divisional showdown when the Chicago Blackhawks took on the Nashville Predators.  It was Corey Crawford who shined tonight as he stopped 36 shots.  Oh...and Kane continued his streak with an empty net goal, as the Hawks took down the Preds, 4-1.

The first period was an end to end, free-flying period.  The Predators had numerous chances and Corey Crawford repeatedly slammed the door.  He made 12 saves in the period.  Pekka Rinne had some great saves too, but he couldn't stop a redirected shot from Dennis Rasmussen on an Andrew Shaw shot attempt.  Rasmussen scored in his first NHL game, on his first NHL shot.  The Hawks were outshot, 12-9 in the period, but ended the period with the 1-0 lead.

In the second, the Predators went to the power play early, but the Hawks put in a strong penalty kill.  They built off that momentum and eventually earned a power play thanks to Barret Jackman being an idiot, as always, as he elbowed Patrick Kane.  On that power play, Shaw took a cross-ice pass from Teuvo Teravainen and one-timed a bouncing puck past Rinne, stick-side, to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.  Late goals have been a problem for the Hawks this year and it came back to bite them again.  Roman Josi rushed in over the Hawks line and fed a pass to Eric Nystrom who finally found a way to get a puck past the sprawled out Crawford to bring Nashville to within 2-1 with :45 left in the period.  Through two periods, Nashville held a 26-15 shot differential and were winning 57% of the face-offs.

Teravainen started the 3rd period like he did the other night against Winnipeg.  He scored a goal within the first minute of the period to extend the Hawks lead to 3-1.  This was quite the goal-scorers goal as Teuvo from the top of the point, snapped a shot past Rinne...while not looking at the goal.  Crawford had to stand tall in the period again and did so on a Nashville power play where he stoned the Preds on 3 quality shots.  Kane would be on the ice as the Predators pulled Rinne.  Artemi Panarin fed him a pass and he flipped a shot from beyond center ice into the open net to continue his consecutive scoring streak to 23 games.  It was his 600th point of his career and would end the scoring.

Notable mentions: Kane, scored his 600th point (222G 378A) in just 604 games.  Teravainen's addition to the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa is starting to look like a good fit.  There has been a hole at that left wing position all year.  You can see his confidence grow the longer he plays on that line.  All 4 lines were rolling for the Hawks tonight.  All had at least one scoring chance.  It would have been a complete game if the team would have played better defense, but Crawford came away with a goalie win.

Three Stars of The Game
1st - CHI - Corey Crawford - 36 saves, .973 SV%
2nd - CHI - Andrew Shaw - (1G 1A)
3rd - CHI - Teuvo Teravainen (1G 1A)

Next game: Thursday, December 10th, Away vs. Nashville Predators, 7:00PM


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Kane Breaks Record, Help Take Down Jets, 3-1.

It was a rare matinee today at the United Center as the Winnipeg Jets visited the Chicago Blackhawks.  Even more rare, is the opportunity to see a Blackhawk record being broken.  The last time a Blackhawk scored in 21 straight games was on January 23, 1972.  Thank you, Mr. Bobby Hull.  On Sunday, Patrick Kane broke Hull's record with an assist late, on an open-net goal to extend his point streak to 22 games (13G 23 A) 36 points, in a 3-1 win.  It was also the first time in 6 attempts that the Blackhawks beat Winnipeg goalie Michael Hutchinson (4-1-1).

Marian Hossa came into the game today appearing in his 1196th career game, but having only 1 goal in his last 7 games.  That changed when he took a rebound from a Brent Seabrook shot and tucked it behind Hutchinson to give the Hawks a 1-0 late in the 1st period, leading into the 2nd.  Hossa would later add an assist later in the game.

Chris Thorburn would get the only tally in the 2nd frame as Winnipeg tied the score when Thorburn flipped a puck past Corey Crawford, that no one saw and had to be reviewed in order for it to be counted.  The period would end with the game knotted at 1.  Trevor Daley would leave the game when he fell awkward into Thorburn's knee and left the game under his own power, but with assistance.

As the 3rd period started, Teuvo Teravainen would grab a loose puck and slap it from a difficult angle, and beat Hutchinson to extend the Hawks lead to 2-1, just 21 seconds into the frame.  It's nice to see the Hawks get the early goals to set the pace.  Better still, was that the two goals scored, had nothing to do with Kane, Panarin, or Anisimov.  Hence the Kane streak.  With two minutes remaining in the game, the Jets pulled their goalie in favor of the extra man.  A puck bounced in the Hawks zone was batted/swatted at by Kane and it found its way to Artemi Panarin who lofted a puck just within center ice, for the open-net goal to seal the scoring for a 3-1 Blackhawk winner.

