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Friday, December 17, 2010
Rapid reaction: Hawks 4, Wings 1

By Jesse Rogers

A quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on Friday.

How it happened: After a first period which saw Detroit earn a multitude of scoring chances, the Hawks buckled down on defense. The Hawks offense netted an early power-play goal by Patrick Sharp and a delayed-penalty score by Tomas Kopecky. In between, Bryan Bickell flashed his ever-more-dangerous wrist shot for his fifth goal in six games. Kopecky added an empty netter at the end. Corey Crawford looked shaky early but settled down, stopping 29 shots for the win. There were few passengers on the Hawks’ side of the ice in a good victory.

What it means: The Hawks got a signature win, shutting down an explosive Red Wings team. They did it with discipline (no minor penalties) and defense. A new look on offense, with newcomer Ryan Johnson at center, allowed Sharp to flourish at wing with Jonathan Toews playing the middle on his line. Fernando Pisani looked good in his return to the lineup, setting up Bickell for his goal. Pisani left the game after getting hit in the face by Dave Bolland’s stick, but returned later. Jack Skille had a strong game as well, registering a team- and career-high nine shots.

What’s next: The Hawks continue a five-game homestand on Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings, a team they’ve beaten twice already. They’ve begun the stretch 1-1.