By Brad Gardner
The Blackhawks spent a majority of the first period in the offensive zone. Viktor Stalberg accounted for four of the Blackhawks’ 15 shots in the opening frame. He also missed the net four times, including an excellent set-up by Andrew Brunette coming out from behind the net.
Tampa was not without their chances in the first – the Lightning kept pace in terms of shots for much of the first half of the period. Ray Emery was strong on his post against a couple stuff attempts from Ryan Malone and he came up with a big save against Steven Stamkos on a breakaway as well. The second half of the period was all-Hawks as Tampa Bay did not register a shot over the final eight minutes of the period.
The scoreless first gave way to a couple quick strikes to start the second period. Stamkos notched his seventh goal of the season just 15 seconds into the middle frame, cashing in on a rebound from Emery after a shot from Marc-Andre Bergeron.
Patrick Sharp tied it less than a minute later, scoring the Hawks’ first power play goal since October, 22nd against Colorado. Jonathan Toews saucered a backhand pass across the crease to Sharp, who buried the puck in the wide open net. Chicago controlled the puck in the offensive zone for the full half minute that they spent on the power play, helped in part by Brent Seabrook making a nice play to keep the puck in the zone at the blue line. Continue reading »