Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 4, Ducks 2
January, 17, 2014
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks withstood a late charge Friday and held on for a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.
How it happened: The Blackhawks solved their recent trend of trailing early and rode a first-period lead to the victory. When Marian Hossa scored a short-handed goal at 10 minutes, 34 seconds of the period, it was the first time the Blackhawks had scored first since Jan. 3, and only the second time in the last eight games. Hossa would cap the victory with a late empty-net goal. Kris Versteeg added to the early lead at 17:06 of the first period with an unassisted goal that he poked past Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller while avoiding two defenders. Bryan Bickell added what proved to be a key goal midway through the third period, just his second since returning from a knee injury on Dec. 17. The Ducks ended the shutout bid when Ryan Getzlaf scored at 13:47 of the third period, and Kyle Palmieri added another less than a minute later.
What it means: The Stanley Cup champions got a chance to make a statement and did just that with the victory over the Ducks, who entered leading the NHL in points. Perhaps the team's recent lull (one victory in the past five games) was a simple lack of energy during the long schedule, something remedied quickly with the Ducks in town.
Player of the game: Hossa not only gave the Blackhawks the much-needed early lead to go along with the empty-net clincher, he led the team with eight shots on goal.
Stat of the game: Hossa scored his 28th career short-handed goal, tied for most in the NHL among active players. The 28 goals are also tied for 24th all-time in NHL history.
What's next: The Blackhawks will host the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon in a Stanley Cup finals rematch. It is the first meeting between the teams since June 24 of last year, when the Blackhawks raised the cup after a 3-2 come-from-behind victory in Game 6 of the finals at Boston.