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Rapid Reaction: Hawks 5, Jackets 2

10/30/2011

CHICAGO -- A quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Viktor Stalberg scored twice in the span of 1:58 in the third period to break a 2-2 tie after the Hawks had two goals disallowed earlier. Stalberg made a nice move to the middle during 4-on-4 action for the game winner, then had an easy tap-in after Andrew Brunette tried a backhander on a wrap-around. Stalberg had several other good looks trying for the natural hat trick but came up short. Marcus Kruger scored his first career goal in the first period and played aggressively on offense. The Hawks power play looked like it had finally come through, but a Patrick Sharp goal was waved off after Bryan Bickell was called for high-sticking. A Patrick Kane goal was disallowed due to his stick being above the crossbar. Dave Bolland scored his second shorthanded goal of the season after a nice play by Michael Frolik after he blocked a point shot. The Hawks had a third goal disallowed in the game when Bolland was accused of kicking the puck in.

What it means: The Hawks hit the ten-game mark with a pretty 6-2-2 record. Like a lot of the first 10 games, Saturday wasn’t a perfect night, but Stalberg became the unlikely hero. Playing with Jonathan Toews mostly due to Daniel Carcillo's suspension, Stalberg was quiet for two periods but woke up just in time to win the game. The Hawks power play continues to be a mess, as Joel Quenneville completely changed up the personnel but to no avail. Kruger is showing more and more improvement with the puck and more confidence on the offensive end. More good than bad in the win, but the power play is turning momentum over to the other team instead of the other way around.

What’s next: The Blackhawks get right back at it on Monday with their third game in four nights, hosting the Nashville Predators.