Category Archives: Game recap

Blackhawks Sweep The Wild, Suffer Key Loss As Rozsival Likely Done For Season

By Chris Block

When the second-round series became official, about the last probable outcome most people would have come up with was a Blackhawks sweep of the hottest team in the NHL since January.

Yet, Chicago did just that. And now the Hawks are one step closer (8 wins, in fact) from their 3rd Stanley Cup in 6 seasons.

Thursday night in St. Paul, the Blackhawks completed the 4-game sweep of the Minnesota Wild by a 4-3 score in captivating fashion before what was a left of the sold out Xcel Energy Center crowd by the time the final horn sounded.

In doing so, the Blackhawks become the first team from either conference to advance into the Conference Finals. They now await the winner of the Anaheim-Calgary series, which resumes on Friday night in Calgary with the Ducks up 2-1 in that duel.

It could be up to 7 to 10 days before the Blackhawks play again, depending on how long the other series go as neither Conference Final series can begin until the series currently going have concluded.

Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa scored for the visitors in the series-clinching victory. Read more »


IceHogs Beat Themselves in Game 1; Pulkinnen Hat-Trick Leads Grand Rapids to 5-3 Win

By Chris Block

Going into the Game 1 of the this Western Conference Semifinal series with Grand Rapids, the Rockford IceHogs had one primary focus – try to contain Griffins’ right winger Teemu Pulkkinen.

Rockford failed in that objective in Wednesday’s series opener as the Detroit Red Wings super-prospect struck for 3 goals in a 5-3 win over the visiting IceHogs.

Grand Rapids scored two minutes into the game when Michael Leighton misjudged a weak Kevin Porter backhander. The IceHogs tied the game 8:41 into the second frame when they took advantage of a terrible Griffins turnover in front of their own net and goalie Tom McCollum had no chance on a Mark McNeill one-timer from in tight.

Then the Pulkkinen show took center stage when he stored 3 minutes and 23 seconds apart later in the second to take a 2-goal lead heading into the third. Stephen Johns got the IceHogs back into the game with a snipe at 3:16 of the third period. Then Garret Ross tied the game when he tipped a Johns’ blast with 10:40 left in regulation.

But, the game was decided when the IceHogs allowed Pulkkinen to go the their net unchecked with under 3 minutes to go in a tied affair. Read more »


Crawford Blanks Wild, Blackhawks Lead Series 3-0

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks got a huge performance in net by Corey Crawford Tuesday night, allowing them to take a commanding lead in their Western Conference Semifinal with Minnesota. Crawford’s fourth career playoff shutout allowed a Patrick Kane power play tally to be the difference in a 1-0 Game 3 Chicago win. With the win, the Blackhawks go up 3-0 on the Wild in the best-of-seven series.

First Period-Corey Crawford was kept busy early as the Wild tried to capitalize on the vocal home crowd. Ninety seconds in, the Chicago goalie knocked away a laser from Ryan Suter and Niklas Hjalmarsson got in the way of Tomas Vanek’s rebound attempt. Crawford stopped four Minnesota shots in the first four minute as the ice was tilted toward his crease. Read more »


Hawks stars tame Wild to take a 2-0 series lead

By Brad Vandenberk

The Wild came into game 2 of this Central division final not having lost a back to back game since the All-star game in January. The Hawks were confident, even though they squandered a 3-0 lead in game 1, but still found a way to close it out. Jonathan Toews opens the scoring shorthanded, then it was Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp who did the rest. Kane scored 2 goals, one being an empty netter and Sharp restoring the 2 goal lead early in the third period.

Corey Crawford faced off against Devan Dubnyk who has been hot of late. Crawford literally stood on his head to keep the Wild off the score sheet until Matt Dumba found a way but it wasn’t enough. Kris Versteeg remained out of the line up with a lower body injury creating a spot for Teuvo Teravainen who played great and has a bright future. Read more »


Blackhawks Take Game 1 From Minny 4-3, Teuvo Pots Game-Winner

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.


