Category Archives: Brad Gardner

Blackhawks blow two-goal 3rd period lead in Detroit, win 3-2 in a shootout, finish 6th in West, await Pacific winner

By Brad Gardner

The sixth and final meeting of the season between the Blackhawks and Red Wings went down to a shootout, where Patrick Kane scored the deciding goal to give the visiting ‘Hawks a 3-2 victory. Corey Crawford played a strong game, despite giving up a pair of third-period goals, and did not allow a goal in the shootout to register his 30th win of the season.

Detroit’s third period comeback secured one point in the standings, thereby sealing up either the fourth or fifth seed of the Western Conference and a first round match-up against Nashville.

Despite the two points, Chicago settled into the sixth spot with 101 points (45-26-11 record) on the season. They will open the playoffs on the road against the winner of the Pacific Division.

The game played much like the rest of the season series. Each game between the two Central Division rivals has been decided by one goal. It was the fourth time in six games that the final score was 3-2 and the fourth time Chicago came out victorious. The ‘Hawks ended up taking 10 of a possible 12 points out of the season series against the Wings with a 4-0-2 record. Read more »

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Hawks blow 4-goal lead then edge Preds 5-4

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks gave up another two goal lead in the third period and lived to tell the tale, taking two points against the Predators in regulation with a 5-4 win in Nashville. Brent Seabrook tallied the go-ahead goal at 8:19 of the third period to give the ‘Hawks just their second win in six games against the Predators this season.

With the win, the Blackhawks clinched a playoff spot and drew even in the standings with Detroit (off Saturday, now has a game in hand on both teams) and one point behind Nashville for fourth in the Western Conference.

The first period featured action at both ends of the rink with Chicago leading 16-12 in the shot column. The Blackhawks struck first on an early power play opportunity when Patrick Sharp got a fortunate bounce off a defenseman at 3:25 of the first period. Sharp picked up a loose puck and attempted to cross it to Patrick Kane. The pass instead deflected off Hal Gill as he attempted to fill the lane and past Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne to give Chicago the early 1-0 lead. Read more »

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Blackhawks lay down for Predators

By Brad Gardner

The Nashville Predators have had a way of bringing out the worst in the Blackhawks this season. That trend continued on Sunday as the Predators won a convincing 6-1 decision over the Hawks in Chicago. The Hawks finished with more shorthanded chances than power play shots as they stared down a multiple goal deficit for much of the contest. Nashville has now taken nine of a possible ten points against Chicago this season and has a four point lead in the standings as both teams have six games left to play.

Corey Crawford started the game but allowed four goals on 15 shots in 42 minutes before he was pulled in favor of Ray Emery. The veteran Emery allowed two third period goals on nine shots. The six goals against was the most for Chicago since February 2nd when they gave up eight goals to the Oilers while deep in the throes of that nine-game losing streak. Read more »

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Hawks keep rolling, beat Capitals 5-2 at the UC to earn 40th victory of the season

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks controlled play for much of the game when they hosted the Washington Capitals at the United Center in the only meeting of the season between the two teams. Andrew Shaw opened the scoring and finished with two goals to lead the way in a complete team effort by the ‘Hawks in which they held Washington to just 18 shots en route to a 5-2 win.

The ‘Hawks scored first for the third straight game on a deflection by Shaw in front of the net. Bryan Bickell carried the puck over the line and hit Shaw with a rink-wide pass. He made a drag move around Brooks Laich to get to the center of the ice, but his shot was kicked out by the pad of Michal Neuvirth. Duncan Keith picked up the rebound and fired it back towards the traffic in front where it deflected off Shaw for a 1-0 Chicago lead.

The speed of Viktor Stalberg helped to extend the lead a few minutes later when he beat Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a loose puck and converted on the breakaway against Neuvirth. Sharp dumped the puck down the ice and Stalberg left Orlov in his dust on his way to recovering the puck and tucking the shot behind a downed Neuvirth. Read more »

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Desperate Kings pickup two points in Chicago

By Brad Gardner

Jonathan Quick continued to baffle the Blackhawks when his Kings club visited the United Center on Sunday evening. The Blackhawks battled back to tie the game twice and earn one point in the standings, eventually falling to Mike Richards’ conversion in the shootout for a final score of 3-2.

The Kings set the tone early with a chance off the opening faceoff. Nick Leddy fumbled a pass to his defensive partner that was picked up by Dwight King. He broke in between the two defenders on Ray Emery but the ‘Hawks goaltender was able to deny the game’s first shot.

