Chicago Blackhawks: Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: Hawks 2, Predators 1 (OT)

October, 18, 2014
Oct 18
10:16
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CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-1 overtime victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday at the United Center:

How it happened: Jonathan Toews scored the winning goal when he stole the puck and converted on a short-handed attempt in overtime. The two teams had been tied 1-1 since almost the midway point of the first period. Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya put his team ahead with a goal from left circle 1:49 into the opening frame. The Predators answered when Shea Weber scored a power-play goal at 11:17. The Predators gave the Blackhawks plenty of opportunities to add to their tally, as they took five penalties in the first two periods, but Chicago wasn't able to convert on any of the resulting power plays. The Hawks went 0-for-5 and are 3-of-21 on the season in power plays. Predators goaltender Carter Hutton, a former Blackhawks prospect, stopped 35 of 37 shots. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 17 saves on 18 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks improved to 3-0-1 on the season and have recorded at least a point in every game; three of Chicago's first four have gone to overtime. The Predators have also picked up a point in all five of their games. They fell to 3-0-2. The Blackhawks will be disappointed not to have scored a handful of goals, considering they finished with a considerable edge in shots on goal for a third consecutive game. They previously outshot the Buffalo Sabres 47-23 in a 6-2 win and the Calgary Flames 50-18 in a 2-1 overtime loss. The power play has to be an early concern, too; Chicago is 1-for-12 over the past two games.

Player of the game: Toews made the play of the game by forcing the turnover and scoring.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks and Predators each scored on their first shot on goal.

What it means: The Blackhawks finish their four-game homestand with the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Flames 2, Hawks 1 (F/OT)

October, 15, 2014
Oct 15
10:14
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Calgary Flames’ 2-1 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Wednesday.

How it happened: The Flames’ Mikael Backlund scored the winning goal in overtime. The Blackhawks were desperate for a goal down 1-0 in the third period and finally found it on their 38th shot on goal with 5:45 remaining. Andrew Shaw redirected a shot from Patrick Sharp into the net for a power-play score. It was the Blackhawks’ seventh power play in the game. Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman had accounted for the game’s lone goal up to that point. He scored with a shot from near the blue line that deflected off Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk’s stick and found its way into the net at 11:55 of the second period. The Blackhawks had 50 shots on goal to the Flames’ 18. Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller made 49 saves, and Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford had 16 saves. Crawford’s biggest save came on a Paul Byron breakaway in overtime.

What it means: The Blackhawks lost in overtime but picked up at least a point in their third consecutive game. The Blackhawks dominated in possession throughout the game but couldn’t find the back of the net. There wasn’t a whole lot of quality in their scoring chances, but Chicago had enough to at least score a few goals. Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo had two of the game’s best chances, but he couldn’t connect with the puck around the net. The Blackhawks’ power play has scored a goal in each of the first three games.

Player of the game: Hiller was busy all night but was up for the challenge. He had struggled in his first two starts of the season, allowing seven goals in the two games.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks attempted 96 total shots to the Flames’ 33.

What’s next: The Blackhawks continue their four-game homestand with the Nashville Predators at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 6, Sabres 2

October, 11, 2014
Oct 11
10:20
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CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 6-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at the United Center on Saturday:

How it happened: The Blackhawks scored in bunches in their home opener. Chicago notched scored two goals in the game's first three minutes, then scored four within 15 minutes in the third period. Patrick Kane broke a 2-2 tie when he scored the winner at 5 minutes, 58 seconds of the final frame. Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp and Daniel Carcillo added goals before the final horn.

The Blackhawks flew out of the gates Saturday, unlike in their season-opening game against the Dallas Stars, with goals from Andrew Shaw -- on a deflection 59 seconds in -- and Duncan Keith in the first 2:52. The Sabres quieted the building, however, when they answered with two goals of their own. Zemgus Girgensons scored on a rebound at 7:17 of the first period and Tyler Ennis added a shorthanded breakaway goal at 18:40. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 21 saves overall.

What it means: The Blackhawks improved to 2-0-0 -- and looked like a lot sharper than they did Thursday. The competition might have had something to do with that. Either way, the Blackhawks have to feel better about their play. They were able to get all four lines rolling and created chances up and down the lineup. Brandon Saad had a big night, contributing three assists. Hossa was all over the ice. The Blackhawks’ power play and penalty kill were solid again.

