It took 73 minutes and eight seconds, but the Chicago Blackhawks prevailed 2-1 in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal matchup with the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks third line came up large in setting up Bryan Bickell’s game winner that gives Chicago a 1-0 lead in the series.
The Wild was set on their heels in the warm-up, with starting goalie Niklas Backstrom suffering a lower body injury. Josh Harding got the call to face Chicago after missing much of the regular season.
Despite facing a goalie that had just five appearances all season, Chicago did not put much in the way of pressure on Harding in the opening minutes. The first real scoring chance came when Jason Zucker came up the left side and took the puck hard to the net. Read more »
PuckChatter~Radio returned Monday night to preview the start of the NHL postseason, more specifically the first round playoff series pitting the 1st-place seed, and President’s Trophy winning Chicago Blackhawks, and the 8th-seeded Minnesota Wild.
Al Cimaglia of MyFoxChicago.com and Sirius/XM Radio’s NHL Home Ice channel joined me to give his take on the series, the Blackhawks season and the long playoff road ahead.
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Join us again next week, Tuesday May 7th at a special time of 4pm central time when the Voice of the Rockford IceHogs, Mike Peck, returns to the show to review the IceHogs’ 42-win season that was just not enough to earn that team a berth into the AHL’s postseason.
It was a new look Chicago Blackhawks squad that came out in St. Louis Saturday night and dropped a 3-1 decision to the Blues. With most of the Blackhawks stars resting comfortably in Chicago, the lineup was filled with recent call ups from Rockford.
Three prospects made their NHL debut, including starting goalie Carter Hutton. Defensemen Ryan Stanton and Shawn Lalonde were also seeing their first action in Chicago. Recent IceHogs Jeremy Morin, Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes and Ben Smith were also on the ice.
The Blues drew first blood in the fifth minute on a delayed penalty on Michal Roszival. With the extra attacker, Andy McDonald sent a shot to the net.Hutton made a nice kick save, but Patrik Berglund was there to convert the rebound at the 4:33 mark of the opening period. Read more »
The Blackhawks completed the season sweep of the Calgary Flames on Friday night with a 3-1 win at the United Center. First period goals from Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews proved to be enough for the home team, which had little to play for having clinched home ice advantage throughout the playoffs with their win on Wednesday.
Corey Crawford bounced back with a win in net after going 0-1-1 in his previous two starts. Crawford played over 46 minutes in Wednesday’s game in Edmonton, stopping all 14 shots that he faced, but that decision went to the game’s starter, Ray Emery, who left in the first period with a lower-body injury.
Back at home on Friday, Chicago iced a lineup that is likely very close to the one that will be deployed when the playoffs begin next week. Dave Bolland remained out of the lineup due to a groin injury and Niklas Hjalmarsson was also scratched, but otherwise the regulars were utilized normally. Read more »
The Blackhawks miracle regular season finishes this Saturday night in St Louis. But first, they have to complete their western Canadian road trip with a stop in Edmonton to face the Oilers.
Now, we all remember it was back on February 25th when the Oilers that took the Hawks to overtime and the Hawks finishing on top 3-2 with a great move by Marian Hossa. The second match against the troublesome Oilers saw the Hawks surrender 4 goals in the first period on route to a 6-5 defeat on March 10th.
Tonight’s game was the rubber match. The only thing the Oilers were playing for is pride as the Hawks can clinch the President’s trophy with 2 points. Read more »
The Chicago Blackhawks were throttled early in Vancouver and the Canucks did not let their foot of the gas pedal, taking a 3-1 victory over the top team in the Western Conference. Daniel Sedin assisted on the eventual game-winner and scored a goal of his own late in the second period.
Cory Schneider got the win for the Canucks by stopping 24 of the 25 shots he faced. Corey Crawford faced a far greater number of quality chances and came away with 29 saves in the loss.
Although the Blackhawks came into Monday’s games with a chance to clinch the President’s Trophy, the Pittsburgh Penguins came away with a 3-1 victory in Ottawa, keeping the President’s Trophy out of the Blackhawks’ reach on Monday. With three games left to play for each team, Chicago still holds a three-point lead over Pittsburgh for the league’s best record. Read more »
We touched a lot of bases. You’ll need to listen for yourself, but we discussed the Rockford IceHogs season, another non-playoff appearance, where it all went wrong and where many of those players go from here.
Also, we talked the Blackhawks and their playoff preparations, Corey Crawford, Edzo, Craig MacTavish, a marriage proposal, Fork visits the set of Dancing With the Stars, Marty Turco, Kory Kucur (yes, Kory Kocur), Brandon Bollig, the upcoming draft, the Iowa Wild, Tony Hrkac, Brian Noonan and other odd nuggets.
The boards remained intact at the United Center as the Blackhawks played at home once again this weekend, finishing up a back to back, with the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.
On Friday night, they outlasted the Predators in overtime completing their season series. This game really didn’t mean a lot, but the Hawks obtained another two points toward gaining the President’s trophy.
The Coyotes came in looking to help gain some momentum for a late playoff push. Patrick Sharp remained out for this contest with an upper body injury. Ray Emery was unable to back up with recently called up Carter Hutton sporting the baseball cap. Read more »
The Chicago Blackhawks were able to withstand a rare offensive explosion from the Nashville Predators Friday night. In front of a full house that helped the team celebrate broadcaster Pat Foley’s 30 years with the organization, the ‘Hawks got an overtime game-winner from the stick of Marian Hossa to best Nashville 5-4.
Chicago won its eighth straight game and also swept the Predators in the season series as five different Blackhawks got the puck past Pekke Rinne. Duncan Keith had a three-point evening and opened up the scoring in the fifth minute of action. Read more »
The Chicago Blackhawks swept the season series from the Dallas Stars Monday night at the United Center. Dallas came in the winners of five consecutive contests but was no match for a Blackhawks squad that parlayed a big third period into a 5-2 victory.
The win is Chicago’s sixth in a row and puts them one win from locking up home ice in the Western Conference. Three points from Marian Hossa and an active night by the third line, led by Andrew Shaw, paced the Blackhawks effort.
Brandon Saad took a nice feed from Jonathan Toews in the first minute of action. However, he could not settle the puck and the attempt was off the mark. The Hawks settled into the Dallas zone for much of the opening minutes. Read more »