Category Archives: Stanley Cup Playoffs

Hawks take 2-0 series lead; Chase Quick in route to 4-2 victory at United Center

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks responded on a rare playoff back-to-back, taking a 2-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals with a 4-2 victory. The Blackhawks drove Jonathan Quick from the Kings’ crease in the second period, hitting the game’s first four goals and outskating their opposition for the second night in a row.

The Blackhawks came out firing when the game began and turned a nice play by the third line into the game’s first goal. Brandon Saad held the puck in the Kings’ zone along the boards and made a pass to Viktor Stalberg. Stalberg made a pretty backhanded pass to a streaking Andrew Shaw, who beat Jonathan Quick for the goal just 1:56 into the game. Read more »

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Hawks get two by Quick, take 1-0 series lead on LA

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks opened the Western Conference finals Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. A pair of second period goals by Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa provided the offense to give Chicago a 1-0 series lead.

The Blackhawks came out on the offensive, generating the first five shots of the contest. In fact, Chicago would outshoot the Kings 17-2 in the opening period. However, the only one of those shots that mattered came off the stick of Justin Williams.

Corey Crawford attempted to send a loose puck behind the boards with just under six minutes to play in the first period. Brad Richardson prevented this from happening and the puck floated to the front of the net. Dave Bolland tried to clear the crease but the puck struck Williams’ stick and into the net. Despite the lack of scoring chances, Los Angeles skated to the locker room with a 1-0 lead. Read more »

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Blackhawks force Game 7 Wednesday at the UC, drop Red Wings with 3 third period goals Monday at the Joe

By Brad Vadenberk

Saturday night at the UC showed how a resilient Hawks team can play and dominate a hockey game if they seem so fit to do so.  The word elimination is still lingering around as the Hawks travelled back to Joe Louis Arena to continue this series and look to force a game 7 back at the UC on Wednesday night.

Jonathan Toews finally got his first 2013 playoff goal.  He scored it in fashion, ripping a shot from the side of the net off Jimmy Howard.  The captain’s roar was so loud even the hockey Gods heard it.

You can tell the Hawks were playing with urgency.  During both power play goals the puck was moving around the ice with speed and crisp passing.  This was something that was missing in earlier games.  Read more »

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Jimmy Howard Shuts Out Chicago 2-0, Blackhawks Down 3-1 in Western Semis

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks are officially on the brink of elimination following a Game 4 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit takes a 3-1 series lead after beating the Blackhawks 2-0 Thursday night.

Jimmy Howard won a goalie duel with Corey Crawford, stopping all 28 shots Chicago threw at him. The Red Wings got a Jakub Kindl power-play tally that stood up as the game winner.

Coach Joel Quenneville had his random line generator on full power, sending out a myriad of combinations to try and strike upon a favorable matchup. Jonathan Toews had a 2-on-1 opportunity in the opening minutes via a hard-won board battle by Bryan Bickell. Toews came up the left side and had a clean shot on Howard only to see him handle the attempt. Read more »

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Howard, Red Wings stand tall, Take 2-1 series lead; Game 3 clouded over questions on officiating

By Brad Gardner

The second round playoff series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, tied at one game apiece, shifted to Joe Louis Arena for Game 3 on Monday night. Even though the Blackhawks offense opened up to the tune of 40 shots, doubling their total from Game 2, Jimmy Howard stood tall in net for the Red Wings and carried his team to a 3-1 victory.

Quick strikes from bottom-six forwards Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller in the second period put the Blackhawks in a hole from which they would not get out. Patrick Kane scored for the second consecutive game, but Howard came up with the save on the rest of Chicago’s 39 shots, including saves on 16 of the 17 shots he faced against the Hawks late push in the third period.

