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Sunday, April 3, 2011
Bad penalties coming back to haunt Hawks

By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO -- Dumb penalties are starting to catch up with the Chicago Blackhawks. They took a bunch of them during Friday’s win in Columbus and then a few more on Sunday in a 2-0 defeat to Tampa Bay.

None was bigger than Niklas Hjalmarsson’s delay-of-game call in the first period. Hjalmarsson tried to clear the puck out of his own zone, but put it into the stands. Seconds into the Lightning’s power play, Vincent Lecavalier scored the winning goal.

It was the second consecutive game Hjalmarsson has been called for delay of game and the second game in a row in which the opponent scored on it. The Hawks have been called for it in three straight games.

“When it comes to it, we’re wasting a lot of energy on the penalty kill,” Jonathan Toews said. “A lot of useless penalties we’re taking. It kind of takes you off your offensive game.”

Corey Crawford also took a delay-of-game penalty. It’s an infraction which has cost them lately and on Sunday it cost them a game.

Kubina talks about hit: Tampa Bay defenseman Pavel Kubina talked about the hit he delivered to Dave Bolland last time the teams met on March 9. Kubina’s high elbow got him a three-game suspension and knocked Bolland out of the lineup with a concussion. Currently, there is no timetable for Bolland’s return.

“I didn’t mean to do it,” Kubina said after Sunday’s game. “Hopefully he’s going to be back for the playoffs. If I go back in my career, I’ve played 900 games and I never tried to hurt anybody.”

Kubina said that he was trying to finish his check and the smaller Bolland turned at the last second, getting the elbow to the head. The two have not talked since the incident, including Sunday when they were both in the same building.

“I don’t think he wants to talk to me,” Kubina said. “Maybe [I’ll] call him after the season. Hopefully he’ll play soon.”

Slappers

  • The Hawks outshot Tampa Bay, 31-15. The 15 shots against tied a season low. The Hawks also had 21 shot attempts blocked.

  • Ryan Johnson won 7 of 10 faceoffs. His 63.3 winning percentage leads the NHL among players who have taken 50 or more draws.

  • Lecavalier left the game early in the second period after getting high-sticked by Michael Frolik. He was stitched up and will be re-evaluated on Monday.

  • The Hawks are just one point ahead of ninth-place Calgary and three points ahead of tenth-place Dallas after each of those teams posted wins on Sunday.