Huet, Hawks back on track

December, 31, 2009
12/31/09
10:53
PM CT
ROGERS By JESSE ROGERS
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeCristobal Huet
AP Photo/Paul BeatyHawks goaltender Cristobal Huet outdueled Martin Brodeur, coming within 90 seconds of a shutout.
And just like that, Cristobal Huet and the Blackhawks are back on track.

Huet came 90 seconds from stealing a page out of Martin Brodeur's book and earning his fourth shutout of the season, but Duncan Keith got mixed up with a referee and turned the puck over, leading to the Devils lone goal.

No matter, the Hawks won 5-1 and in the process, beat the top team in the Eastern Conference; the same team that shutout the dangerous Penguins one night earlier.

“We played pretty good,” John Madden said after the game. “We have to admit we played a team that was probably a little tired after playing Pittsburgh last night and probably got in late. I’m sure the next time we seem them, it will be a different game.”

Madden got what he wished for, scoring the final goal for the Hawks against his good friend and former teammate.

“It felt good,” Madden said. “I mean, scoring on any goalie does. Marty [Brodeur] is the best that has ever played. Anytime you score on a goalie like that, you’re pretty proud of yourself.”

Coach Joel Quenneville liked what he saw from his team, especially his goaltender, in rebounding from a bad loss in Dallas on Tuesday.

“I thought tonight’s game was real strong in a lot of ways,” Quenneville said. “Nice way for him [Huet] to bounce back. I liked how are team played across the board as well.”

But this was Madden’s night. The former Devil had several chances early in the game, including one backhand shot which came out of a Denis Savard spin-o-rama move, which brought the fans to their feet.

“I have a lot of those things [moves], but I’m too afraid to do them out there; but I’ve been working on it in practice so I thought I’d throw that out there,” Madden explained.

His teammates came to their feet as well.

“The guys on our side were talking about it," Madded added. "‘Where did that come from old man?’ they said. It was pretty funny.”

The goal that moved the momentum in the Hawks column came from the fourth line. Ben Eager tallied after Tomas Kopecky won a battle and Colin Fraser was able to center the puck for Eager’s tap in. The Hawks led 2-0 after one and never looked back.

NOTES:
  • Niklas Hjalmarsson got hit with a puck on the bench. Quenneville said he is day to day.
  • Jesse Rogers | email

    Chicago Cubs beat reporter
    Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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    TEAM LEADERS

    POINTS
    Patrick Sharp
    PTS GOALS AST +/-
    78 34 44 13
    OTHER LEADERS
    GoalsP. Sharp 34
    AssistsD. Keith 55
    +/-M. Hossa 28
    GAAC. Crawford 2.26