Author Archives: Brad Gardner

Kids, Supporting Cast Star in 5-2 Win Over Wild

photo – Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks captured their second consecutive win Thursday night at the United Center against the visiting Minnesota Wild. A three-goal second period built a big enough lead for the ‘Hawks to hold in the third as the team earned a 5-2 win over the reeling Wild.

Minnesota winger Devin Setoguchi, who was scratched for the team’s previous game Tuesday against San Jose, notched the first goal of the contest just after the game’s first TV timeout. Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery kicked a rebound out to the top of his crease, leaving an easy play for Setoguchi on the fly-by to get the Wild on the board first.

Chicago’s Andrew Shaw knotted the game at 1-1 later in the first period for his second goal in five games. Bryan Bickell drove the slot and occupied the defenseman, leaving Shaw room to skate in closer up the left side of the zone and beat Minnesota’s Josh Harding to the far side. Read more »

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Late Flyers tally nips Blackhawks 3rd period comeback bid; Shaw fights, scores in NHL debut

Marian Hossa – photo: Getty/Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Gardner

Thursday marked the Blackhawks’ first appearance at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center since capturing the Stanley Cup there two seasons ago.

Both teams were coming off disappointing losses earlier in the week and brought the offense, totaling a combined 80 shots over the course of the game. Despite a better effort than they brought Monday against Edmonton, which culminated in a comeback from two goals down in the third period, Chicago fell short in regulation by a score of 5-4 and this time left Philadelphia empty-handed.

Jimmy Hayes found the back of the net for the second consecutive game on a give-and-go with Jamal Mayers. Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo tried to play the puck up the boards but Hayes got a stick on it and deflected the puck right to Mayers. He dished back to Hayes for a deflection between the legs of Ilya Bryzgalov for a 1-0 Chicago lead 3:01 into the game. Read more »

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No Redemption: Oilers slip by Hawks 4-3

By Brad Gardner

The Edmonton Oilers captured their second consecutive win against the Chicago Blackhawks with a 4-3 win Monday night at the United Center.  Edmonton’s power play unit struck twice after a major penalty was called against Daniel Carcillo and the visitors were able to hold onto the lead despite a late push from the Blackhawks.

Jonathan Toews opened scoring at 12:54 of the first period. He did not get a lot on his shot from the slot, but it nonetheless slid on the ice and beat Dubnyk inside the post to the glove side. Carcillo set up the chance with a steal in the neutral zone and a pass onto the stick of Toews.

The tide turned when Carcillo was called for a five minute boarding major in the second period. Skating in on the forecheck, Carcillo threw Oiler’s defenseman Tom Gilbert into the boards head first before either player had touched the puck. Gilbert ended up rolling on Carcillo’s left leg, so both players ended up injured and would not return to the game. Read more »

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Emery, Blackhawks win 5th straight; Quenneville’s 600th

Photo: @FaberBrandon

By Brad Gardner

There was no love lost in the third meeting of the season between Calgary and Chicago but it was the Blackhawks that put together another solid effort and came away with two points. The Western Conference foes combined for 61 PIMs and the Flames out-hit the ‘Hawks by a count of 31 to 12, but Chicago was able to get out to a lead and hold on against a late Calgary charge for the 4-2 victory.

Steve Montador gave the Blackhawks a first period lead when his slap shot beat Miikka Kiprusoff to the glove side 9:23 into the game. The ‘Hawks fourth line of Viktor Stalberg, Jamal Mayers, and Andrew Brunette applied the pressure in the offensive zone and had the Flames chasing the play along the wall. Mayers’ centering pass found Montador wide open in the slot, where he unleashed a heavy shot that found the net just inside the post.

Later in the opening frame, Brent Seabrook was on the receiving end of another bad hit from a former teammate when Rene Bourque checked him squarely in the back. Read more »

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Complete effort drives Hawks over Ducks 4-1

photo: Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Gardner

Ray Emery earned another start in net with the Anaheim Ducks in town and helped the Blackhawks beat his former team by a score of 4-1. Emery’s shutout bid was spoiled by Teemu Selanne with less than two minutes to play in the game, but the veteran goalie turned in another strong start for Chicago in collecting his fourth consecutive win in as many starts.

Emery’s cause was aided by the effort of the skaters in front of him. For all the ink the ‘Hawks top players have earned so far this season, it was Jamal Mayers and the fourth line that opened the scoring for Chicago at the 6:37 mark of the first.

Andrew Brunette won the puck on the forecheck against Francois Beauchemin and passed it to an open Mayers behind the net. Jonas Hiller was slow to cover his post and Mayers was able to flip the puck off the goalie and into the net.

Chicago extended the lead quickly at the start of the second after pressure from Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp gave the ‘Hawks possession in the Duck zone. Sharp picked up a loose puck and fed Hossa driving in all alone on Hiller. Hossa powered the backhander through the legs of Hiller just over a minute into the second period to put the Blackhawks up by a pair of goals. Read more »

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Hawks tie Sharks late, Sharp wins it again in OT

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks salvaged two points from the reeling San Jose Sharks on Sunday evening at the United Center.