Player of the game: Shaw factored into three of Chicago's six goals. He scored the first one by getting a piece of the puck at the net, put Kane in perfect position for the winner and screened the net on Sharp’s power-play goal.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks had 47 shots on goal. They had 26 in their first game.

What’s next: The Blackhawks remain home to play the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. The Blackhawks play four of their first five games at the United Center.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 3, Stars 2 (SO)

October, 9, 2014
Oct 9
10:32
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DALLAS -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-2 shootout victory over the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on Thursday:

How it happened: The Blackhawks pulled out the season-opening game by winning in a shootout. The Stars controlled possession for much of the game, but didn’t have the goals to show for it. Duncan Keith first put Chicago ahead with a late first-period goal. Dallas answered with two second-period tallies. Trevor Daley scored a power-play goal at 10 minutes, 13 seconds of the frame and Cody Eakin added a second goal at 15:04. The Blackhawks fought back and tied the game when Patrick Sharp netted a power-play goal from the top of the right circle at 11:10 of the third period. Things remained that way through the rest of the third and overtime. The Stars outshot the Blackhawks 34-26 on goal. Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen made 24 saves; Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford had 32. Chicago forward Patrick Kane scored the lone shootout goal.

What it means: The Blackhawks looked out of sorts for the first 2½ periods Thursday and must feel fortunate to pull out the two points. The Stars could have run away with that game if it hadn't been for Crawford’s play. It didn’t help the Blackhawks that coach Joel Quenneville already shied away from playing the fourth line, particularly Daniel Carcillo, and defenseman David Rundblad. The Blackhawks might have to look into placing Kris Versteeg on long-term injury reserve if Quenneville can’t trust Carcillo. It’s the only way the Blackhawks can afford to bring someone up from the AHL.

Player of the game: Crawford stole the game for the Blackhawks. He had 32 saves and denied all three of the Stars’ shootout opportunities.

Stat of the game: The Stars blocked nine of Keith’s shots and combined for 26 blocks in all.

What’s next: The Blackhawks host the Buffalo Sabres at the United Center in Saturday's home opener. Four of the Blackhawks’ first five games are at home.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 4, Kings 3

May, 30, 2014
May 30
10:47
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LOS ANGELES -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals at Staples Center on Friday:

How it happened: Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane broke a 3-3 tie and scored the winning goal at 16 minutes, 15 seconds of the third period. Chicago faced a 3-2 deficit earlier in the period when Kane found Duncan Keith in the slot for a goal 11:34. The Kings had gone ahead by scoring two goals within 2:06 of each other. Drew Doughty tied the game 2-2 with a shot in the deep slot at 5:32, and then set up Alec Martinez for a power-play goal at 7:38. The Blackhawks went to the second intermission up 2-1 on goals by Kane and Ben Smith in the second period. Dwight King scored the game’s first goal at 17:03 of the first period. The Blackhawks were 1-for-2 on the power play, as were the Kings. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 26 saves on 29 shots. Kings counterpart Jonathan Quick saved 21 of 25.

What it means: The Blackhawks evened the series at 3-3 after being down 3-1. Chicago has a chance to become the 25th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win a series since the NHL expanded all rounds to best-of-seven series in 1987. The Blackhawks did so last season against the Detroit Red Wings. The Blackhawks improved to 12-0 in Games 5-7 over the past two seasons, including 6-0 in this season. They defeated the Kings at home for the first time in the series. The Kings also hadn’t lost in a Game 6 or 7 this season in the playoffs prior to Friday.

Player of the game: Kane got himself going in Game 5 and continued it in Game 6. He had two goals and one assist. He has seven points in the past two games.

Stat of the game: Kane played 27 shifts and 20:40 of ice time.

What’s next: The series returns to Chicago for Game 7 on Sunday. The Blackhawks are 8-1 at the United Center in the playoffs this season.

