By Brad Gardner
Phoenix closed out their first round series win over the Chicago Blackhawks in front of a 39-save shutout by Coyotes’ goaltender Mike Smith. The ‘Hawks out-shot the visiting Coyotes 39-20 in the game but fell by a final score of 4-0. Rookie defender Oliver Ekman-Larsson opened the scoring in the second and assisted on another goal to help Phoenix pull away with three third period goals.
The Blackhawks dominated play in the opening period but came up empty on the scoreboard. They out-shot Phoenix 16-2 in the opening 20 minutes, winning foot races and board battles with consistency. Andrew Shaw, back in the line-up after serving a three-game suspension, had one of the best chances of the period by driving to the net and redirecting a pinpoint saucer pass from Patrick Kane.
Despite the one-sided opening frame, the teams dropped the puck for the second period scoreless. The ‘Hawks again carried play with prime scoring opportunities by Jonathan Toews on a strong drive to the net, Brendan Morrison with a weak one-time opportunity, and Niklas Hjalmarsson sending a heavy blast that Smith had trouble controlling. The Coyotes’ goaltender managed to snuff out each chance and soak up the rebounds. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Brad Gardner, Game recap, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Tagged Andrew Shaw, Antoine Vermette, Corey Crawford, Daymond Langkow, Gilbert Brule, Jimmy Hayes, Jonathan Toews, Keith Yandle, Kyle Chipchura, Marian Hossa, Mike Smith, Mikkel Boedker, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Patrick Kane, Rostislav Klesla, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Tim Sassone
By Brad Vandenberk
All the traditional jerseys were worn and all the superstitions acted upon as the Chicago Blackhawks tried to stave off elimination in the 2012 NHL playoffs. Captain Jonathan Toews took his team aside after the morning skate on Saturday with no coaches involved. The message was quite clear, they needed the win from this road game and needed the stars to pick up their game and get a win, preferably in regulation.
The last four games have gone to overtime with Mikkel Boedker winning the last 2 in Chicago with two weak goals getting by Corey Crawford. Whispers were in the air of veteran Ray Emery possibly getting the start for game five. Coach Q made the announcement that they were sticking with Crawford. Mike Smith was automatically in for the Coyotes.
Earlier in the afternoon it was decided that Raffi Torres would sit in a suit for 25 games. He was suspended for his hit on Marian Hossa during the first period in Game 3. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Game recap, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Tagged Blackhawks, Brandon Saad, Corey Crawford, Coyotes, Gilbert Brule, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik, Mike Smith, Nick Leddy, Phoenix, Raffi Torres, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Suspension, Viktor Stalberg
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
Posted in Brad Gardner, Game recap
Tagged Boyd Gordon, Brendan Morrison, Dylan Olsen, Gilbert Brule, Kyle Chipchura, Lauri Korpikoski, Michael Frolik, Mike Smith, Radim Vrbata, Ray Emery, Ray Whitney