Monday, January 10, 2011

Crawford Posts 1st Shutout Since 2008 As Hawks Go On To Win 5-0

New York Islanders vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Final Score: 5-0 Hawks
Scoring Summary
1st Period
 4:52-CHI-PPG-Patrick Sharp [25] (Patrick Kane [20], Brent Seabrook [20])
2nd Period
2:10-CHI-Marian Hossa [10] (Tomas Kopecky [19], Sharp [19])
7:19-CHI-Patrick Kane [13] (Jonathan Toews [20], Niklas Hjalmarsson [4])
16:24-CHI-Dave Bolland [6] (Hossa [14], Bryan Bickell [13])
19:04-CHI-Niklas Hjalmarsson [2] (Hossa [15], Brian Campbell [13])
3rd Period

With the Western Conference standings as tight as they are, this weekend was a huge opportunity to grab a much needed 4 points for the Blackhawks. Already grabbing two in a 3-2 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators, they were ready to take on the New York Islanders and earn the other two.

On their second early power play of the game, the Hawks took a 1-0 lead on Patrick Sharp's team leading 25th goal of the year.
Due to more great puck possession by Marian Hossa, he gave the puck to Brent Seabrook manning the blue line. Seabrook found Patrick Kane down in the right circle and Kane found Sharp down low in the left circle. Sharp fired one on net and it got past Isles goalie Nathan Lawson. It was his 10th on the power play.

The Isles had a good chance to tie the game with just under 8:30 left in the first when Rob Schremp forced a Brian Campbell turnover in behind the Hawks' net. From the bottom of the left circle, he backhanded a pass over to Blake Comeau in the slot. Corey Crawford was ready though and he stopped him point blank. 

About a minute later, they had another chance to tie it. As the Isles were exiting their zone, Michael Grabner tipped the puck out and it went in between the legs of Hawks rookie defenseman Nick Leddy and Grabner managed to get around him at center ice. Grabner entered the Hawks' zone on a breakaway and he pulled to his backhand out in front. Crawford was able to stop him with his glove.

2:10 into the second, Marian Hossa registered his 10th goal of the season to give the Hawks a two goal lead.
From under the goal line to Lawson's left, Tomas Kopecky found Hossa in the right circle and he let his wicked wrister go and it beat Lawson high blocker side.

5 minutes and 9 seconds later, the Hawks struck again. This time, it was Kane lighting the lamp. 
He entered the offensive zone and from the right halfwall, dished it over to Jonathan Toews in the high slot. Toews walked in to the top of the circles and then found Kane in the right circle, ready to shoot. Kane one-timed it right over Lawson's glove.

Leddy showed a lot of poise and smarts throughout most of the game, and it allowed him to have a good opportunity to get his second career goal. Him and Sharp played a little give'n'go at the left point, each holding on to the puck beautifully, before Leddy wound up for a slapper. Lawson saw it coming and made the glove save, but if there happened to be a little traffic in front, anything might have happened.

The Hawks did get their four goal lead though.
Hossa was at work again with just over 3:30 remaining in the second as he set up Dave Bolland in the left circle from behind the net. Bolland easily was able to one-time it and it found its way in, top shelf.

With just under a minute remaining in the period, an unlikely source made it a 5 goal lead. 
Niklas Hjalmarsson bombed one from the top of the circles and, with a screen in front from Kopecky, it clanked off of the crossbar and in for his second goal of the year. Hossa added his second assist and third point of the game on that one.

Crawford made 14 more saves in the third, including one where he stoned Josh Bailey with his left pad as Bailey was right on the doorstep, to hang on for his first shutout since March 5, 2008, which was his first career NHL win.

"It definitely feels good," Hossa told afterwards. "I thought tonight we were dominating from the beginning to the end and everybody chipped in. We jumped on them right away.
"Lately the starts weren't good enough. [...] We haven't played this type of game for a long time. We [didn't] have to worry about the score. We were dominating right from the beginning and I think we can build on this win." 

"It's been two solid games for us," Toews added. "We know we can play much better than that, but when you get two points, at the end of the day, it gives you confidence that you just need to keep building on that and things will go your way.
"We'll keep doing that and we got a couple days before our next one, so, those are big games for us, especially at home."

Said Crawford: "We played like it was a tight game throughout the whole sixty minutes."


•The Hawks honored the 1961 Stanley Cup winning team last night. In April, it will be the 50th anniversary of that win. Players from that team appeared on a red carpet at center ice in a pregame ceremony; it included the likes of Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Glenn Hall, Pierre Pilote, and many others.
"We have a lot of ceremonies here in Chicago, it's always nice to see them," Patrick Sharp said. "It's pretty cool to see the old players or to see celebrities or whatever's going on. Obviously, when you get members from a Stanley Cup team from so long ago, it's pretty neat to see, so we wanted to make sure we had a good effort tonight."
•Captain Jonathan Toews talked about how Patrick Sharp should make the All-Star Game in Raleigh, North Carolina, after the game: "I gotta admit, I'm almost embarrassed that I get picked  before him with the whole voting thing. Obviously, you have the fans to thank for that. But, there's no one more deserving than him, especially considering the season he's having now. I think if they're smart, there's no way they should have an All-Star Game without a guy like Patrick Sharp."
•The Hawks outshot the Islanders 45-29.
-The Hawks only went to the sin bin once, and they successfully killed it off. The Hawks went 1-4 on their power play opportunities.
•The three stars of the game were:
1. Corey Crawford
2. Marian Hossa
3. Niklas Hjalmarsson
•The Hawks' centermen's faceoff percentages were:
-Jonathan Toews: 62.5%
-Dave Bolland: 50%
-Patrick Sharp: 46.2%
-Jake Dowell: 42.9%
Jonathan Toews led the way in shots on goal with 6.
-Patrick Kane and Jake Dowell had 5.
-Marian Hossa had 4.
Tomas Kopecky and Jonathan Toews had 3 takeaways.
Brent Seabrook had 3 hits.
Brian Campbell took 24 shifts while Duncan Keith led the Hawks in ice time [23:48].
Duncan Keith blocked three shots
Patrick Sharp is 3rd in the NHL with 25 goals. He's also 3rd in power play goals [10]. He's 5th with two shorthanded goals. He's tied for first with 6 game winning goals and he's 3rd in shots on goal with 177.
-Jonathan Toews is tied for 10th with 7 power play goals.
-Brian Campbell is 7th in +/- with a rating of +19.
•The Hawks' next game is Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet. The Hawks are at home as they are taking on the Colorado Avalanche in the final game of the season series.

Postgame Interviews

Patrick Sharp celebrates his goal with the bench.

Patrick Kane celebrates his second period goal with Troy Brouwer.

Niklas Hjalmarsson celebrates his goal with Marian Hossa and Brian Campbell.