By Chris Block
The Blackhawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead after just 15 minutes of the first period in Game 1, Friday night at United Center. Brandon Saad notched his third goal of postseason on an incredible power move and shot that he ripped by Devan Dubnyk at the 1:15 mark. Patrick Kane and Marcus Kruger scored 124 seconds apart later in the period to give the Hawks command of the game. Kane’s tally, also his 3rd of the playoffs, was set up by a great move (or, the $2M toe-drag, you could call it.) by Brad Richards entering the Wild zone.
But the Wild chipped away at the Hawks lead in the second period, and by the mid-way point of the second stanza, the game was tied 3-3. Minnesota’s marksmen Jason Zucker, Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund all scored to even the score at 1:21, 5:07 and 9:30 of the second respectively.
Neither starter, Dubnyk nor Corey Crawford were pulled from the game. Crawford stopped 30 of 33 shots. Dubnyk allowed 4 goals against 35 Blackhawks’ shots on net.
Chicago’s 4th and deciding goal came off the stick of Teuvo Teravainen with 59 seconds to go in the second period. The line of Antoine Vermette, Patrick Sharp and Teravainen were doing their work down in the Wild zone when Teravainen fired a puck toward the net from the half wall. Dubnyk might have been partially screened for a moment but he just whiffed at it with his glove and the puck sailed by him and into the net at 19:01 of the second.
The score remained that way throughout the 3rd period, though Minnesota’s Dubnyk had to come up with 15 saves in the final period to keep his team in the game.
Crawford’s win gives him a 2-1 record now in this postseason. Crawford is now 9-3 lifetime in postseason play versus Minnesota.
The Hawks are now 11-7 in Game 1’s under Joel Quenneville. They’ve gone on to win 9 of those 10 prior series in which they’ve won Game 1 under their current coach.
Game 2 is Sunday night at 7:30pm central on CBC and Sportsnet 360 in Canada and on NBCSports Network in the States.
By Jon Fromi
The Chicago Blackhawks dug down for some extra giddyup Monday night, subduing a more rested Los Angeles Kings squad at the United Center. The Blackhawks posted wins in back to back games, following up Sunday’s win in Winnipeg with a 4-1 besting of the defending champs.
First Period-Goalies Scott Darling and Jonathan Quick were on their toes early as the action was back and forth. Brandon Saad was denied by the Kings keeper on a power move around the net in the fifth minute. A few seconds later, the young forward was the catalyst for the Hawks first goal.
Saad got control of his own dump-in at the end boards, came around the net into the slot and fired at the L.A. goal. The puck was redirected by Bryan Bickell and then glanced off Bickell’s skate. Tumbling past Quick and into the Kings goal, Chicago took a 1-0 lead 5:31 into the game.
By Brad Vandenberk
After completing a 2 game road trip through the week with stops in Carolina and Philadelphia, returned to home soil to face a familiar foe in the Columbus Blue Jackets. This would spell the return of Jeremy Morin who saw 6:50 of ice and tallied 1 hit. The Hawks got on the board early but the Jackets did not stop coming putting 4 on the board in the first period and never looking back beating the Hawks 5-2 at the UC. This could not have come at a worse time as the Wild are now just 1 point behind them for 3rd in the Central division.
Corey Crawford got the start for the Hawks who was pulled midway through the first for Scott Darling. Sergei Bobrovsky shut the door making some key saves to get the win. Michal Rozsival did not play in this one as it was time for David Rundblad to see some action. Dan Carcillo and Joakim Nordstrom were both out with upper body injuries.
By Michael Calvert
How do you get killed vs a far inferior team in a game you really should win? Not too sure, but the Hawks had the recipe for it last night.
Hawks lines were unusually mixed last night and these didn’t last.
Saad – Toews – Shaw
Sharp – Vermette – Hossa
Versteeg – Richards – Car Bomb
Nordstrom – Kruger – Desjardins
Timonen – Seabrook
Keith – Rozsival
Oduya – Hjalmarsson
By Brad Vandenberk
Chicago continued their road trip with a stop in Big D to face the Stars on Saturday night. The arena was packed with red jerseys as Hawks fans were heard to open the game with a “let’s go Hawks” chant. Those few would be disappointed as the Hawks would lay an egg losing 4-0 to a team that is 8 points out of the playoffs. The Stars took advantage of the Hawks careless defensive mistakes scoring on two giveaways. They also allowed two power play goals off the stick of Tyler Seguin and Shawn Horcoff.
Michal Rozsival was back in the lineup after sitting in New York on Wednesday. David Rundblad was the odd man out on defense. Andrew Desjardins and Dan Carcillo were also out of the lineup for this one. Corey Crawford battled against the Stars Kari Lehtonen who made 33 saves to record his 5th shutout of the season. Kimmo Timonen played his 1100 game playing for 13:15.
By Brad Vandenberk
After suffering an embarrassing loss on home ice against the Bruins on Sunday afternoon, the Blackhawks shifted the focus on Tuesday to the Florida Panthers, who are battling for a playoff spot, and would love to take full advantage of a depleted Hawks squad.
Scott Darling was recalled from Rockford on Sunday night with Joakim Nordstrom. Ryan Hartman and Antti Raanta were sent back down to what seemed to be a salary type move. Which can only mean one thing. Nothing, it means nothing. Darling was then signed to a 2 year contract extension.
Darling was also named the started for this game helping the Hawks edge the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout. Jonathan Toews and Kris Versteeg were the goal scorers with Patrick Sharp lending a hand in the shootout. This would be the last game for this 8 game home stand recording 3-3-2.
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.
By Jon Fromi
The Chicago Blackhawks got up early Sunday morning to close out their road trip. The early bird gets the worm, but Chicago was happy with two points over the St. Louis Blues.
The Hawks took advantage of a power play goal in the third period to break a tie game against St. Louis. Marian Hossa wound up the hero as Chicago prevailed 4-2.
First Period-The Blues made hay in the Chicago zone early, with a busy Corey Crawford sending several attempts to the corners.
The Hawks drew first blood on their first real opportunity in the fifth minute. Daniel Carcillo got the puck to Marcus Kruger coming out of the defensive zone. Kruger led Carcillo on an odd man rush, scoring when his shot from the right circle got the best of Brian Elliot. Chicago took a 1-0 advantage at the 4:38 mark.