Hawks finish Preds in a dramatic Game 6

By Michael Calvert

The Blackhawks closed out Nashville in another dramatic, come-from-behind whirlwind night at United Center on Saturday.

Duncan Keith scored with 3:48 to play in regulation to complete the Hawks’ Game 6 comeback. Keith’s tally was his second of the series and gave the home team a 4-3 lead that would stand as the final score.

A wild opening 11 minutes of the game saw the Predators gain 2-0 and 3-1 leads on the backs of two James Neal goals, and another from Matt Cullen that got Scott Darling pulled from the net in favor of Corey Crawford.

Darling was the Game 6 starter as he’s managed to keep the net since Game 3 and the Hawks went in with what has become a pretty consistent line arrangement.

The Blackhawks tightened up in front of Crawford as he needed to make just 13 saves in 49 minutes the rest of the way. That opposed to Darling, who saw 12 shots in 11:16 of play. Read more »


Preds Narrow Series Gap in 5-2 Win in Nashville

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks had a chance to close out their Western Conference quarterfinal in Nashville Thursday night. Thanks to a hat trick by Filip Forsberg and a trio of Predator goals early in the third period, that didn’t happen.

Nashville broke open a tight affair and cruised to a 5-2 victory over Chicago. The Hawks still own a 3-2 series advantage but the Preds showed they have the resolve to extend the series to at least six games.

First Period-Patrick Sharp was the recipient of an ill-advised hit by Ryan Ellis, who was sent to the box for tripping 3:06 into the game. The Hawks had a few chances early in the power play, but Nashville wound up with possession for most of the second minute of the penalty. Read more »


Hawks take 2-1 series lead over Weber-less Preds

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks came back to the United Center Sunday afternoon and took a 2-1 series lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal with the Nashville Predators. Three second period tallies and a stronger defensive effort paved the way for a 4-2 Blackhawks triumph.

First Period-Nashville went to the power play in the opening minute when Kimmo Timonen held the stick of Taylor Beck. Marian Hossa led a shorthanded charge that was stopped by Predators goalie Pekka Rinne. The Blackhawks killed the penalty fairly easily.

Nashville’s first shot came off the stick of Beck in the fifth minute but the attempt was covered by Hawks goalie Scott Darling. The action was back and forth and the pace was brisk to say the least. Read more »


Be My Darling Please: Clobbered in Smashville

By Michael Calvert

I hadn’t intended to write an anti- Crow story as I consider myself a Crawford fan, but there’s not enough time for him to “figure it out.”

Whatever IT is, Crow doesn’t have it now. He’s been so bad in fact that if given the Preds were to be held to only 10 shots in a game the Hawks would need to score 3 to win. Read more »


Darling’s 42 saves in relief carry rallying Hawks to 4-3 win in double-OT of Game 1

By Chris Block

Opening night of the 2015 playoffs in Nashville had everything you might ask for an NHL postseason game: Double overtime, the return of a mega star, huge momentum shifts, trading scoring chances in end-to-end sequences, a dramatic game-winning goal, a blown 3-0 lead, a goalie yanking, an incredible goaltending performance, bad ice, dramatic scoring chances as a result of bad ice, bad penalty calls, bad non-penalty calls, heroes, goats and finally – one now huge goaltending controversy.

And that was just Game One.

The return of Patrick Kane just seven weeks after surgery to repair a broken left collarbone suffered on February 24 against the Florida Panthers was the big story coming into Wednesday’s playoff opener. Kane wasn’t in top form, but 75 percent or so was enough to make a big difference.

But the story coming out of the Hawks come-from-behind 4-3, double overtime victory in Game 1 is who will be the starter in Game 2.

Corey Crawford was victimized for 3 first period goals. The middle of those three was result of a Crawford turnover behind his net, but that was in part due to some bad luck in that the momentum of the puck as it approached the trapezoid slowed down as Crawford waited to play it. Read more »