Hawks snatch one from Calgary in 3-2 shootout win
Photo by Maggie Avila
The Blackhawks came out of Calgary with a win that they had no business winning but isn’t that what great teams do? They literally snatched a win for what certainly should have been defeat. While they were doing that, back in Chicago and Blackhawks fans everywhere were going through just about as many heart palpations as Ray Emery had logic defying moves.
The Blackhawks came into the Saddledome road weary with having played in Vancouver just 24 hours earlier to face a rested and motivated Calgary Flames. Luckily for the Blackhawks they packed their Ray Bans because it was Ray Emery banning almost everything from the Hawks net.
On a night which saw the Hawks out of synch with their passing and way too many turnovers in their own zone and neutral ice they got, insert superlative, performance from Ray Emery. Simply put he was brilliant in the Hawks' net.
For the first two periods the score cards for both clubs remained empty but that does not mean there were not scoring chances. The majority of which seems to sway towards Calgary but Emery stopped them all.
It was not until the third period when Patrick Sharp fired at the Calgary netminder Miika Kiprusoff and a rebound came right out in front to Patrick Kane who got enough on it past the goalie for the Hawks to take a 1-0 lead.
The lead however did not last as Dennis Wideman scored off the skate of Brent Seabrook in front of the Hawks net on a power play. Emery had no chance on this one and just like that the score was even.
Then late in the third with only seconds left in the game Patrick Kane gave up another neutral zone possession to Calgary that resulted in Jay Bouwmeester’s goal. Again Emery had no chance as the Flames broke into the Hawks zone 2 on 1 with Bouwmeester as the trailer. This put Calgary ahead 2-1
It didn’t take Patrick Kane long however to make amends. With the Blackhawks pulling Emery in favor of an extra attacker with 2 or 3 secs left in regulation Marian Hossa was in the right spot in front of the net after an Oduya shot from the point to put one past the Calgary netminder and guarantee at least one point for the club as they went into overtime.
If Emery was brilliant before he was even more so in the overtime. In total Emery faced 47 shots on goal a career high for him and stopped 45. The Hawks surrendered 26 SOG in that third period alone and three quality chances in the overtime. It should also be mentioned the Hawks blocked 26 shots.
The Hawks and Emery survived the overtime to reach their third shootout in the last three games. This time though the results would be much different. Patrick Kane buried the lone shoot out tally for the Hawks as that is all that was needed. Emery stoned every Calgary shooter.
Kane showed a different look to Kiprusoff, he went in with speed and went backhand five hole to beat Kiprusoff. The rest was up to Emery and he stopped the Flames final shooter Cervenka to seal the Blackhawks larcenous win.
The Hawks for most of the night seemed very scrambly and scattered in their own zone and had massive problems clearing the puck from their own zone but Emery was equal to the task. This game was definitely a goalie win.
The Blackhawks now have 16 points out of a possible 18 and are grinding through those first 10 road games and are showing their resilience in finding ways to win even if they do not play their best. At the start of the season it was the goaltending position that everyone thought was the weakness on this team and that is turning out to be simply not true. That is bad news for the rest of the league when you consider the Hawks are playing on the road with a lot of travel and maybe not really hitting their stride yet.
It should also be noted that Johnny Oduya had a great game not only did he have an assist on the tying Hossa goal he played the most minutes and had six blocked shots.
Every game there is a different hero on this Blackhawks team, but on this night they needed the help of a superhero – Ray “The Razor” Emery.
Final score: Blackhawks 3, Calgary 2
CHI goals: Kane from Sharp and Shaw; Hossa from Oduya and Kane; Kane in Shootout
CAL goals: Wideman from Tanguay and Iginla; Bouwmeester from Hudler and Stajan
3) D. Wideman
2) J Bouwmeester
1) R. Emery
Winning Goalie: Ray Emery - 2GA Sv% .957
Losing Goalie: Miikka Kiprusoff – 2GA Sv%.895
Next game: Tue 2/5 @ San Jose, 9:30pm CST
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