Chicago Blackhawks: Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 7, Oilers 1

November, 22, 2014
Nov 22
11:41
PM CT
By Michael Arcuri
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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EDMONTON, Alberta -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 7-1 thrashing of the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday at Rexall Place.

How it happened: Complete and utter domination. The Blackhawks scored early and often against the Oilers. They put their first two shots on Ben Scrivens in the back of the net. Marian Hossa scored his first goal in 10 games and showed great patience at the side of the net to lift the puck past Scrivens. The top line, in general, was clicking -- Jonathan Toews scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season, and Brandon Saad added two assists. On the other side of the ice, Corey Crawford stopped 24 of 25 shots for his ninth win. Crawford was the surprise starter after Antti Raanta was scratched due to an “illness" at the last minute. Edmonton also saw a goaltender change, but for an entirely different reason. Scrivens was pulled in favor of Viktor Fasth early in the second after he allowed five goals on 13 shots. David Perron ruined Crawford’s shutout bid at the 8:04 mark of the third period, when he tipped a Justin Schultz point shot just past the goaltender's glove.

What it means: The win gives Chicago its first three-game win streak of the season. The loss extended Edmonton’s season-long Western Conference losing skid to 11 games (0-10-1). Patrick Kane scored the Blackhawks' seventh goal of the game on a feed from Kris Versteeg to extend his own four-game goal-scoring streak. Crawford also made his 10th consecutive start between the pipes.

Player of the game: Hossa. The forward finished the game with a team-high four-points and was a steady presence throughout the night on Chicago’s power play.

Stat of the game: Journeyman forward Dan Carcillo played in his 400th career NHL game. The pest has accumulated 46 goals and a whopping 1,183 penalty minutes for five teams in his nine-year career.

What’s next: The Blackhawks complete their western Canadian swing Sunday night against the Vancouver Canucks. It will be the third game of the team’s six-game circus road trip. Chicago doesn’t return home until Dec. 3 against the St. Louis Blues.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 4, Flames 3

November, 20, 2014
Nov 20
10:44
PM CT
By Ryan Dittrick
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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CALGARY, Alberta – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

How it happened: The Flames -- as they’ve been known to do this season, surprising many as one of the league’s hottest and most consistent teams -- didn’t quit, but the Hawks were one better. Adam Clendening scored his first NHL goal with a power-play marker at the four-minute mark of the opening period, and Daniel Carcillo extended the margin with a wiry shot off the rush, beating Jonas Hiller off the far-side post, but the two-goal lead didn’t last. In arrears to the tune of an 8-0 count in shots, Calgary countered with a spirited stretch, netting back-to-back power-play goals in a 52-second span (Paul Byron and Dennis Wideman). The teams traded goals in the middle frame -- Brent Seabrook for the Hawks and Sean Monahan for the Flames -- before Patrick Kane delivered the dagger, capitalizing on a Flames turnover and beating Hiller through the wickets with 10:47 to play in the third period.

What it means: With the victory, the Blackhawks improve to .500 on the road this season (4-4-0) and are now 11-7-1 overall (23 points), putting them back in a Central Division playoff spot.

Player of the game: Kris Versteeg continues to roll for the Blackhawks. The 28-year-old quietly registered a pair of assists in 14:18 of ice time. Versteeg has now recorded five points in his past two games on a line with Brad Richards and Kane. Honorable mention to Clendening who, nine hours earlier, said he was “shocked” to be getting second-unit power-play time in his NHL debut. Just four minutes into the game, the rookie realized a dream 16 years in the making, scoring his first NHL goal on his very first shot, 1:56 into the Hawks’ first advantage of the evening. Clendening played 10:41 and was a plus-2 on the night.

Stat of the game: The Flames came into the night as the league’s best team in the third period, scoring 27 goals and only allowing 12 in 20 games -- including a 6-0 mark in goals for and against when the teams are tied. Kane's winner bucked that trend.

