By Brad Vandenberk
It was game three of this eight game home stand and the Hawks were looking to play a complete game to gain a victory. It was a shootout coupled with an overtime loss to start at the UC. Marian Hossa took this Hawks squad on his back once again, scoring a power play goal, as well as taking the shot for Jonathan Toews to put home the game winning rebound as they beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Hossa is on fire these days scoring 7 goals in his last 4 games. Finally a true win at home, although gaining 4 of a possible 6 is a good start. Corey Crawford made some key saves to help get the win. Cory Schneider was his counterpart making it difficult to score.
The Hawks were looking for a spark to ignite the lineup. Let’s be honest here, if it wasn’t for an electrifying 3rd period against the Canucks the other night, this was starting to look ugly. Teuvo Teravainen was re-assigned to Rockford and passing him on the highway was recalled Ryan Hartman and Kyle Cumiskey.
It took just 2 seconds into Hartman’s first NHL shift to set the tone with a massive hit on Dainius Zubrus, knocking the Devil’s helmet flying in the air. Cumiskey was also noticeable in his first NHL game in a Hawks uniform, being deemed “the missing Leddy”. The unfortunate call ups forced Ben Smith to take this one in from the press box. Smith hasn’t been terrible, but he can be a lot better. Michael Rozsival suffered an upper body injury and sat this one out.
Hossa starts the open period with a strong move toward Schneider. The defensive zone struggles continue early for the Hawks as the Devils have them penned in. Hartman enters the ice and gets the crowd into it hammering Zubrus, then moments later, taking Marek Zidlicky hard into the boards. He was here to play. Que Cumiskey, he gets 2 shots on net and Schneider is busy. Toews takes the first penalty of the game for tripping Steve Bernier. Crawford makes some key saves to help kill the penalty. Adam Henrique takes Devils first penalty slashing Toews to the ice. The power play had a different look with Brandon Saad providing the net front presence. Although the look was different the result was much the same. Peter Harrold puts the visitors on the board beating Crawford with a weak point shot 1-0. Patrick Kane helps David Rundblad avoid a delay of game penalty has he tips a puck over the glass with the “Thank yous” from the defensemen. The period ends with both teams sharing 8 shots a piece.
Looks like there was shakes being made in the room at intermission with the line blender clearly noticeable. Patrick Sharp starts with Brad Richards and Kane. Hartman works his way up the lineup teamed up with Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell. Hossa continues to dominate getting all kinds of shots on net. Kane even has a chance to walk out of the corner and score but Schneider stands tall. Now Kris Versteeg works in with Richards and Kane. Players are everywhere and the pace is starting to turn. Jaromir Jagr is the next victim to be penalized for hooking. The power play looks different once again, Seabrook, Hossa, Kane, Toews and Saad. Devils almost get a shorthanded chance. Bickell gets a gorgeous pass from Hartman in behind the net and is robbed by Schneider. The period ends with Michael Ryder taking an interference call with 3.6 seconds left. Hawks are outshooting the Hawks 18-17.
The final periods opens with 1:57 of power play time on fresh ice. Hossa gets a beautiful pass from Saad and rips it past Schneider tying the game at 1 and igniting the crowd. All of the sudden the Devils have a 2 on 0 the other way and Crawford makes a great save as the crowd stands to let the home team know. Hartman receive a feed from Shaw and just has his point blank shot blocked. Hossa looks up and blows by the Devils defense making his patented strong move toward the net. His shot sits on the crease and Toews knocks it in 2-1. Patrick Sharp give the visitors life when he takes a hooking call behind the play. Hossa and Toews break in shorthanded on a 2 on 1, Toews elects to shot and they kill another penalty. Saad and Hossa have their turn at a 2 on 1. Saad tries to gets the puck across but runs out of real estate and Schneider gobbles it up. Crawford then makes 2 huge saves with the Devils pushing to tie it up. Eric Gelinas takes the final penalty of the game for hooking with 4:17 left. As the penalty expires the Devils pull Schneider. Kane finds a streaking Versteeg who buries the empty netter giving the Hawks the win 3-1.
-Hawks outshot the Devils 35-26.
-Hawks go 1/4 on the power play with the Devils posting 0/2.
–Brent Seabrook led all Hawks in TOI with 26:47, Kane was next with 23:27. Hartman 9:05, Cumiskey 11:27. Versteeg second game back 14:36
-Toews was 58% in the faceoff dot. Richards 36%, Shaw 70% and Kruger 45%.
-Kane assisted on Versteeg Empty netter giving him 63 points leading the NHL by 3 points.
-Hawks continue playing in front on their home crowd on Sunday morning when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town at 11:30 am.
Saad Toews Hossa Keith Rundblad
Versteeg Richards Kane Oduya Hjalmarsson
Bickell Shaw Carcillo Cumiskey Seabrook
Sharp Kruger Hartman