Sep 302011

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks took the ice Friday night for their second meeting of the preseason with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens entered play in Chicago with a 4-0 record in the preseason having defended their home ice in the first meeting between the two teams, a 4-1 victory at the Consol Energy Center on September 22.

Special teams play was the story early on. Pittsburgh’s first goal came from former-Hawk Steve Sullivan on the power play just five seconds into the man advantage. Brandon Pirri had shot the puck over the glass, giving the Pens the extra man. The Pens controlled the ensuing faceoff and Kris Letang’s crossing pass found Steve Sullivan with time at the top of the left circle. Ray Emery didn’t stand much chance with Tyler Kennedy parked in front of the net.

Pittsburgh’s second goal, scored by Matt Cooke, came while the team was down a man. The penalty kill applied constant pressure while shorthanded throughout the game, but it was more of a fluke play that resulted in the goal. Ray Emery skated way out of his crease to play a loose puck, sending it off the boards and into the neutral zone. Cooke was the first one there and fired a slap shot from center ice that skipped over Emery’s stick and through a rather feeble attempt to block the shot from Brent Seabrook. Continue reading »