What’s next: The Blackhawks’ six-game road trip (longest of the season) continues with a back-to-back set Saturday and Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, respectively. The Hawks will then head to Denver to take on the struggling Avalanche on Wednesday before wrapping up their annual circus trip with another back-to-back set against the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 28-29 in Southern California.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 6, Stars 2

November, 16, 2014
Nov 16
8:51
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 6-2 victory over the Dallas Stars at the United Center on Sunday:

How it happened: The Blackhawks broke a 2-2 game wide open in the third period. Patrick Kane snapped the tie with a goal at 4 minutes, 49 seconds of the period. Jonathan Toews added to the lead with a goal at 12:34. Kris Versteeg scored again for Chicago at 14:19 before Brandon Saad netted the final tally at 15:29. Both teams scored two goals in the first period, with Dallas' coming just 39 seconds apart. Curtis McKenzie accounted for the first at 4:49 and Shawn Horcoff scored the second at 5:28. The Blackhawks’ two first-period goals came from Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Kane set up both on his way to a three-point evening. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 22 saves on 24 shots. Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 41 of 47 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks won’t be returning to the United Center until early December, and Sunday's result was exactly what they were looking for before hitting the road. The Blackhawks improved to 10-7-1 overall and 7-3-1 at home on the season. The Stars have dropped nine of their past 11 games and fell to 6-8-4. Blackhawks forward Brad Richards played in his 1,000th career game and had two assists. Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk suffered a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return.

Player of the game: Kane’s play has picked up recently. He has three goals and three assists in the past six games.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks scored four goals on 23 shots on net in the third period.

What’s next: The Blackhawks begin their annual circus trip Thursday at Calgary and will be on the road for six consecutive games before hosting St. Louis on Dec. 3.

Rapid Reaction: Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 1

November, 14, 2014
Nov 14
9:12
PM CT
By Chuck Pleiness
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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DETROIT -- Here’s a quick look at Chicago Blackhawks' 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.

How it happened: The Wings got a pair of goals -- from Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar -- just 70 seconds apart early in the second period to grab a two-goal lead, and they never looked back.

A turnover by Patrick Kane in the Blackhawks’ zone led to Franzen’s goal. The Wings forward backhanded a shot over Corey Crawford before he was able to poke the puck away.

Brendan Smith added an empty-net goal for Detroit.

The teams exchanged first-period goals. Chicago’s came from Kane on the power play to even the score at 1-1. The Blackhawks were 1-for-3 with the man advantage in the first 20 minutes.

What it means: The Blackhawks failed once again to put together a three-game winning streak. They’ve had three two-game win streaks so far this season. The loss drops Chicago to 9-7-1, while Detroit improves to 8-3-5. Chicago also gave up a season-high 37 shots on goal. The Wings won for just the second time in regulation in their past six games. During that stretch they have an overtime defeat and shootout loss.

Player of the game: If it hadn’t been for Crawford, the Wings could have put an end to this game after 40 minutes. The Blackhawks netminder made 33 saves, eclipsing his previous season high by one. Both of the 32-save outings, however, came in Chicago victories. Crawford is now 12-3-3 all-time against Detroit.

Specialty unit of the game: Chicago’s penalty killers blunted all three of the Wings’ power-play chances Friday, keeping that unit at the top of the league. The Blackhawks have given up just four goals on 51 chances (.922-percent kill rate). Better yet, the unit didn’t give up a short-handed goal. Chicago has given up a league-high four short-handed goals already. Detroit had scored two power-play goals in each of its previous three games, going 6-for-13 with the man advantage during that span.

Stat of the game: Kris Versteeg did not see another shift in the first period after his turnover led to the Wings’ first goal. Versteeg sent a pass in the slot, tape-to-tape, to Detroit's Drew Miller, and Luke Glendening backhanded home the rebound six minutes in. Versteeg's next shift came to begin the second period.

What’s next: The Blackhawks are back at home Sunday when they host the Dallas Stars. After that game, Chicago embarks on a six-game road trip that won't see the Hawks back at the United Center until Dec. 3.

Rapid Reaction: Hawks 3, Lightning 2 (SO)

November, 11, 2014
Nov 11
10:43
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-2 shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday at the United Center:

How it happened: Patrick Kane scored the lone shootout goal, and goaltender Corey Crawford stopped all three of the Lightning's shots for the win. The Lightning tied the score at 2-2 when Nikita Kucherov one-timed a shot from Steven Stamkos at 9:53 of the third period. The Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead earlier in the period, when Marcus Kruger redirected a shot by Niklas Hjalmarsson at 1:18. The Lightning scored the game's first goal when they capitalized on a Blackhawks mistake on a power play and turned it into a short-handed goal by Cedric Paquette at 4:35 of the first. The Blackhawks tied the score when Brad Richards followed up his own shot and scored at 9:13 of the second period. Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop was difficult to beat all game and stopped 37 of 39 shots. Crawford made 25 saves.

