By Brad Vandenberk
After dropping two straight divisional games at home, the taste of losing was on the Hawks’ tongues. It just took a quick stir of the drink to make everything better, and a visit from the Arizona Coyotes also helps.
Coach Q, coaching his 500th game in the Hawks organization, tinkered the line up just slightly to get certain players going. Andrew Shaw got the message, scoring two goals on route to a 6 -1 routing of the desert dogs.
Teuvo Teravainen (1G, 1A) and Bryan Bickell (2A) added to the newly third line. Patrick Sharp (2A) also helped ignite the second line alongside Brad Richards (2A) and Patrick Kane (1G, 2A). That lined combined for 9 points with Kane scoring his 200th career goal all with Chicago, being the 20th player in Blackhawk history to achieve that mark. Even the defense core received a face lift with Duncan Keith mentoring David Rundblad, forcing Brent Seabrook to partner with Niklas Hjalmarsson. Johnny Oduya and Michael Rozsival rounding out the bottom pairing.
Antti Raanta earned his 6th win of the season continuing his unbeaten streak at home. Surprisingly Mike Smith stayed in the Coyotes net for all 6 goals. Dan Carcillo was serving the second game of his 6 game suspension for cross checking Mathieu Perrault of the Winnipeg Jets. Tim Erixon and Kris Versteeg were the healthy and unhealthy scratches in this one.
Jonathan Toews’ line set the tone from the open faceoff. The Hawks look like they have a little more jump in their step versus the previous nights. Johnny Oduya and Brandon Saad both have Smith scrabbling. The Hawks get the first power play of the game when Lucas Lessio trips Marcus Kruger.
Toews makes them pay giving the Hawks a 1-0 lead finishing a tic tack toe passing play. Just after the halfway point of the period Raanta final sees his first real test of the game. Smith looks shaky juggling pucks and sliding out of position. Shaw takes advantage and makes a fancy move in front to put the Hawks up 2-0. Just as the period comes to an end, Connor Murphy gets booked for charging. The Hawks head into the locker room with a 2-0 lead and a 20-9 shot advantage.
The second period opens with 17 seconds of power play time. Marian Hossa gets two quick chances but is unable to finish. Arizona gets their first power play opportunity when Kruger hauls down Keith Yandle. Raanta remains sharp and makes some key saves to help kill the penalty.
Richards and Kane then break in with Richards firing a shot on net, Kane is there to slip in the rebound and its 3-0. Teuvo time starts to ignite when he breaks in on a 2 on 1 and elects to keep the puck and shot but is denied. Saad levels Martin Hanzal behind Raanta. Hanzal then retaliates with a trip on Oduya sending the Hawks to another power play. As the penalty expires Teuvo gets his own rebound and tucks it home to give the Hawks a 4-0 lead.
Yandle gives the Hawks their 4th power play of the night. A shooting gallery ensues with Sharp hitting the post. Arizona ruins Raanta’s shutout attempt when Lucas Lessio beats Raanta on a backhand scoring his first NHL goal 4-1. With 40 seconds left in the period Shaw scores his second of the game 5-1. Duncan Keith makes a great play to keep the puck in at the blue line helping Shaw out. The Hawks continue to dominate in shots 37-19.
Hossa must love opening faceoffs, he again gets a great chance to add one but runs into the referee during his attempt. Hossa falls to the ground with his palms up smiling. Teuvo is making gorgeous passes once again sending a nice feed over to Kruger who can’t score but draws a penalty trying. Kyle Chipchura heads to the box for hooking. The Hawks keep coming. Even Kane makes a nice defensive play and finds Hossa on a breakaway. Shaw is out there looking for the hat trick. Saad then heads to the box for holding. Raanta helps the Hawks remain perfect on the penalty kill. Shaw has the fire tonight even trying a wraparound attempt for his third. The final nail to be inserted into this one was when David Rundblad sends a shot on net which is deflected past Smith by his own teammate giving the Hawks the 6-1 win.
-Hawks outshot the Coyotes 51-36
-Hawks go 1/5 on the power play with the Coyotes coming up short 0/2.
-Keith led all Hawks in TOI with 22:05, next was Brent Seabrook with 21:17. The lowest Hawk was Joakim Nordstrom with 11:07. Teravainen had 11:21.
-Toews was 65% in the faceoff dot. Richards 62%, Shaw 43% and Kruger 100%.
-Hawks now jump on a plane and head to Pittsburgh for their last game before the allstar break this weekend starting on Thursday. 5 Hawks will be making the trip to Columbus for the festivities this weekend.
Saad Toews Hossa Keith Rundblad
Sharp Richards Kane Hjalmarsson Seabrook
Bickell Teravainen Shaw Oduya Rozsival
Nordstrom Kruger Smith