Hawks rebound with decisive 4-1 win over Anaheim Ducks; prepare for San Jose Sharks

Both the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks came into the game mad and frustrated, not a good combination. This was another battle of heavyweights in the west.  It was the Blackhawks however, that maybe were a little more determined to not repeat their frustrating loss in Los Angeles the other night. The Hawks won every board battle and seemed to have a little more jump in their skates.  

After the loss to the Kings on Wednesday night, Patrick Sharp spoke to the media about how frustrating it was to leave points on the ice and that it was unacceptable. Well Sharp took matters into his own hands and almost singlehandedly decided to be the igniter. He assisted on each one of the Hawks goals and was all over the ice.

The game was the usual heavy contact, physical type play especially early from the Ducks, and it seemed Corey Crawford and Brent Seabrook had bull’s-eyes on their jerseys as both sustained heavy contact but none the worse for wear the Hawks just seemed to get stronger and more determined as the game wore on. This game the Hawks played the full 60 minutes and the defensive team game returned and Corey Crawford stopped 21 of 22 shots for a .955 save percentage

The scoring was opened up in the first period by the captain on a Patrick Kane pass that found Jonathan Toews by the far face-off circle change the angle on Ducks goalie Frederick Andersen that fooled him to put the Hawks up 1-0 which stood through the first period.

The second period saw two goals by the Hawks to put the team up 3-0 and pretty much take a commanding lead and dictate the game. The first was by Duncan Keith registering his 400th NHL career point. Congrats Duncs here is to your next 400. He had all day to literraly walk into the goal from the far circle and get one five hole past Andersen who may have been impeded by Jonathan Toews who was pushed into Andersen by Clayton Stoner so the goal was allowed.  The other goal was scored Patrick Kane on a wicked wrist shot that had a lot of snap on it that got through after a Patrick Sharp pick. The play was set up by a rare Ryan Getzlaf turnover. That put the Hawks up  3-0  going into the third.

The third period saw the teams exchange goals by Rickard Rakell on a power play goal for the Ducks and another Patrick Kane goal to once again give the Hawks a three goal lead which is where the game scoring ended 4-1 Hawks.

Not only was it important for the two points gained to stay even in the west but maybe for the Blackhawks to prove to themselves that they still have the necessary team defensive game they need to beat the big boys in the west. The Hawks will need to continue with this style of play as they next face the San Jose Sharks.

 

Three Stars of the game:

1.    P.Kane

2.    P. Sharp

3.    R. Rakell

Hawks to face Sharks preview

The Hawks continue their tour of California this time to the North. The Blackhawks are coming in off of a huge win over the Anaheim Ducks for both squads, with both teams looking for much needed points in the highly competitive Western Conference.

The Hawks will have Annti Raanta in nets to spell Crawford who has done yeoman’s work between the pipes so far this trip. The Sharks are coming in off of two big divisional wins over the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks have a plethora of snipers who can score. The usual suspects Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Brent Burns are leading the Sharks in points for the team.

The Sharks have several players out on injury, Tommy Wingels, Tyler Kennedy and Justin Braun will all be out of the Sharks line-up. The Hawks are still with out the services of Kris Versteeg and Trevor Van Riemsdyk although both are both skating but not with the team. Daniel Carcillo is still out on suspension and will not be available until early February.

 Next game Saturday, January 31, at 9:30 p.m. CDT vs the San Joe Sharks watch on CSN Chicago; or listen via radio on WGN AM720.

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