What it means: The Blackhawks won consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 18 and 21. Those were their fourth and fifth games of the season. The Blackhawks improved to 9-6-1. The Lightning had their winning streak snapped at six games. The Blackhawks dominated possession against the Lightning and had a number of quality chances, but Bishop made some huge saves. The Blackhawks were 0-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Short-handed goals have been a problem for the Blackhawks this season. They have given up as many short-handed goals (four) as power-play goals through 16 games.

Player of the game: Crawford continued to hold opponents to two goals and was strong in the shootout again.

Stat of the game: Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith played a game-high 31:48 of ice time.

What's next: The Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings continue their rivalry with their lone regular-season meeting Friday in Detroit.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 5, Sharks 2

November, 9, 2014
Nov 9
9:19
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
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CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday at the United Center:
How it happened: The Blackhawks put themselves in a comfortable position by scoring the game’s first three goals. Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk tallied his first career NHL goal. That was followed by goals by defensemen Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson, which put the Blackhawks up 3-0 in the first period. Sharks forward Joe Pavelski trimmed that lead to one by scoring at the net in the first period and on a power play in the second period. The Sharks were pushing for the game-tying goal until Bryan Bickell scored with 4:42 remaining in the game to put the Hawks ahead 4-2. Jonathan Toews added an empty-net goal for the Blackhawks. Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi made 32 saves on 36 shots. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 32 of 34 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks snapped a three-game home losing streak. The Blackhawks looked like they were traveling down the same path as their latest game. They built a 2-0 lead on the Washington Capitals on Friday and lost 3-2 at home. The Blackhawks prevented that Sunday. They especially stepped up in the third period. The Blackhawks were due for the four even-strength goals they scored. They came into the game with a 5.0 shooting percentage in 5-on-5 situations. The Blackhawks improved to 8-6-1 on the season. The Sharks, who were coming off a win Saturday over the Dallas Stars, dropped to 8-6-2. Crawford held an opponent to two goals or fewer for the seventh time this season.

Player of the game: Van Riemsdyk scored his first career NHL goal and was also promoted to the Blackhawks’ top pairing with Duncan Keith.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks scored three goals within a 2:34 stretch of the first period.

What’s next: The Blackhawks continue their three-game home stand with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Capitals 3, Blackhawks 2

November, 7, 2014
Nov 7
10:15
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Washington Capitals' 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Friday:

How it happened: The Capitals changed the game quickly in the second period. The Blackhawks held a comfortable 2-0 lead through 1½ periods before the Capitals turned things around, scoring three goals during the final five minutes of the second period to grab a 3-2 advantage. The final two scores came 42 seconds apart in the final minute. Brandon Saad scored in the first period, and Duncan Keith added a power-play goal in the second to give the Blackhawks their lead. Andre Burakovsky, Marcus Johansson and Joel Ward accounted for the Washington goals. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 21 saves on 24 shots. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 38 of 40 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks couldn’t sustain their production or defense coming off a 5-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. The consistency just hasn’t been there for the Blackhawks, who fell to 7-6-1 in suffering their third consecutive home loss. Chicago was held to two goals or fewer for the 10th time this season. Crawford allowed more than two goals for just the second time in eight games. The Capitals snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 5-5-3.

Player of the game: Burakovsky had a goal, an assist and was a plus-2.

Stat of the game: The Capitals scored three goals on 12 shots on net in the second period.

What’s next: The Blackhawks remain at home to face the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, the second of three consecutive home games.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 5, Canadiens 0

November, 4, 2014
Nov 4
9:32
PM CT
By Kelsey Patterson
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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videoMONTREAL -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Tuesday:

How it happened: The Canadiens controlled the game early on, with a handful of quality scoring chances from Montreal’s top two lines in the first 10 minutes. But it was Hawks captain Jonathan Toews who broke the deadlock against the run of play. With Chicago on the power play, Toews redirected a Duncan Keith shot from the point for his fifth goal of the season and 200th of his career.

The Blackhawks continued to dictate play in the second, spending a vast majority of the period circling Carey Price’s crease. Fourth-liner Kris Versteeg was gifted a goal as his centering pass bobbled off Habs winger Rene Bourque and landed in the net.