Rapid Reaction: Hawks 5, Kings 4 (F/2OT)

May, 28, 2014
May 28
10:58
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-4 double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Wednesday:

How it happened: Michal Handzus scored the winner off a pass from Brandon Saad at 2:04 in the second overtime. The Blackhawks forced the first overtime when Ben Smith scored the lone goal in the third period at 1:13. The Kings had built a 4-3 lead after finding themselves two goals behind in the first period. After the Blackhawks went up 3-1 in the first period, the Kings responded with three consecutive goals, one in the first period and two in the second period. Marian Gaborik, Dustin Brown and Tanner Pearson scored the three goals for the Kings. The Blackhawks got the start they wanted, scoring twice in the first four minutes. Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook scored a power-play goal at 1:13, and Johnny Oduya knocked in a rebound from a Patrick Kane shot at 3:40. Jarret Stoll gave the Kings their first goal at 9:40, but less than two minutes later the Blackhawks responded as Saad put them back ahead 3-1. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 41 saves on 45 shots. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 40 of 45 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks held off elimination and cut the Kings’ series lead to 3-2. The Blackhawks were given a scare as the Kings erased their two-goal lead and pulled ahead of them after two periods, but the Blackhawks, especially Crawford, stepped up when they needed to in the game. Crawford didn’t allow a goal after the Kings scored at 13:08 of the second period. The Blackhawks also bounced back after struggling on special teams in the past few games. They scored a power-play goal for the first time in three games and shut out the Kings’ power play for the first time since Game 1. The Blackhawks’ second line of Saad-Andrew Shaw-Kane was a force most of the game.

Player of the game: Saad was all over the ice for the Blackhawks. He had one goal, two assists, seven shots on net, three hits, three takeaways, two blocked shots, was a plus-4 and won 4 of 8 faceoffs.

Stat of the game: Crawford stopped 19 shots over the last three periods.

What’s next: The series returns to Los Angeles for Game 6 at 8 p.m. CT on Friday. The Kings defeated the Blackhawks in Games 3 and 4 in Los Angeles and are 5-3 at home in the playoffs this season.

Rapid Reaction: Kings 5, Blackhawks 2

May, 26, 2014
May 26
10:46
PM CT
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LOS ANGELES -- Here’s a quick look at the Los Angeles Kings' 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals at Staples Center on Monday:

How it happened: The Kings jumped on the Blackhawks with three goals in the first period and built a 4-0 lead before Chicago was able to score. Jake Muzzin opened the Kings’ scoring with a power-play goal at the 9-minute mark of the first period. Two minutes, 13 seconds later, Marian Gaborik finished a pass from Anze Kopitar and the Kings went ahead 2-0. Dustin Brown scored another power-play goal for the Kings at 15:56 of the first period. Drew Doughty gave the Kings a 4-0 lead with a second-period goal. Brandon Saad put the Blackhawks on the board at 14:03 of the second. Bryan Bickell pulled the Blackhawks within two goals at 9:27 of the third before Los Angeles scored an empty-net goal with 1:02 to play. The Kings were 2-for-3 on the power play and shut out the Blackhawks on three opportunities of their own. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 22 saves on 24 shots. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 16 of 20 shots. Kings forward Jarret Stoll won 16 of 24 faceoffs.

What it means: The Kings won their third consecutive game and took a 3-1 lead in the series. A team has fought back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series 24 times since the NHL expanded all rounds to best-of-seven in 1987. The Blackhawks rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in the second round last season. The Kings have scored 14 goals in the past three games. The Kings took advantage of special teams again. Gaborik scored his 10th goal of the playoff and his first against the Blackhawks.

Player of the game: Doughty had a goal and an assist. He led the Kings in ice time and was one of the reasons why the Blackhawks were held to two goals.

Stat of the game: The Kings scored on two power plays. They have scored five power-play goals in the past three games. The Blackhawks had allowed four power-play goals in their previous 13 playoff games this season.

What’s next: The series returns to Chicago for Wednesday night's Game 5. The Blackhawks are 7-1 at home in the playoffs this season; the Kings handed them their lone loss in Game 2.

Rapid Reaction: Kings 6, Blackhawks 2

May, 21, 2014
May 21
10:01
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Los Angeles Kings’ 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Wednesday.

How it happened: The Kings rallied from a 2-0 deficit to score six consecutive goals to beat the Blackhawks. The Kings began their comeback in the second period, when Justin Williams scored in front of the net at 18:14. The Kings turned to their power play to score the next two goals. Jeff Carter scored on a power play at 1:37, and Carter capitalized on another Blackhawks’ penalty when he scored a power-play goal at 4:04. The Kings added two more goals with Tyler Toffoli scoring at 8:59 and Carter at 14:44. Carter finished off his hat trick with an empty-net goal. The Blackhawks built a 2-0 lead behind a power-play goal by Nick Leddy in the first period and a goal by Ben Smith in the second period. The Blackhawks were 1-for-4 on the power play, and the Kings were 2-for-4. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 23-of-25 shots. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford had 25 saves on 30 shots.