Slava Voynov was able to get one by Emery a few minutes later. Duncan Keith pinched into the offensive zone but had the puck poked away by Justin Williams. The sent the Kings in on a 4-on-1 against Brent Seabrook, who sold out to take away the passing lane. Williams still had room to get the puck to Voynov, who beat Emery wide to the glove side for the rookie defenseman’s fifth tally of the season. Read more »

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Blackhawks win 2-1, earn two huge points in Detroit

By Brad Gardner

The Chicago Blackhawks made it three straight wins as they captured round five (of six) against the Detroit Red Wings, grinding out another 2-1 win against the Central Division leaders. The ‘Hawks have now earned points in all five games against the Wings this season, earning a 3-0-2 record in the process. On Sunday, goals from Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane and another steady performance from Ray Emery earned the team two important points in the standings.

The Blackhawks made good on an early tripping penalty to Kyle Quincey, taking a 1-0 lead on Patrick Sharp’s power play goal 3:17 into opening period. Sharp’s slap shot from the blue line appeared to deflect off of defenseman Niklas Kronwall in front of the net and past Jimmy Howard. The goal was Sharp’s 25th of the season

Kronwall caught a break of his own a few minutes later, when he sent a slap shot from the blue line that beat Emery and tied the game up at one goal each. Emery’s vision was blocked by defenseman Johnny Oduya, leaving him helpless against the only goal of the game for the Wings. Read more »

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Blackhawks miss their call time in LA, Dustin Brown’s hat-trick powers Kings to 4-0 victory

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks were shellacked by the reinvigorated Los Angeles Kings, but it had little to do with the newly-acquired sniper Jeff Carter. Instead, it was the more recent subject of trade rumors surrounding the Kings, Dustin Brown, who scored a natural hat trick in the game’s first 25 minutes that proved to be an insurmountable lead for the home team.

While the Blackhawks had nary a shot to show for their first power play opportunity of the game, the Kings were able to capitalize on their first man advantage after John Scott got his elbow up finishing a check. Jarrett Stoll gained the offensive zone and dropped the puck to Dustin Brown along the sideboards. Stoll kept skating and drew Dylan Olsen out of position, giving Brown enough room to skate inside the dot and wrist the game’s first goal over Corey Crawford’s shoulder at 10:48. Read more »

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8 in a row

By Brad Gardner

Another serviceable effort from the Blackhawks resulted in no points as they dropped their eighth straight game, falling to the Coyotes by a score of 3-0. The ‘Hawks found themselves in an early hole and did not have any comebacks in them tonight against a 38-save shutout from red-hot goalie Mike Smith in the Phoenix net.

The Blackhawks faced an uphill battle early with Phoenix scoring two goals in the first six  minutes of the opening period. Radim Vrbata continued to light up the ‘Hawks, registering his 26th goal of the season and third against Chicago when his pass from behind the net deflected into the net off defenseman Sami Lepisto. Viktor Stalberg was unable to clear the puck from the defensive zone and Ray Whitney and Vrbata attacked with a give-and-go the other way. Vrbata used his speed to skate in behind and Lepisto was in an unfortunate position as Vrbata tried to get the puck back to the front of the net, deflecting in the opening goal at 3:14 of the first period. Read more »

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How’bout that Sam Gagner? Oilers 8 – Hawks 4

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks returned to the scene of perhaps the lowest point of the season in their 9-2 drubbing at the hands of Edmonton in November. It was another nightmarish game for the ‘Hawks at Rexall Place as the Oilers came very close to appeasing the “We want 10!” chants from the November game, winning by a score of 8-4 behind an eight-point effort from Sam Gagner.

Jamal Mayers got things started 6:29 into the first period. He took a wrist shot a couple strides into the zone and the puck found it’s way past Dubnyk to the short side. The goal was Mayer’s fifth of the season and second in as many games.

Chicago carried the 1-0 lead into the first intermission and then Patrick Sharp extended it further 40 seconds into the second period. Patrick Kane robbed Ryan Smyth of the puck in the neutral zone and carried it into the zone with a 2-on-1 advantage. Kane set up Sharp for the one-timer, which beat Dubnyk between the legs as he slid across the crease.  Read more »

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Predators 5 – Blackhawks 2, Hossa strikes twice, Crawford pulled, Toews left arm in question

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks saw their seven-game point streak snapped after a sluggish game in Nashville against the division rival Predators. Despite two goals from Marian Hossa, a flurry of goals from the home team in the middle period turned out to be the difference in Chicago’s first regulation loss since January 6th.

The opening period was characterized by chippy play from both sides. Nashville out-chanced the visitors, but Marian Hossa managed to put the ‘Hawks on the board first on the team’s second shot of the period. Andrew Shaw dropped a short pass to Hossa at center ice, who gained the zone with enough speed to beat Shea Weber to the outside. He protected the puck as he crossed over and beat Rinne inside the right post for his 19th goal of the season.

Craig Smith drew the Preds even just over two minutes later with a power play goal. Rookie defenseman Ryan Ellis had an open lane from the blue line and Smith provided both the traffic in front of Blackhawks’ starter Corey Crawford and the finish on the rebound to make it a 1-1 game going into the first intermission. Read more »

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