Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Hawks put third-period woes behind them
By Scott Powers
Marian Hossa scored an empty-netter, one of three third-period goals for the Hawks on Monday.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks were worried about their third-period play not too long ago.
Just last month, the Blackhawks dropped three of four games -- twice to the Anaheim Ducks and once to the Los Angeles Kings -- due to their play in the third period. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane went as far as calling it the team's first adversity of the season.
The Blackhawks guaranteed the issue would be addressed and addressed it has been. In their last six games, all wins, the Blackhawks have outscored their opponents 8-2 in the third period.
On Monday, the Blackhawks were tested and responded again in the third period. The Dallas Stars evened Monday's game at 2-2 with a goal at 3:07 of third period. One minute and 24 seconds later, the Blackhawks answered with a goal from Andrew Shaw and tacked on two more goals on their way to a 5-2 win.
Shaw said he and his teammates were quick to motivate each other after the Stars' third-period goal.
"It's like, 'Next shift's a big one, boys,'" Shaw said. "‘Let's go out there and turn it around.' We did. We answered the bell.
"(Blackhawks coach) Joel (Quenneville), all the staff, from the leadership in the room, we always get on each other, let each other know we got to keep competing, keep battling, stick to our game and good things will come from it. We're staying composed. We're just competing and never giving up on plays, trying to win those one-on-one battles and keeping the little things right, being patient. It's worked for us here."
Quenneville certainly liked how his team responded.
"I thought that was definitely a nice goal to score, ensuing shift," Quenneville said. "(The Stars) got some momentum, but still don't think we're giving up much, what we gave up in chances. It's one of those nights where you knew you had to be good offensively, had a lot of puck times. It was a big goal for them at the time. That obviously turned into a huge goal on our side."
The Blackhawks have also showed lately they're not letting up despite having such a large cushion in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks faced four teams fighting for their playoff lives in the last four games, and the Blackhawks won all four games, including three one-goal games.
"It shows the maturity of every guy in this locker room," Jonathan Toews said. "We're never satisfied. We don't care where we are -- on the road or at home. We just keep working. We keep playing as a team."
Shaw explained it in simple terms.
"The feeling of winning is unbelievable," Shaw said. "No wants to lose."