Hawks defeat Flames 3-1
In what has been a truly amazing year the Blackhawks ended their regular season at the United Center in the fashion that they began – winning. The game was really never in doubt from the moment the puck dropped on the Indianhead at center ice.
Like the past couple of games, again the Blackhawks had little to play for except that this group of extraordinary athletes has set a standard for themselves which they have not faltered from all season.
The Hawks jumped on top of the Flames early and often. The score could have been much higher save bounces not going the Hawks way. They completely dominated the Flames in the first period.
The scoring for the Hawks began with a familiar duo Patrick Kane snuck one through the goalies body and the post on the glove side to beat Joey MacDonald. Patrick Sharp had a wide open net to the near side but the puck appeared to bounce over his stick at the last minute. He was set up by a beauty of a pass from Duncan Keith. That did not stop Sharp he was able to gain possession of the puck and find Kane open and he buried it for a Hawks 1-0 lead.
Less than five minutes later, Jonathan Toews scored off a hard shot in the slot from Brandon Saad that squeaked through the goalie and stayed just long enough in the crease for Toews to get a stick on it to make sure it went into the Flames goal 2-0 Hawks. Both Patrick Kane & Jonathan Toews both scored their 23rd goals of this season and lead the Hawks in goals. Think these guys are not valuable to their team?
The second period was not the Hawks best. The Hawks got a power play and not only were they unable to score they allowed Chris Butler to score a shorty. If there is one area of concern with the Hawks it is definitely that power play.
At the very least power plays are supposed to give you momentum and adrenaline not lose momentum and possibly turn the tide of the game which could have happened in this one as the Flames were only behind by one goal.
The third period could have gotten away from the Blackhawks as the Flames did have the momentum from the shorthanded goal. These Blackhawks however have too much pride and skill to just give in or let up. They are also loaded with skill. Marcus Kruger snapped home a picture perfect shot from the far side faceoff circle past MacDonald on the stick side to seal a Hawks victory at 3-1.
Takeaways from this game were that Michal Handzus was centering the 2nd line and works well with the Patricks. Corey Crawford looks play off ready in the Chicago nets as he made some unbelievable saves in the 2nd and 3rd period to keep the Hawks ahead. The defense is becoming stingy which they will need heading into the playoffs.
Chicago this was the last time in the 2012-2013 regular season you saw your Chicago Blackhawks skate off the ice with a victory. The Blackhawks will end the regular season with an 18-3-3 Home ice record. Only three times have the UC crowd seen this team lose in regulation. Now that is remarkable given the level of competition in the NHL.
It was fan appreciation night at the United Center but somehow you’d have to think that the appreciation was mutual. After all that the Blackhawks have accomplished so far this season and the thrills they have provided their fans who wouldn’t be appreciative.
Final score: Blackhawks 3, Flames 1
CHI goals: P. Kane, J. Toews (GWG) & M. Kruger
CAL goal: C. Butler
1) C. Crawford
2) P. Kane
3) J. Toews
Winning Goalie: Corey Crawford- 1 GA Sv% .962 faced 26 shots
Losing Goalie: Joey MacDonald – 3 GA Sv%.921 faced 38 shots
Next game: Sat 4/27 vs St. Louis Blues, 7:00pm CST
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