Viktor Stalberg suited up for the Blackhawks after being a healthy scratch for the first two games of the series. It looked like his night might end early when on his first shift the game, Jakub Kindl ducked a check, sending Stalberg head first into the boards. He was slow to get up but eventually skated off under his own power. After a few minutes in the locker room, Stalberg returned to the bench. Read more »

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Detroit draws even: Disjointed Blackhawks effort leads to 4-1 Red Wings victory in Game 2

By Brad Gardner

Three days after the Chicago Blackhawks took a 4-1 victory in Game 1 of their second round playoff series against rival Detroit, the Red Wings responded in kind with a 4-1 win of their own to even the series. Henrik Zetterberg assisted on two goals for Detroit as the visitors handed the ‘Hawks their first home loss of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Red Wings’ tight-checking game didn’t give the Blackhawks nearly as much room to operate as they had in the latter stages of the first game. The puck possession time favored Detroit, and even when the Hawks were able to get a shot on goal, they did not challenge Jimmy Howard too much. The Red Wings goalie made 19 saves on only 20 shots, the lowest total for the Blackhawks in the playoffs.

Corey Crawford made 26 saves on 30 shots and did not look as sharp as the Blackhawks had come to expect of him in the playoffs. Read more »

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Hossa strikes twice; Hawks advance, Eliminate Wild

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Corey Crawford put on a show early for the United Center crowd, before the offense kicked into gear and put the Wild in the rear view.

Marian Hossa scored twice and Jonathan Toews, scoreless in the first four games of the series, got on the score sheet with two assists. The Hawks out-shot the Wild 33-22 in the game, but Crawford had a handful of huge stops in those 21 saves.

The visitors had more than a few good looks in the opening period, but the play of Crawford kept them off the board. The stingy Hawks defense from game four was not immediately noticeable, but Crawford could do no wrong; his worst rebounds wound up being his best saves, turning away initial chances from the likes of Jason Pominville and Devin Setoguchi only to make better saves on the subsequent looks from Mikko Koivu and Matt Cullen. Read more »

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Crawford shuts out Wild to give Hawks 3-1 series lead

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks delivered a response to a physical Minnesota Wild team Tuesday night, sucking the energy out of the Xcel Energy Center with a 3-0 win. Corey Crawford slammed the door on the Wild as he handled all 25 shots he saw on the night.

Chicago takes a 3-1 series lead in its Western Conference quarterfinal and was paced by another pair of goals by Patrick Sharp. The penalty kill came up large in denying the Wild six times throughout the evening. Read more »

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Minnesota gets one; Zucker beats Crawford in OT – Blackhawks hold 2-1 series advantage

By Brad Vandenberk

As the scene shifted to St. Paul, Minnesota on Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks thus far had held the  8th seed Minnesota Wild in check.  Game one turned out to be a bit of a feeling out process.  Both teams knew what was required to win this series.  Bryan Bickell decided to produce at the perfect time, sliding the overtime winner under Josh Harding.  Game two showed us that when the Hawks want to play… well, 5 -2 was the result.  Patrick Sharp, finally got the monkey off is back, sniping two goals.  Patrick Kane was mesmerising causing the Wild to chance him around the ice all night.  Michael Frolik, playing his normal 4th line minutes, chipped in with a nice shorthanded goal, his 2nd g note of the night.

Game three was the Wilds first playoff home game since 2008.  The Hawks were 18-4-2 on the road during the regular season.  Dave Bolland and Ray Emery skated this week but remained out of the line up.  Dan Carcillo, Jamal Mayers and Sheldon Brookbank were out as well.  Read more »

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Hawks take 2-0 lead in series heading to Minnesota; Magic Frolik Returns

By Brad Gardner

The Chicago Blackhawks took a 2-0 series lead over the eighth seeded Minnesota Wild with a win at home on Friday night. After jumping out to a two-goal lead in the second period, the Blackhawks eventually held on to win by a final score of 5-2.

It was a rematch in net between Corey Crawford and Josh Harding after each goaltender turned in a strong performance in Game 1 of the series. Neither disappointed on Friday, even though it was a higher-scoring affair. Crawford got the win in Game 2 with 26 saves, while Harding managed 43 saves on 47 shots in the loss.

Michael Frolik and Patrick Sharp registered two goals apiece as the Blackhawks carried play for a majority of the game. Despite a substantial lead in the shot column for the home team, the visitors remained in it for much of the game, trailing only by one goal heading into the third period. Read more »

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