Ducks get cut by the Razor as the Chicago Blackhawks beat Ducks 4-1
At this rate Corey Crawford may never get back into the Blackhawks net as Ray Emery was brilliant in the Hawks goal again. It would be easy for the Hawks to have let up in this game facing the lowly Anaheim Ducks (9-16-5) not only did that not happen I think they may have played one of their most complete games.
The Ducks have a new coach behind the bench in former Washington Capital coach Bruce Boudreau who would like to inject some life into the Ducks offence. Anaheim came in with an anemic offense ranking dead last in the league with shots on goal and 28th in the league with goals scored in the NHL. I thought the Hawks would have to watch Teemu Selanne who always seems to do well.
The Blackhawks (19-8-4) coming off of a shoot out thriller over the number 1 seed in the west Minnesota Wild had all the trappings of a letdown and you would think it would be hard for them to maybe get motivated against the Ducks who are ranked as last in the Western Conference. Now with this win the Hawks are the best team in the Western Conference.
The first period started a little bit shaky for the Hawks as it seemed like they were again turning the puck over in their own end and giving up good scoring chances in their own zone. Emery was keeping the Hawks in the game as he has been doing lately. The Blackhawks were a little bit lucky as a lot of the Ducks shots were off the target.
At 6:37 the tide turned when at even strength the Blackhawks fourth line got the puck rolling. Working hard below the Ducks goal line Jamal Mayers scored a wrap around goal that Hiller should have stopped blocker side. Mayers got a beautiful pass from Andrew Brunette and thanks to John Scott for keeping the puck in the Ducks zone both got assists. The period ended 1-0 Hawks. Shots on Goal were 8-6 in the Hawks favor.
The Second period is where the Blackhawks really took command of the game and never looked back. The Ducks committed a turnover in their own zone and Marian Hossa is not the person you want to serve the puck up to but that is exactly what happened just 1:07 into the period. Hossa got a pass from Sharp and beat Hiller with a wicked backhander. 2-0 Blackhawks.
John Scott and Sheldon Brookbank danced which I’m sure Brookbank will never want to have a return engagement with Scott again. He definitely got the worst of the skirmish. There was also a no goal call that robbed Dave Bolland of a goal. Toronto after reviewing said it was goaltender interference even though the original ref call was that the puck was kicked in but whatever Bolland would get vindication later. Ryan Getzlaf went off to the penalty box for holding the stick call. When at 17:19 on the power play Nick Leddy used his speed up the board into the Ducks zone made a pass to Dave Bolland in the slot who wristed one into the Ducks goal. 3-0 Blackhawks. Bolland’s goal was assited by Leddy and yes Goalie Emery. The period ended with SOG 8-8.
The third period opened and the only question I had was would John Scott get a Gordie Howe hat trick? The third period saw a lot of play between the blue lines in the neutral zone when at 9:42 Patrick Sharp almost singlehandedly fought his way through four Duck players with some fancy stickhandling and beat Hiller high glove side with a wrist shot. 4-0 Blackhawks. Assist to Marian Hossa. Of course Teemu Selanne had to ruin the shut out when he got one past Emery late in the period which was inconsequential as the game was all but over. 4-1 Hawks win with SOG 11-8 Ducks in the third and 25-24 total for the game.
The Blackhawks controlled most of the game as evidenced by their 31-19 face off wins. Overall I thought this game and the game again the Wild have been solid defensively. The defensive pairing of Seabrook and Keith were rock solid. The Hawks had to be happy getting offensive output from their third and fourth lines. The goaltending was solid again and the Hawks took over first in the West it doesn’t get much better does it.
3 Stars of the game – 3) Mayers 2) Scott 1) Emery
Hawks will play next against the Calgary Flames @6:00 at the United Center. Make sure to catch the game on WGN or on WGN Radio 720