What it means: The Kings evened the series 1-1. The Kings gave the Blackhawks their first loss at home in the playoffs. The Blackhawks had won their first seven home playoff games. The Blackhawks’ penalty kill had allowed just four goals over the first 13 games of the playoffs. They were 44-of-48 on the penalty kill coming into the game. Quick kept the Kings in the game when the Blackhawks had multiple quality chances in the first two periods. He’s allowed a total of 13 goals in the Kings’ nine playoff wins.

Player of the game: Carter scored a hat trick in the third period.

Stat of the game: The Kings won 43-of-70 faceoffs.

What’s next: The series moves to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4. Game 3 will be at Staples Center at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday. The Kings are 3-3 at home in the playoffs.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 3, Kings 1

May, 18, 2014
May 18
5:05
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Sunday.

How it happened: Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith broke a 1-1 tie when his slap shot from near the blue line was deflected and bounced high into the net at 11:54 of the second period. The Blackhawks held a one-goal advantage until Jonathan Toews gave them a 3-1 lead at 16:10 of the third period. The Kings had tied the game 1-1 early in the second period when Tanner Pearson connected with Tyler Toffoli in front of the net for a goal at 4:35. The goal came 1:13 after the Blackhawks had a goal disallowed following a review. Brandon Saad scored Chicago's first goal when he deflected a shot by Nick Leddy into the net on a power play at 14:46 of the first period. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 25 saves on 26 shots. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 17 of 20 shots. The Blackhawks were 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Kings were 0-for-2.

What it means: The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead in the series. They remained perfect at home in the playoffs, improving to 7-0 at the United Center. Possession favored the Kings in the final two periods. Crawford had a few highlight saves to help counter the Kings’ shot advantage. The Blackhawks were also fortunate Toffoli didn’t score when he had a breakaway and beat Crawford in the third period. Toffoli’s backhanded shot hit the post.

Player of the game: Crawford stepped up again. He held the Kings to one goal. He has held opponents to two goals or less in eight playoff games this season.

Stat of the game: Crawford stopped 16 of 17 shots in the second period.

What’s next: The series will take two days off before resuming for Game 2 in Chicago on Wednesday.

Rapid Reaction: Hawks 2, Wild 1 (OT)

May, 13, 2014
May 13
11:25
PM CT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -– Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2-1 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 6 of their Western Conference second-round series at the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

How it happened: Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane scored the game-winning goal at 9:42 in overtime. The Blackhawks got the start they wanted. Kris Versteeg gave them a 1-0 advantage when he scored 1:58 into the game. The Wild answered in the second period when Erik Haula skated past three Blackhawks for a loose puck and finished on the breakaway. The Wild put Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford to work in the second period. They had 14 shots on net. Crawford stopped 13 of them. He finished with 34 saves on 35 shots. Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves on 27 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks won the series 4-2 and advance to the Western Conference finals for the fourth time in the last six seasons. The Wild hadn’t lost at home in the playoffs. They had won their first five home games prior to Tuesday. The Blackhawks improved to 12-2 in games in which they clinch a series in the past six seasons. They also improved to 10-4 when on the road in Games 4-7 in their last nine series. Both teams had four overtime games in the first round. The Blackhawks improved to 3-2 in overtime playoff games this season.

Player of the game: Crawford was the difference for the Blackhawks. He stopped a number of quality chances by the Wild.

Stat of the game: The Wild were 0-for-3 on the power play. The Blackhawks killed 15 of 17 power plays in the series.

What’s next: The Blackhawks will await the winner of the Anaheim Ducks-Los Angeles Kings series. The Ducks lead the series 3-2. The Ducks would have home-ice advantage over the Blackhawks, and the Blackhawks would have it over the Kings.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 2, Wild 1

May, 11, 2014
May 11
10:55
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 5 of their Western Conference second-round series at the United Center on Sunday.

