Hawks defeat Devils 3-1

The Hawks had a couple of different jersey numbers on the ice 38 and 26 that gave them a slightly different look both on the front and back ends of the lineup.

Making his NHL debut was Illinois’ own Ryan Hartman who was playing the wing on the fourth and third lines. He made a huge first impression in his first shift on the ice when he made a huge mid ice hit against Devils’ Zubrus who probably out weights Hartman by 30 -40 lbs.

Ryan Hartman was very physical and noticeable throughout the game adding some grit along with skill. Welcome to the Blackhawks, Ryan here is to many more appearances at the United Center.

Also noticeable was defenseman Kyle Cumiskey, he brings a ton of speed and smooth puck moving style that reminds one of the departed Nick Leddy. Cumiskey was paired for the most part with Brent Seabrook and they worked well together as pair. Cumiskey is not new to the NHL but this was his first game in a Blackhawks uniform and hit fit seamlessly right in.

The lineup was different due to injuries on the back end giving Cumiskey a chance on the blueline, while Ben Smith was a healthy scratch giving Ryan Hartman a chance on the forward lines. With the absence of Smith, Brandon Saad was teamed with Marcus Kruger on the penalty kill.

The scoring got started by the Devils on a fluky goal that Corey Crawford seemed to mis-play by getting himself slightly out of position sliding to the wrong side just enough for Peter Harrold to get New Jersey on the board 1-0.

The second period was scoreless and as time wore on, one could have gotten the feeling this was going to be another one of those games that the Hawks just couldn’t get going. The Hawks knew going into the third they would have the power play to start the period though.

The power play also had a different look and feel with Patrick Kane on the point with Brent Seabrook and the Toews line up front at forwad. The unit seemed to get more shots to the net and less passing. 

The third period the Hawks owned starting with the power play that they ended up scoring on, by who else Mr. Sizzle – Marian Hossa who got one past Corey Schneider with assists going to Brandon Saad and Brent Seabrook to tie the game.

Jonathan Toews scored the game winning goal, which was good since he has been on a slight goal draught. Marian Hossa powered himself to the net and the rebound went to Toews who got a stick on it to tap past the Devils goalie.

 Kris Versteeg got the empty net goal to seal the Hawks win 3-1.

Brent Seabrook had a solid game with two assists and Corey Crawford made a spectacular save on a two on zero to keep his team in the game.

All in all it was a good come from behind win in regulation to get some much needed two points against a solid tight checking team. The Blackhawks fans approved, during Marian Hossa’s three stars interview he could barely be heard over the United Center crowd chanting Hoss Hoss Hoss. Yes Marian Hossa you certainly deserve the chants and cheers, for being well, Marian Hossa.

The Hawks will now prepare for a Sunday matinee tilt against a very different team in the Pittsburgh Penguins as they look to continue gathering points to keep up in the division and conference.

Three Stars of the game:

1.    M. Hossa

 2.    B. Seabrook

3.    J. Toews

 Next game Sunday, February 15, at 11:30 a.m. CDT vs the Pittsburgh Penguins watch on NBC Chicago; or listen via radio on WGN AM720.

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