Hawks' Hossa a nuisance to Red Wings

December, 30, 2011
12/30/11
11:58
PM CT

CHICAGO -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Marian Hossa had “a monster game” on Friday. Considering how much he had the puck it would be hard to argue with that notion.

[+] EnlargeMarian Hossa
Rob Grabowski/US PresswireMarian Hossa was a force against his former team on Friday.

Hossa scored the Hawks' second goal in a 3-2 win and could have had more. His tally was a thing of beauty.

“I got the puck down low and tried to get my speed and hit open ice,” Hossa explained afterwards as the first star of the game. “There was nothing open in the middle so I tried to go around and I found myself alone and I tried to use the space and release it quick.”

Hossa circled the Wings’ zone from one side to the other before blasting his 17th goal of the season past goalie Jimmy Howard. Later in the second period he had another chance after a pretty passing play from Dan Carcillo to Jonathan Toews to Hossa which caused Howard to leave the net. But defenseman Niklas Lidstrom got in the shooting lane and made the empty-net save.

“I didn’t hit the puck the way I wanted to,” Hossa said. “He made the save.”

Seabrook’s winner

Brent Seabrook scored the game winner in the third period when he walked to an open spot in the middle of the Red Wings’ zone where Patrick Kane found him with a perfect pass from the corner.

“It was a great pass by Kane,” Seabrook said. “I just buried my head and shot it as hard as I could.”

Wing’s goalie Jimmy Howard couldn’t handle the blast, Seabrook’s second of the year.

“It was a bang-bang play and it was a rocket,” he said. “He’s got a heavy shot and I should’ve come off the post maybe a little bit harder and maybe gave myself a better chance staying upright.”

Toews' penalty shot

Jonathan Toews scored the Hawks first goal on the team’s first penalty shot of the season in the first period. With the Hawks trailing 1-0, Niklas Hjalmarsson put a homerun pass on Toews’ stick who was hooked by Lidstrom on his way towards the net.

“I couldn’t believe I got a second chance on that one but I was thankful for it,” Toews said of the penalty shot call.

Toews made his patented move on Howard putting one between the netminder’s legs.

“I knew he was coming in,” Howard said. “That’s his move to go five-hole, so I was prepared for it. I just didn’t get the legs closed fast enough. I knew exactly what he was doing. I’ve faced him a couple of times on penalty shots and that’s what he does every single time, so I figured that’s what he was going to do. The ice wasn’t in very good condition for him to make a move, so I figured he was going to go five-hole and he beat me. He’s a good player.”

Hjalmarsson was happy Toews scored but he didn’t get credit for the assist.

“Would have been fun if Tazer could have scored on the first one there,” he joked. “It was a big goal for us.”

Slappers

-Jimmy Hayes played 8:23 registering two shots while tying for a team-high four hits. He nearly had a goal on the opening shift.

“I liked him,” Quenneville said. “He had a great first shift and from that he still had that presence, had some good physicality in his play, had some strength in the puck area.”

-The Hawks went 0-5 on the power play but Quenneville was happy his team didn’t lose any momentum while not scoring.

Quotable

“It’s pretty easy to get pumped up when the crowd is going crazy like that before the puck drops,” -- Niklas Hjalmarsson.

“We were quick in the puck areas, we had good sticks. We pressured well and had pretty good gap tonight.”-Joel Quenneville, on his team limiting Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterbeg.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
78 34 44 13
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Sharp 34
AssistsD. Keith 55
+/-M. Hossa 28
GAAC. Crawford 2.26