How it happened: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews broke a 1-1 tie when he scored with a backhanded shot while battling for the puck in front of the net at 4:33 of the third period. The Blackhawks held the one-goal lead for the remainder of the third period. The Wild got on the board first when forward Erik Haula skated through Chicago's defense and scored at 16:33 of the first period. The Blackhawks ignited their offense in the second period. They had 15 shots on goal in the second period. They were rewarded for their effort when Bryan Bickell redirected a Patrick Kane shot into the net for a power-play goal at 9:18. The Blackhawks were 1-for-2 on the power play, and the Wild were 0-for-1. Chicago forward Patrick Sharp had a secondary assist on both goals. Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves on 28 shots. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford saved 27 of 28 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks took a 3-2 lead in the series. They remain unbeaten at home in the playoffs, improving to 6-0 at the United Center. They also snapped a two-game losing streak. The Blackhawks hadn’t had more than 22 shots on net in a game through the series’ first four games. They had 21 shots on goal through two periods on Sunday and finished with 28.

Player of the game: Toews had one of his worst possession games of the season in Game 4 and bounced back in a big way. He now has four game-winning goals in the playoffs this season.

Stat of the game: Toews and Michal Handzus each won 12 faceoffs and lost eight.

What’s next: The series returns to Minnesota for Game 6 on Tuesday. The Wild are 5-0 at the Xcel Energy Center in the playoffs this season.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 4, Wild 1

May, 4, 2014
May 4
4:51
PM CT
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 2 of their Western Conference second-round series at the United Center on Sunday.

How it happened: The Blackhawks held on to a one-goal lead for much of the third period until Bryan Bickell gave them more of a cushion late in the period. Bickell scored at 17:15 of the third period to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead. Brandon Saad added an empty-net goal to make it 4-1. The Blackhawks went up 1-0 when Jonathan Toews cleaned up a rebound from Marian Hossa at the net at 11:02 of the first period. Saad gave them a 2-0 lead when he scored from the high slot with 56 seconds remaining in the second period. The Wild’s Cody McCormick then cut the Blackhawks’ advantage to one when he scored at 2:00 of the third period. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 18 saves on 19 shots, while Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 18 of 21 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks took a 2-0 lead in the series and held on to home-ice advantage. They also have won their past six games. Crawford continues to step up for the Blackhawks, as he's allowed nine goals over the past six games. Hossa had three assists in the win and has six assists in the playoffs.

Player of the game: Bickell was a difference-maker again with a goal and two assists. He has five goals in the playoffs.

Stat of the game: The Wild had 13 shots on goal in the second period. They were held to six shots on net in the other two periods.

What’s next: The series moves to Minnesota for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 5, Wild 2

May, 2, 2014
May 2
11:33
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CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series at the United Center on Friday.

How it happened: Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane broke a 2-2 tie with a backhanded shot from the right circle at 8:22 of the third period. Kane's goal came just after the Wild fought back from a 2-0 deficit and tied the score with two goals early in the third period. Clayton Stoner scored the first goal at 2:19 of the third period for the Wild, and Kyle Brodziak scored the second one at 6:56. Kane scored another goal at 16:47 of the third period to give the Blackhawks a 4-2 lead, and Bryan Bickell had an empty-net goal for the final score. The Blackhawks utilized their power play to go ahead 2-0. Bickell redirected a shot from Brent Seabrook into the net for a power-play goal at 14:48 of the first period. The Blackhawks added to their lead when Brandon Saad delivered a backhanded pass through traffic and connected with Marian Hossa at the net for another power-play goal at 11:21 of the second period. Hossa had a goal and two assists. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 30 of 32 shots. Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 17 saves. Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw left the game because of a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return.

What it means: The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead in the series and continued to possess home-ice advantage. The Blackhawks' power play struggled against the St. Louis Blues and converted on 3 of 20 chances in the first round. The Blackhawks nearly equaled that goal total Friday. The Blackhawks' penalty kill continued its success. After killing 27 of 29 penalties against the Blues, they killed all three of the Wild's power plays in Game 1.

Player of the game: Kane came through again. He has five goals in seven playoff games this season.

Stat of the game: The Wild outshot the Blackhawks 17-3 in the second period, but the Blackhawks outscored the Wild 1-0 in the period.

What's next: The series remains in Chicago for Game 2 on Sunday afternoon.

