Hawks ground Jets in 4-1 home win

 

The Hawks were firing on all cylinders as the Winnipeg Jets rolled into town on Wednesday night.  Three days after their defeat in Calgary, the Hawks came back to Chicago and dispatched the Jets 4-1.  Corey Crawford was solid in net with 23 stops as the Hawks reached double digits in the win column with their 10th of the season.

 

This was also the ‘official’ Chicago homecoming of former Hawk forward Michael Frolik, who received a warm welcome from a sold out crowd of 22,122 at the United Center.  The Fratellis, the band best known for creating the Hawk's goal song 'Chelsea Dagger', were also in attendance.

 

The first goal came from a result of a monster shift by Jonathan Toews, who bowled into the zone and put a slick behind the back pass on the tape of Patrick Kane’s stick, who was stopped by Al Montoya.  The line continued to cause havoc in the zone and the puck wound up on Toew’s stick again, who drove to the net and tucked it five-hole on Montoya for his eighth goal of the season at 17:29 in the first period.  The goal was also the sixth for Toews in the last eight games.

 

Not to be outdone, Kane would score less than three minutes later after dancing into the offensive zone and ripping the puck past Montoya with five seconds remaining in the period for his ninth goal of the year.  The goal, originally credited to Kane, was switched to Brandon Saad during the intermission, but was then credited back to Kane before the drop of the puck for the second period.

 

After a dominant first period, the Hawks continued to play a solid game of hockey  and put away an insurance goal as well from Brandon Pirri on a breakaway late in the second after a stretch pass from Ben Smith sprung him loose.  It was Pirri’s third goal of the season.

 

Patrick Sharp would keep the Hawks rolling with a goal four minutes into the third to put the Hawks up 4-0. After a battle along the boards, Duncan Keith, who finished the night with two assists, poked the puck to Sharp, who skated into some open ice and wristed the puck past Montoya.  Sharp would finish the night with a goal and an assist.

 

Crawford would be denied the shutout at 8:40 of the third, when Devin Setoguchi would bang home a rebound to give the Jets their lone goal of the night.

 

The Hawks would finish the night with 30 FO wins out of 50 for a solid 60% winning percentage.  Toews would finish with a 88% winning percentage, taking 15 of 17 face-offs.

 

Quick hits:

-The Hawks chose to scratch forward Jeremy Morin dress 7 defensemen for tonight’s contest, the first time this year they’ve done so.  Sheldon Brookbank started the game at right wing.

 

-Marian Hossa and Kane were seeing a lot of ice time tonight, as they both started the game double shifting on the third line wing.  Brookbank, who started the game on third line wing, played an eventual 8:14 TOI.

 

-Coach Joel Quenneville is known for shuffling his lines regularly, has kept the top line of Toews, Hossa, and Sharp together for quite some time, and good reason.  The line combined tonight for 2 goals and an assist as well as almost half of the entire team’s shots on goal, putting 13 SOG out of 28 total shots.

 

-Speaking of Quenneville, tonight was his 670th NHL win.  This puts him just 3 wins shy of overtaking Mike Keenan’s record of 672, which would make Quenneville the 5th ‘winnngest’ NHL coach in the regular season.

 

3 Stars:

1. Jonathan Toews: 1 G, 4 SOG, 2 PIM, 21:29 TOI

2. Patrick Sharp: 1 G, 1 A, 3 hits, 19:47 TOI

3. Duncan Keith: 2 A, +2, 2 SOG, 22:18 TOI

 

The Hawks are back in action on Saturday night in Dallas in the first of  back to back weekend games.  The puck drops at 7 p.m. Central time.

 

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