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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Hawks 5, Canadiens 1

By Jesse Rogers

Here's a quick look at the Blackhawks' win over the Canadiens on Wednesday night.

How it happened: The Hawks fell behind 1-0 on a Canadiens power-play goal in the second, but responded before the end of the period with two scores in the span of 21 seconds. Andrew Brunette deflected a puck in the net while trying to feed Jonathan Toews near the goal-mouth. Moments later, Patrick Sharp ignited, and then finished, a two-on-one scoring chance. Corey Crawford was solid in his return to the net stopping 20 of 21 shots. He made several big saves including a sliding post-to-post paddle stop on Max Pacioretty in the second period. Viktor Stalberg, coming off his best game of the season on Tuesday padded the lead with a third period goal, but the Hawks weren't done. Toews and Bryan Bickell added scores as the Hawks scored five unanswered to win the game.

What it means: It’s a solid win on the back end of back-to-backs. The Hawks stuck with the game plan, despite getting down 1-0. Sharp’s magnificent season continues as he scored his 18th goal of the year –to go along with 18 assists -- just one off the team lead. Stalberg is seemingly turning the corner as he’s taken off the past two games playing with more confidence and a finishing touch. The Hawks hit the Christmas break in fine fashion, sporting a 8-1-1 December record and a 22-9-4 overall mark.

What’s next: The Hawks are off until Monday as part of the NHL’s holiday shutdown for Christmas. They’ll practice in the morning and then play Columbus Monday night.