Thursday, December 26, 2013
Blackhawks' Top 10 games of 2013
By Scott Powers
The Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook celebrates his overtime goal to beat the Detroit Red Wings, 2-1, in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals at the United Center on May 29.
The Chicago Blackhawks played in some unforgettable games during 2013. There's still three to go, but here’s a look at the 10 best so far:
No. 10 -- Blackhawks 6, Senators 5, Oct. 29: Nine of the Blackhawks’ top games of 2013 occurred last season, mostly due to the context of the Blackhawks’ playoff run and their points streak. This recent game made the list because it had a bit of everything. The Blackhawks went down 4-2, and Nikolai Khabibulin was relieved by Corey Crawford in the second period. Crawford stopped 14 of 15 shots over the remainder of the game. Jonathan Toews took care of the rest. He scored three consecutive goals and put the Blackhawks ahead 5-4. Toews also had an assist. Andrew Shaw scored two goals, and Marian Hossa tallied his 100th career Blackhawks goal.
No. 9 -- Blackhawks 3, Avalanche 2, March 6: The Blackhawks turned to many different players to contribute during their 24-game points streak. This was Daniel Carcillo's day. Carcillo scored the game-winner with 49.3 seconds left in the third period to defeat the Colorado Avalanche and had one of the season’s more memorable celebrations as he skidded on his knees. The Blackhawks would lose the next game and their record-setting streak ended.
No. 8 -- Blackhawks 2, Red Wings 1 SO, March 3: The Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings didn’t disappoint before a national audience on a Sunday afternoon. The rivals were scoreless after two periods in Detroit. The Red Wings got on the board early in the third, and Patrick Kane evened it with a one-timer on a power play with 2:02 left in regulation. Crawford and Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard each made 32 saves. The game was decided when Kane provided the only shootout goal. The Blackhawks’ points streak reached 22 games with the victory.
No. 7 -- Blackhawks 3, Flames 2 SO, Feb. 2: As far as regular-season games go, this was the most memorable one in 2013. The Flames should have won this game and ended the Blackhawks’ points streak at eight games. Ray Emery and Marian Hossa saved the day, though. Emery stopped 45 shots, and Hossa sent the game into overtime by scoring with 2.3 seconds left in regulation. Emery stopped all three shootout shots, and Kane converted on one for the win.
No. 6 -- Blackhawks 4, Kings 3 2OT, June 8: Team efforts often propelled the Blackhawks throughout the playoffs, but Game 5 of the Western Conference finals was Kane’s game. Kane became just the fourth player in the last 30 years to register a hat trick in the conference finals. He scored the Blackhawks’ last three goals, which included the game-winner at 11:40 of the second overtime.
No. 5 -- Blackhawks 4, Red Wings 3, May 27: The Blackhawks were a period away from elimination in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals. The Red Wings were leading 2-1 at home after two periods. Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard was on his game and had stopped 19 of 20 shots during the first two periods. The Blackhawks knew they had to score early in the third to change the game’s momentum. Michal Handzus did just that by scoring 51 seconds into the period. Bryan Bickell gave them a 3-2 lead, and Michael Frolik extended the lead by scoring on a penalty shot. The Red Wings cut the deficit to one in the game’s final minute, but that would be it and the series was headed back to Chicago for Game 7.
No. 4 -- Blackhawks 6, Bruins 5, OT, June 19: Goals were difficult to come by for the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins for much of the Stanley Cup finals. The only game where either team scored more than three regulation goals was in Game 4. They both went off in Game 4, too. Both teams scored one goal in the first period. They combined for five goals in the second period. In the third period, the Bruins tied the game at 4-4, the Blackhawks went back ahead and the Bruins scored again to force overtime. Brent Seabrook came through with another clutch game-winner in overtime to even the series at 2-2.
No. 3 -- Blackhawks 4, Bruins 3, 3 OT, June 12: The Blackhawks and Boston Bruins set the tone for the Stanley Cup finals in Game 1 by going three overtimes. It was the fifth longest Stanley Cup finals game. The Blackhawks rallied from a two-goal deficit twice in regulation. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask and Crawford were both special and each made 50-plus saves. The marathon game finally came to an end when Andrew Shaw scored off a deflection at 12:08 of the third overtime. It would be the first of three overtime games in the series.
No. 2 -- Blackhawks 3, Bruins 2, June 24: The Blackhawks and their fans will never see “17” in the same way after Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored goals within 17 seconds of each other in the final 1:16 of the third period, and the Blackhawks went from losing 2-1 to winning 3-2 and clinching their second Stanley Cup in four years.
No. 1 -- Blackhawks 2, Red Wings 1 OT, May 29: The Blackhawks held off elimination twice and fought back from a 3-1 deficit to even the Western Conference semifinals with the Red Wings. To add to the story line, Game 7 also marked the last time the Blackhawks and Red Wings would meet in the Western Conference. Game 7 didn’t fail to meet the hype. The Blackhawks went up 1-0 in the second period, and the Red Wings tied it early in the third. The Blackhawks had to overcome the letdown of having a go-ahead goal waved off in the third period. The teams couldn’t decide it in regulation and went to overtime. It was there that Seabrook delivered one of the biggest goals of his career, and the Blackhawks continued toward the Stanley Cup.