Brad Richards padded Chicago’s lead in the final frame when he deflected a shot from Patrick Sharp over Price’s shoulder. Patrick Kane made it 4-0 for Chicago -- his first goal in nine games -- after connecting on a great feed from linemate Toews. Versteeg added his second of the game late in the third period.

Sharp left the game seven minutes into the third period with a lower-body injury after being hit along the boards by Alexei Emelin.

What it means: The Blackhawks have finally exorcized their Bell Centre demons, winning in Montreal for the first time in nearly 13 years. Chicago has now recorded at least one point in six consecutive games versus the Habs. With the win, the Hawks ended a two-game slump and are now 7-5-1. Chicago scored more than two goals for just the fourth time this season.

After an impressive 7-1 start to their season, the Canadiens have now fallen to 8-4-1 and have won just once in their past five games.

Player of the game: Corey Crawford, who continued his fine form by making 28 saves for his 11th career shutout.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks directed a whopping 36 shots toward Price’s net in a dominant second period (17 shots on net, 13 misses, 6 blocked).

What’s next: The Blackhawks return home to host the Washington Capitals at the United Center on Tuesday. Chicago is 4-2-1 at home this season.

Rapid Reaction: Jets 1, Blackhawks 0

November, 2, 2014
Nov 2
10:44
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Winnipeg Jets' 1-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Sunday:

How it happened: The Jets decided the game in the first 20 seconds. They got three shots on the Blackhawks' net in their opening possession, and Michael Frolik, a former Blackhawk, capitalized on the final one to put the Jets ahead 1-0. Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson allowed the lead to stand. He stopped all 33 of the Blackhawks shots. The Blackhawks continued to endure some bad luck as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp both hit goalposts on shots. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was making his second start in as many days and stopped 26-of-27 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks were shut out at home for the second consecutive game and haven't scored in seven consecutive periods at the United Center. They have lost five of their past seven games and are now 6-5-1. Their offense has been struggling for much of the season. They have been held to two goals or fewer in nine of their 12 games. Both teams were coming off a game on Saturday. The Jets improved to 6-5-1 and have won five of their past seven games.

Player of the game: Hutchinson recorded his first career shutout in only his fourth full NHL game.

Stat of the game: The Jets blocked 30 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks return to Canada and face the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. The Blackhawks are 2-3-0 on the road this season.

Rapid Reaction: Maple Leafs 3, Hawks 2

November, 1, 2014
Nov 1
8:55
PM CT
By Mark Polishuk
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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TORONTO -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre:

How it happened: After Nazem Kadri gave the Leafs the lead late in the first period, the Blackhawks both equalized and took the lead on power-play goals. First it was Brad Richards scoring his first goal as a Blackhawk by firing in a shot from the point to tie things up before the end of the opening frame. Just more than four minutes into the second, Brent Seabrook fired a hard shot from just inside the blue line that found its way into the net. It was an improved special-teams showing for the Blackhawks, who entered the game having scored just twice in their previous 13 power-play opportunities.

Unfortunately for Chicago, the lead lasted barely a minute. Johnny Oduya made a poor giveaway in his own end to Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk, who converted right away. In the third period, Toronto went ahead for good on Peter Holland's one-timer that slipped past Corey Crawford.

The Blackhawks outshot the Leafs by a 26-7 margin in the third period and got another two chances on the power play, yet despite this offensive flurry, they couldn't notch the tying goal.

What it means: The Blackhawks dropped to 6-4-1. While the power play took a step forward, the team is still struggling to score in 5-on-5 play. The Blackhawks entered the game having scored just 15 goals in even-strength play -- eighth-lowest in the NHL. The Maple Leafs improved to 6-4-1.

Player of the game: Leafs goalie James Reimer held the Blackhawks attack in check by making 45 saves. Reimer was particularly impressive during Chicago's first power-play chance in the third period, as he made two big saves and got a bit of luck in the form of a Richards shot off the crossbar.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks' 26 shots in the third was the most shots they've taken in a single period this season and easily topped their previous high of 19.

What's next: The Blackhawks continue their string of games against Canadian opponents when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night at the United Center. The Blackhawks then travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens on Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Hawks 5, Senators 4 (SO)

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
9:25
PM CT
By Wayne Scanlan
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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OTTAWA – Here's a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 5-4 shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.