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 5, Blues 1

April, 27, 2014
Apr 27
5:04
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of their Western Conference first-round series at the United Center on Sunday.

How it happened: The Blackhawks scored two goals in the first 2:01 of the third period to gain control of the game. The teams were tied 1-1 after two periods. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews broke the tie when he scored a power-play goal 44 seconds into the third period. He had three game-winning goals in the series. One minute, 17 seconds later, Patrick Sharp gave the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead by scoring on a breakaway. Andrew Shaw tipped in a Duncan Keith shot to put the Blackhawks ahead 4-1 at 7:30 of the period. Keith scored the game’s final goal. The Blackhawks limited the Blues to one goal in the second period despite the Blues outshooting them 17-3. The Blues went 0-for-6 on the power play for the game. The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead when Bryan Bickell redirected a shot by Brent Seabrook at 4:12 of the first period. Seabrook had the missed the previous three games due to a suspension. The Blues tied the game 1-1 when Alexander Steen set up T.J. Oshie in front of the net at 16:28 of the first period. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 35 saves, and Blues goaltender Ryan Miller made 22 saves.

What it means: The Blackhawks won the series 4-2 and eliminated the Blues. It’s the second consecutive season where the Blues built a 2-0 lead in their first-round series and lost the next four games. The Blackhawks improved to 11-2 in games where they have had an opportunity to close out a series in coach Joel Quenneville’s six seasons. It was the first game in the series decided by more than two goals. Four of the six games went to overtime. The Blackhawks’ penalty kill stepped up throughout the series. The Blues were 2-for-29 on the power play in the six games. Sharp’s goal was his first of the series.

Player of the game: Keith had a goal, three assists and a plus-3 rating.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks killed off all 10 minutes of the Blues’ power-play time.

What’s next: The Blackhawks now await their second-round opponent. They will play the winner of the Minnesota Wild-Colorado Avalanche series. The Avalanche lead the Wild 3-2 with Game 6 coming on Monday. The Blackhawks went 2-3-0 against the Wild in the regular season and 1-3-1 against the Avalanche. The Avalanche would have home-ice advantage over the Blackhawks, and the Blackhawks would have it over the Wild.

Rapid Reaction: Hawks 4, Blues 3 (F/OT)

April, 23, 2014
Apr 23
11:58
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of their Western Conference first-round series at the United Center on Wednesday.

How it happened: Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane scored the winning goal at 11:17 of overtime. Both teams previously led in the game. The Blackhawks built a 2-0 lead in the second period behind a power-play goal by Andrew Shaw and a goal by Kane. The Blues responded with two goals in the final 1:09 of the second period. Vladimir Tarasenko first scored a power-play goal from the left circle at 18:51. Max Lapierre tied the game with a shot from the right circle with 3.1 seconds remaining in the period. Tarasenko broke the 2-2 tie when he scored from the right circle off a 2-on-1 rush at 12:26 of the third period. Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell tied the game at 3-3 when he redirected a shot by Michal Rozsival into the net with 3:42 remaining in the third period. Chicago gave St. Louis five power plays, and the Blues capitalized on one of them. The Blackhawks were 1-for-2 on the power play. St. Louis goaltender Ryan Miller made 30 saves, and Chicago's Corey Crawford had 30 saves.

What it means: It wasn’t easy, but the Blackhawks took care of business in Chicago. The Blackhawks won both of their games at the United Center after dropping the first two games in St. Louis. The Blackhawks still face the challenge of winning in the Scottrade Center with the Blues having home-ice advantage. The Blackhawks won their first overtime game of the series after dropping Games 1 and 2 in OT. Seven of the Blues’ 11 goals in the series have been scored in either the final two minutes of a period or in overtime. Chicago has killed off 19 of 21 power plays in the series. Jonathan Toews had two assists in the win and has five points in the series.

Player of the game: Kane had by far his best game of the series. He started the sequence on the power-play goal, finished a pass from Johnny Oduya for the second goal and then scored the winner. He has three goals and four points in the series.

Stat of the game: Kane had nine shot attempts.

What’s next: The series returns to St. Louis for Game 5 on Friday.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
4 2 2 0
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Sharp 2
AssistsJ. Toews 3
+/-J. Oduya 5
GAAC. Crawford 1.66