Practice pays off with shootout win

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
11:45
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Apparently it just took a little focus and extra work to fix the Chicago Blackhawks' shootout woes.

After going 0-2 in shootouts in the first seven games of the season, coach Joel Quenneville decided to make it a priority. He opened practice on Monday with a shootout drill and had his players do some homework watching tendencies of Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller.

The result? Two of their three shooters -- Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane -- scored and the Hawks won 3-2 on Tuesday.

“We studied the shootout, we studied the goalie today, and it obviously paid off,” Kane said. “I tried to do something different. I knew he is an opposite-hand goalie so I knew his stick wouldn’t be there when I came across. It worked out, I guess.”

Toews and Kane are the Hawks’ best shots in the shootout and after each opened the season 0-for-2, there was some cause for concern.

“We changed our format. We obviously went second which was an easy decision, maybe a little bit more of a batting order,” Quenneville said. “It was definitely a point of emphasis going into [Monday] and [Tuesday’s] game. We have to do something a little bit different if it does occur and be ready for it.”

They were ready and took advantage of the extra focus. Dave Bolland missed but Toews and Kane did not. Quenneville was asked why it was such an easy decision to go second.

“Because we didn’t win going first,” he deadpanned.

Slappers

  • The Hawks have earned a point in seven straight games (5-0-2) since losing on opening night in Dallas. They accomplished that feat just once last season, when they won eight in a row in late February and early March.

  • Marian Hossa has a five-game goal scoring streak, matching the longest of his career.

  • Patrick Sharp has a five-game point streak and leads the team with three goals and five assists.
  • 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 Kane
    PTS GOALS AST +/-
    64 27 37 10
    OTHER LEADERS
    GoalsP. Kane 27
    AssistsP. Kane 37
    +/-J. Toews 23
    GAAC. Crawford 2.29