Hawks best Penguins in shootout

Two of the league’s premiere teams faced off in a Sunday matinee when the Pittsburgh Penguins rolled into town to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Two clubs typically known for their offensive firepower, the game was defensive and chippy, with several non-calls as the refs let the players go at it. The fans at the United Center got to see 65 minutes of hockey along with a dazzling shootout, and in the end watched their hometown Hawks win a 2-1 victory against the Penguins.


After a scoreless first period, the Blackhawks found their way on the scoresheet with a blast from Niklas Hjalmarsson from the blue line. The play came off of a clean faceoff win from Jonathan Toews that Brandon Saad managed to tip over to Hjalmarsson, who let loose a canon that sped past Marc Andre Fleury.


The Hawks held their lead going into the third period, but the Penguins managed to tie it up around four minutes into the third. Beau Bennett fired a shot towards the net that  Corey Crawford managed to stop, but Nick Spaling picked up the rebound and roofed it past Crawford for the Penguins first goal of the game.


The overtime came and went, and then both teams went into the shootout and put on a show that was easily the most entertaining part of the game.


David Perron went first for the Penguins, scoring on Crawford, but Jonathan Toews equalized against Fleury. Sidney Crosby managed a flukey goal against Crawford that bounced up and over the netminder, but Patrick Kane dazzled Fleury with one of his patented slow-motion dekes.


In the end, it came down to the final shooters. Kris Letang was stopped by Crawford, leaving the game on the stick of Patrick Sharp. He wove in and snapped the puck past Fleury to give the Hawks the win and the extra point, sending the United Center into a frenzy and leaving a frustrated Fleury slamming his stick into the goal post. 


Three stars:

  1. Corey Crawford
  2. Marc-Andre Fleury
  3. Niklas Hjalmarsson


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