How it happened: The Blackhawks finally found their offensive game, and Patrick Sharp netted the shootout winner. After four consecutive games of scoring two goals or fewer, Chicago scored five on the road to outlast Ottawa. The previous time the Blackhawks scored more than two goals was Oct. 21 against the Philadelphia Flyers, a 4-0 victory. Late in Thursday's third period, Marian Hossa scored the 466th goal of his career -- NHL point No. 1,000 -- to give the visitors a brief 4-3 lead. Mika Zibanejad beat Scott Darling with 2 minutes, 8 seconds left to force overtime.

After falling behind 1-0 on the first shot of the game -- a Mark Stone goal against Darling -- the Blackhawks responded with two scores of their own. Jonathan Toews tapped in a goal from the crease at 11:25, off a Hossa shot. Just more than four minutes later, Kris Versteeg wheeled around Erik Karlsson before deking Craig Anderson. Clarke MacArthur knotted matters back up at 2:51 of the second period, slipping a puck between Darling's pads on a power play. The Senators then regained the lead at the 30-second mark of the third, when Bryan Bickell turned the puck over to Bobby Ryan who pumped a shot past Darling.

Toews equalized at 7:31, his second of the night.

What it means: The Blackhawks improved to 6-3-1 -- 4-0 against Eastern Conference opponents, including two victories over the Senators in the past five days. Chicago continued to struggle on the power play, going 0-for-5. The Blackhawks came into the game having scored just two power-play goals in their past 13 chances over a four-game span. In their previous game, they were 0-for-3 against the Ducks.

The Senators fell to 5-2-2.

Player of the game: Hossa. He wanted to score his 1,000th career point in the city that drafted him, and he did, in style, with a wraparound goal.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks outshot the Senators 15-6 in the first period. They are 3-0-0 when leading after the first 20 minutes.

What's next: The Blackhawks are in Toronto on Saturday for a game against the Maple Leafs to conclude a two-game road trip. They return home Sunday to face the Winnipeg Jets.

Rapid Reaction: Ducks 1, Hawks 0

October, 28, 2014
Oct 28
10:23
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Anaheim Ducks' 1-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Tuesday:

How it happened: The Ducks capitalized on a Blackhawks' miscue for the game's lone goal. With the Blackhawks on a power play, Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook bent down to stop a bouncing puck and tripped while doing so. Ducks forward Devante Smith-Pelly chased after the loose puck in the neutral zone, sped up to create a breakaway and scored on Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling at 11:32 of the third period. Aside from that, neither team gave up many quality chances all evening. The teams were locked at 0-0 with 20 shots on goal for each after two periods. Ducks goaltender John Gibson recorded a shutout with 38 saves. Darling stopped 24 of 25 shots.

What it means: There's little separation when the Blackhawks and Ducks get together, and that continued to be the case Tuesday. The two teams were tied or within a goal of each other in all three meetings last season. The Blackhawks fell to 5-3-1 on the season, and the Ducks improved to 8-2-0. While Seabrook's turnover was costly, the Blackhawks again struggled to score. The Blackhawks have only 11 goals in 5-on-5 situations through nine games. Darling's play was a positive again for the Blackhawks. He has given up only two goals in his first two NHL games.

Player of the game: Gibson recorded his second career shutout. He stopped 18 shots in the third period.

Stat of the game: The Ducks had two short-handed shots on goal to the Blackhawks' five power-play shots.

What's next: The Blackhawks hit the road for a two-game trip. They play the Ottawa Senators on Thursday and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 2, Senators 1

October, 26, 2014
Oct 26
8:55
PM CT
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CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday at the United Center:


How it happened: The Blackhawks put an end to their season-long second-period woes on their way to victory Sunday. The Blackhawks hadn’t scored a second-period goal in their first seven games. They scored two of them against the Senators. Jonathan Toews provided the first with a wraparound goal in a four-on-four situation 21 seconds into the second period. Brent Seabrook gave the Blackhawks a second when he scored on a power play at 13:38. Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling did the rest in his NHL debut: He stopped 32 of 33 shots. The Senators' lone goal came on a freak play on which the linesman interfered with a Blackhawks pass and led to a short-handed goal by Milan Michalek in the second period. Senators goaltender Craig Anderson stopped 43 of 45 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 5-2-1 on the season. The Blackhawks' five-on-five play again wasn't great, but they got the job done in other areas. The Blackhawks have scored a power-play goal in six of their eight games. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane recorded his 500th career point with an assist on Seabrook's goal. The Blackhawks killed all three of the Senators' power plays.

