Blackhawks extend losing streak to 3 after loss to Penguins

Both the Blackhawks and Penguins talked about needing to win Sunday night's match prior to the game; both teams had lost their last two games.

Pittsburgh just sold what they were saying better in the first period, going up 2-0 halfway through the period with goals just 21 seconds apart by James Neal and Lee Stempniak.

Sheldon Brookbank got the Blackhawks on the board 11:10 into the second period.

But any elation that Chicago might have felt over finally scoring was punched in the gut a few minutes later when Brooks Orpik checked Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews hard into the boards. Though the hit was called legal on the ice, Toews hit the boards hard along the dasher and was rattled on the hit; he skated to the bench immediately favoring his left arm, and then he headed to the locker room.

The Blackhawks came out flying in the third, and worked hard to make up for Toews' absence for the rest of the game. However, Marc-André Fleury denied them for the period.

Sidney Crosby got his first career goal versus the Blackhawks late in the third to make it 3-1 with 4:51 remaining, then his second career goal versus Chicago with an ENG with 1:16 left to make it 4-1.

Thanks to the Minnesota Wild's win over the Coyotes on Saturday, the Blackhawks have punched their ticket to the playoffs. Chicago will host the Wild on Thursday night at the United Center.

After the game, Toews was listed as "day to day" with an "upper body injury".

Three stars:
1. Marc-André Fleury (PIT)
2. Sidney Crosby (PIT)
3. James Neal (PIT)