Notable mentions: Bryan Bickell made his return tonight after being called up from the Rockford IceHogs.  He didn't show up on the score sheet, but he provided some hits, including one that knocked ex-Blackhawk, Dustin Byfuglien on his 'Duff".  Duncan Keith assisted on the second Blackhawk goal to extend his point streak to 6 games (2G 4A).  Marcus Kruger had a good game, offensively and defensively.  He had a goal taken away as it was disallowed for a kicking motion.  Corey Crawford had a very strong game, stopping 31 shots and keeping the game from getting away from him due to sloppy play by the Hawks early in the game.

Three Stars of the Game
1st - CHI - Marian Hossa (1G 1A), +2, 5 shots
2nd - CHI - Corey Crawford (31 saves, .968 SV%)
3rd - CHI - Teuvo Teravainen (1G), +2

Next game: Tuesday, December 8th, Home versus Nashville Predators, 7:30PM


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Blackhawks Have 4 Crucial Divisional Games This Week

The Chicago Blackhawks find themselves tied for 3rd in the Central Division, although because of tie-breakers, they are considered 5th.  Starting Sunday, the Hawks play 4 divisional games, 3 at home.  If the playoffs were to start today, the Hawks would be the 8th seed.

Right behind the Hawks, 4 points back, are the Winnipeg Jets, who happen to be two of the four games that the Hawks have at home this week.  They will play the Jets, tomorrow,December 5th, at home, at 4:00PM, to start a crucial 4 game span (2 against Winnipeg, and a home-and-home in the middle of the week with the Nashville Predators).  The Blackhawks are tied with Nashville in points at 30, but Nashville holds the tie-breaker.

The Hawks have a great chance to put a little distance between themselves and these two rivals that will be in the hunt for a playoff spot throughout the year.  Three of these games are at home so the Hawks need to take advantage of this.

Scoring is the problem right now and something needs to give because the Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line cannot continue to be the only source of scoring, and Coach Joel Quenneville knows this.  Earlier today, the Blackhawks put Viktor Tikhonov on waivers.  If a team can claim him, it could help the return of Bryan Bickell, who, in 12 games in Rockford, has 14 points (7G 7A).

Corey Crawford will get the start in net on Sunday against Winnipeg.


Tikhonov Placed On Waivers, Possible Return For Bickell?

Viktor Tikhonov was placed on waivers today by the Chicago Blackhawks today.

Tikhonov, returned to the NHL this year after spending the last 4 years playing in the KHL.  He was originally drafted by the Phoenix (Arizona) Coyotes as the 28th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.  He spent a single season with the Coyotes under, then Head Coach, Wayne Gretzky.

Tikhonov hasn't registered a point in 11 games this year with the Hawks.  Coach, Joel Quenneville has made him a healthy scratch for the last 10 of 11 games.  With Tikhonov's salary (1 yr./ $1.04 million) being a small contract, it could attract another NHL team to claim him.  If that occurs, it could eventually lead to the return of Bryan Bickell, up from the Rockford IceHogs.

Bickell, 29, found himself being sent down to the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate due to a couple of reasons.  One, his play was still suffering as it did at the end of last year when he was slowed down with vertigo issues.  This year, he played in 7 games with the Hawks and did not have a point, and had a +/- rating of a (-3).  Two, his $4 million salary cap hit was a problem for the cap-stricken Blackhawks, who currently right now, is only $39,000 under the salary cap, as per General Fanager.

While in Rockford, Bickell seems to have found his game again.  In 12 games with the IceHogs, Bickell has 14 points (7G 7A) and is a +6.  The Blackhawks could use his physical play, but more importantly, could use some more scoring since the Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line is generating 48% of the goals scored for the team (34 of 71 goals).


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Kane Keeps Streaking, Blackhawks Lose in OT To Senators, 4-3

All eyes were on Patrick Kane tonight as he attempted to tie the Blackhawks All-Time record for points in consecutive games set by "The Golden Jet", Bobby Hull, at 21 games as they visited the Ottawa Senators for the only time this year.  #88 did indeed tie Hull, in great fashion.  He scored a goal and had two assists, both of which were behind the back drop passes.  Unfortunately, the Blackhawks could not get any point production from any other line and the Hawks fell in overtime, 4-3.

The Senators jumped to a lead just 92 seconds into the game.  Mike Hoffman snapped a wrist shot over the shoulder of Corey Crawford and it would get worse just over 6 minutes later as Bobby Ryan, on the power play, would score as Crawford was completely screened in front of the net.  Slow starts are killing this team as did the penalty kill tonight.

