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Sunday, February 24, 2013
Where will it end?

By Jon Greenberg



CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks' penalty kill is going so well Niklas Hjalmarsson felt comfortable enough to go for style points at a most critical time.

With the Hawks down a man after Andrew Shaw got called for charging with a little over five minutes left in the game, Hjalmarsson got the puck on the boards to the left of his goal and fired a clearing pass between his legs.

The puck went deep into Columbus territory and about a minute later, the Blackhawks killed another penalty.

Hey, whatever works. Hjalmarsson also blocked six shots with his body, but with that pass, he showed he's more than a target.

"It was a little too much, maybe," Hjalmarsson said after the 1-0 victory over the Blue Jackets on Sunday night. "But I got the puck out. Probably half of the guys in the crowd got pretty scared there."

That play was pretty indicative of how things are going for Chicago right now. A dash of style and a lot of substance are going a long way. With the victory, the Hawks extended their NHL record to 18 straight games with a point, or to put it another way, without a regulation loss, to start a season.

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