Hawks head home after beating the Coyotes 5-2
In the final game of the Hawks long circus trip the team could not have asked for a better way to turn the page and close out the long road excursion. They may have started the trip wrong in Denver but closed solid in Phoenix. The game also was the second start for back up rookie goalie Antti Raanta and he did not disappoint.
For the first time this year, the Jobing Com Arena was completely sold out and of course there was a sea of red Indianhead jerseys a sight to the delight for Hawks fan back in Chicago. The Blackhawks fans were treated to the Hawks coming out of the gates flying as they utterly dominated the first period.
Before the period was half over the Hawks were up 3-0 on goals from Patrick Kane, Andrew Shaw & Niklas Hjalmarsson. The Coyotes committed a slew of penalties that led to the Hawks getting a 5 on 3 man advantage which they took advantage of on the Patrick Kane tally.
Patrick Kane, what more can be said about him other than he has taken his game to even another level which is unbelievable. His consistency is Hart Trophy consideration worthy. His skills never cease to amaze and astound.
On the goal he scored it was his hands that impressed as he redirected a Hossa blast past the goalie. On the Hammer goal it was his vision but this is not really anything new for number 88. Somehow Kane from the far corner saw Hjalmarsson finding open ice high in the slot to blast one into the Coyotes net.
Andrew Shaw scores because he pays the price in front of the net and is always in the right place at the right time as he got a redirect past a shaky Mike Smith.
The Hawks had a shot on goal advantage in the first of 16-7 and Antti Raanta did not see too much action in the Hawks zone.
The second period was the complete opposite and saw all of the Coyotes goals come in the middle stanza. The period saw the ice tilted and the Yotes had a 17-6 shots on goal advantage in the second.
The Hawks took too many penalties and returned the 5 on 3 man advantage favor to the Coyotes. Phoenix like the Hawks took advantage and scored on the power play by Martin Hanzal. The other goal was by Rob Klinkhammer. The period ended with the Hawks only up by a goal 3-2. The score could have been 3-3 if not for a Brent Seabrook sweep of the puck out of the Hawks blue paint that saved a goal.
In the third period the Hawks took control back and surprisingly were the team with more legs and speed. The scoring was sealed when Brandon Bollig scored a wicked wrister on a cross ice sweet pass from Ben Smith. Marian Hossa closed the scoring on an empty netter and the Hawks left the dessert with a 5-2 win.
Notables were both Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook both had two assists each in the game. Antti Raanta got his second win as the starter in the Hawks nets. Patrick Kane scored a point in every game on the trip except in Dallas. Marcus Kruger and Kris Versteeg were 60% at the faceoff dot and Brandon Pirri had 67% which helped the Hawks maintain puck possession and dictate the pace of the game. Ben Smith, Marcus Kruger and Brandon Bollig have played really well on the fourth line of the Hawks and are solid in all zones which enables the coaches to roll all four lines.
As the Hawks head home finally from the circus trip with a convincing 6-1 record. They left Phoenix to the sounds of the Hawks faithful chanting “Lets go Hawks” something they will now get to hear more of from the friendly confines of the United Center in December.
Three Stars of the game:
1. Patrick Kane
2. Martin Hanzal
3. Duncan Keith
Next game Tuesday, December 3, at 7 p.m. CDT from the United Center in Chicago. Tune in to CSN in the Chicago or NBCSN outside of Chicago in the US and TSN2 in Canada; or listen via WGN 720.