In the second period, the Blackhawks came to play, outshooting Ottawa, 16-6.  The Hawks would get a 5-on-3 power play early, and Kane would be left a lone with the puck for nearly 5.5 seconds by the near circle.  He would then snap a shot through the legs of Craig Anderson to cut the lead in half at 2-1.  Late in the period, Kane would give a drop/no-look pass to a streaking Artemi Panarin who beat Anderson glove side to tie the game at 2 before the period ended.

Through two periods, Ottawa was held to just 14 shots.  In the 3rd period, they had 12.  Three and a half minutes into the period, the Blackhawks would get caught for a 'Too Many Men On The Ice' penalty, the most asinine penalty a team can take.  And it bit them in the rear.  Just 20 seconds into that power play, after another face off loss, Mark Stone would tip a deflected puck into the net behind Crawford to give the Senators a 3-2 lead.  Ottawa was 2-for-4 on the power play tonight.  The Hawks would come back, thanks to the Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line...once again.  After some nice puck passing between Panarin and Kane, Kane, while behind the net, performed yet another no-look pass and fed Artem Anisimov, where he had an open side of the net as Anderson was following Kane the other way.  They would head to overtime tied at 3.

A couple of two-time Norris Trophy winners fought for a loose puck once overtime started, and it was Erik Karlsson who beat out Duncan Keith to lead a 2-on-1 break.  Karlsson, chased by Kane, was able to flip a pass to Hoffman, who scored his second goal of the game, very much as he did the first, by snapping a shot over the left shoulder of Crawford to give the Senators the 4-3 win.

Notable mentions: Duncan Keith extended his scoring streak to 5 games with a first period assist.  In his 10 games back from knee surgery, he has 10 points (4G 6A).  He also led all players in ice time tonight (29:14).  The Hawks find themselves playing the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators twice over the next week.  This will be a crucial time to get some important points within the division.

Three Stars of The Game
1st - OTT - Mike Hoffman (2G 1A) 7 shots
2nd - CHI - Patrick Kane (1G 2A) 
3rd - OTT - Bobby Ryan (1G 2A)

Next game: Sunday, December 6th, Home vs. Winnipeg Jets, 4:00PM


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Kane Extends Streak, Hawks Fall Short To The Wild, 2-1

The Chicago Blackhawks played their first game at the United Center in two weeks.  This game is always considered a trap game where teams after a long road trip tend to relax and don't have a good outcome.  The Wild made that become reality with a 2-1 win over the Hawks.

It started out like the Hawks would be in trouble early as the Wild came out with scoring chances galore. It was Jason Pominville who found the back of the net, 4:09 into the game as he caught Corey Crawford out of position and completed a wrap-around goal to give Minnesota an early 1-0 lead.  The Hawks were getting beaten in board battles and were not getting any traffic in front of Minnesota goalie, Devan Dubnyk.  Fortunately, the period ended with the Hawks only down 1-0 after being outshot 14-8.

In the 2nd, the Hawks came out of their shell and started getting shots to the net.  They managed to draw a holding penalty out of Justin Fontaine and after Duncan Keith made a nice stick lift to cause a turnover, found a wide open Patrick Kane.  Kane found himself with time to read a short novel before depositing a puck between the legs of Dubnyk to tie the game at 1, extending his point streak to 20 games.  The Hawks found themselves short-handed 6 minutes in the final 9 1/2 minutes of the period.  They managed to kill all 3 penalties, but not without some nice saves from Crawford who had a strong 2nd period saving all 11 shots in the period.  After Kane's tying goal, the momentum changed once the Hawks got called for those 3 penalties.

The Wild came back out flying again the 3rd period.  The Hawks managed to fight off the barrage of shots early in the period and settled down.  The game remained tied up until the Hawks became lazy and the Wild took advantage.  Mikael Granlund had a breakaway, deked Crawford, but Crawford with a great toe save could not do anymore as Niklas Hjalmarsson and Duncan Keith managed to allow Ryan Suter, a defenseman, to skate between them both, pick up the rebound, and flipped it into the net to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead.  After emptying the net, the Hawks just couldn't find the back of the net.

Notable mentions: Duncan Keith has a way to go to catch Patrick Kane, but he has a nice 4-game point streak right now.  In his 8 games back from injury, he has 9 points (4G 5A).  The Blackhawks had 22 of their shots blocked by Minnesota which leads to believe, better shot selection and movement of the puck may help.  The Hawks still continue to struggle at the face off dot.  They won only 45% of their draws and were outshot in the game, 36-31.

Three Stars of the Game
1st - MIN - Ryan Suter (1G), 29:36 TOI
2nd - CHI - Patrick Kane (1G)
3rd - MIN - Jason Pominville (1G), +2, 6 shots

Next game: Thursday, December 3rd, Away, VS. the Ottawa Senators