Player of the game: Darling, who is from the Chicago area, had a game to remember in his debut. He came up especially big with the Senators pushing for a goal to even the game in the third period. He made 16 saves in the third period.

Stat of the game: Fourteen penalties were called in the game.

What's next: The Blackhawks remain home and face the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Blues 3, Blackhawks 2

October, 25, 2014
Oct 25
9:56
PM CT
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ESPNChicago.com
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ST. LOUIS – Here’s a quick look at the St. Louis Blues' 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at Scottrade Center:

How it happened: The Blackhawks got the start they wanted and scored a minute and 2 seconds into the game, but it would go downhill from there. The Blues tied matters at 12:15 of the first period on a goal by Jaden Schwartz. Ryan Reaves put the Blues ahead 2-1 when he scored off a rebound at the net at 18:09 of the second period. With six seconds before the second intermission, Dmitrij Jaskin tacked on another for St. Louis off a rebound. The Blackhawks were outshot 11-5 on goal in the second period. Patrick Sharp scored the Blackhawks’ first goal on the power play. The Blackhawks cut the Blues' lead to one when Sharp connected with Kris Versteeg for a goal at 2:37 of the third period, but St. Louis hung on after that. Hawks goaltender Antti Raanta made 28 saves. Blues goaltender Brian Elliott stopped 22 of 24 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks dropped their second consecutive game and fell to 4-2-1 -- and 2-2-0 in the Central. The Blues snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 3-3-1 and 1-0-0 in the Central. Coach Joel Quenneville made some line changes prior to the game, hoping to get some more offense, but Chicago again struggled to get production at even strength. The Blackhawks have scored 11 goals in 5-on-5 situations through seven games. Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo suffered a right-leg injury in the third period and did not return.

Player of the game: Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had two assists, was a plus-2 and led his team in ice time.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks were shut out in the second period. They haven’t scored a second-period goal all season.

What’s next: The Blackhawks have their first back-to-back set as they return home to play the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. The Senators also played on Saturday and lost at home in overtime to the New Jersey Devils.

Rapid Reaction: Predators 3, Hawks 2

October, 23, 2014
Oct 23
9:42
PM CT
By Jim Diamond
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

How it happened: The Predators mounted a strong surge just past the midway point of the first period, putting four shots on goaltender Antti Raanta and seeing two Shea Weber slap shots blocked by Andrew Shaw and Daniel Carcillo, respectively -- only to see Blackhawks forward Ben Smith score the game’s first goal less than 30 seconds later. James Neal sent the teams into the first intermission tied 1-1 when he scored with less than a minute remaining in the frame. Neal’s second of the game came in the second period, just over a minute after the expiration of Chicago’s only power play of the game, during which the Blackhawks spent nearly the full two minutes in Nashville’s zone but were unable to get one past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne. Neal completed his fifth career hat trick at 1:52 of the third with an easy tap-in on the left side. Shaw closed the gap to one at 12:36 when he swatted the rebound of his own shot out of midair and past Rinne.

What it means: Nashville is now the lone NHL team not to have lost a game in regulation this season. The Predators sit atop the Central at 5-0-2, with the Blackhawks sitting three points behind at 4-1-1. Chicago struggled against the Central last season, going 13-13-3, and lost four of five against Nashville. Chicago lost for the first time this season when scoring first.

Player of the game: Neal consistently worked his way into open shooting positions and made the Blackhawks pay by recording the natural hat trick. Nashville acquired the talented winger in a draft-day trade in June with Pittsburgh in exchange for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.

Stat of the game: Chicago had just one power-play opportunity, three fewer than in any game so far this season. That one power play yielded several chances, and the Hawks spent most of the two minutes applying pressure in the Nashville zone, putting three shots on Rinne. The Blackhawks have failed to record a power-play goal in two games this season, both against Nashville.

What’s next: The Blackhawks complete their quick two-game road trip Saturday, when they face the St. Louis Blues for the first time this season. A quick turnaround follows with a Sunday home game against the Ottawa Senators.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jonathan Toews
PTS GOALS AST +/-
18 9 9 5
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsJ. Toews 9
AssistsM. Hossa 12
+/-K. Versteeg 7
GAAC. Crawford 1.90