Starting goaltenders Ray Emery and Antti Niemi limited the scoring all night and it took a late push from Chicago to force the overtime. Patrick Sharp, skating in his first game since the birth of his first daughter on Friday, potted the overtime game-winner off a Niemi rebound to seal the comeback victory for the ‘Hawks.

Former Blackhawks’ netminder Niemi closed the door on a handful of high-quality chances from his former teammates in the opening period. Viktor Stalberg was robbed on the first shift of the game after he was set up by Jonathan Toews on the doorstep, but Niemi denied him with the pad. Not all of his saves were clean, but he extended his shut-out streak of the ‘Hawks to four periods going back to his November 23rd shutout.

At the other end of the rink, Ray Emery did his part in keeping his team in the game. Read more »

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Hossa strikes twice; Hawks hit right notes in St. Lou

Hossa Face – photo: Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks brought a better effort in the second half of the back-to-back, downing the division rival St. Louis Blues by a score of 5-2.

Ray Emery earned his fourth win of the season over the Blues’ Brian Elliott, who has been one of the league’s top goalies so far this season. The see-saw opening 30 minutes included the Blues relinquishing a pair of one-goal advantages to the ‘Hawks before Chicago’s special teams took over in the middle frame to capture and secure the lead for the visiting Blackhawks.

Blues forward David Perron returned to the line-up for his first game since November 4th, 2010, having missed 97 games while he was out with a concussion. In his second shift of the game, Perron continued his torment of the Blackhawks with the game’s opening goal.

Patrik Berglund’s centering pass deflected off a Chicago skate and rolled directly onto Perron’s stick in front of the Chicago goal. The winger had time and patiently played the puck to his forehand before roofing his shot over a downed Emery. Steve Montador was the closest ‘Hawk, but was unable to make the play with his stick as it was tangled up in Blues forward Matt D’Agostini. Read more »

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Blackhawks skid hits 3; Niemi Says No

By Brad Gardner

Despite a better effort at both ends of the ice from the Blackhawks, it was still not enough to get past Antti Niemi and the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. Despite a pronounced lead in the shot count and possession time, the Blackhawks fell by a score of 1-0 for their third consecutive regulation loss.

San Jose was strong out of the gate, registering four shots on Corey Crawford in the first four and a half minutes. The Sharks’ offense was limited by a couple penalties as well as Chicago’s puck possession and managed only one shot through the last 15 minutes of the first.

The ‘Hawks finished the first with 10 shots on Niemi, including a pair of breakaways. Brent Burns whiffed on clear and Marian Hossa picked up the loose puck but shot high. Bryan Bickell broke in alone shortly after, but Niemi was able to square up and snuff out another chance.

Momentum went back and forth in the second period as the team’s traded penalties and prime scoring chances. Jamie McGinn rang a shot off the post just after a San Jose power play ended and then leveled Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy for good measure. Hossa had another great opportunity when he split between the San Jose defensive pairing of Douglas Murray and Dan Boyle but his backhand shot went off the outside of the net. Read more »

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Boots to Asses: Oilers 9, Blackhawks 2

photo credit: Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Gardner

The speed and skill of the Oilers put the Blackhawks on their heels early and the result was the worst whooping of the year for Chicago. Careless play with the puck and a parade to the penalty box in the second period sealed Chicago’s fate in their 9-2 shellacking at the hands of the young guns in Edmonton.

Ales Hemsky opened the scoring in the first minute by carrying the puck with speed into the zone and eluding a hip check by Steve Montador. The veteran winger had a clear lane to the net and beat Chicago’s starter Ray Emery over the glove.

Patrick Sharp knotted the game at one goal apiece just a couple minutes later. The first power play unit notched another goal after Sharp picked up a rebound off the post and beat Nikolai Khabibulin.

The speed of the Oilers started to wreak havoc for the Blackhawks, though, and the home team rattled off four unanswered goals through the rest of the first period. Ryan Jones scored a goal from a horrible angle against Emery and it was downhill from there for the ‘Hawks. Ryan Smyth’s team-leading 11th goal of the season came on a good set-up from Jordan Eberle, putting the Oilers up 3-1 just 7:32 into the first period. Read more »

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Emery, Blackhawks stop Calgary 4-1

By Brad Gardner

Ray Emery got the call in the Blackhawks return to the United Center Friday night against the Calgary Flames, turning in his best effort of the season in Chicago’s second straight win. Goals from Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook turned out to be enough as the ‘Hawks held on to a lead in the third period for a 4-1 victory.

Duncan Keith, playing in his 500th career NHL game, opened the scoring 12:09 into the first period. Patrick Sharp sent a shot on net and Miikka Kiprusoff kicked out a juicy rebound into the slot. The Flames goalie attempted to play a shot from the closest ‘Hawk, but Dan Carcillo was taken out of the play by defenseman Scott Hannan. The puck continued out to Keith, who ripped a slap shot past Kiprusoff as he was caught out of position.

Despite a pair of power play opportunities later in the first, Chicago took the one goal lead into the intermission. Ray Emery was a big part of the lead as well, keeping Calgary off the board with a number of saves against traffic in front of the net. Read more »

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