In a match that pitted the best vs the best in the Western Conference, the audience at the United Center in Chicago should have went home very satisfied. The game was a speed vs speed game that was a battle of the titans in the West.
The difference was the Blackhawks control of the neutral zone and their transition game not only offensively but defensively as well. The Sharks never could quit keep pace with the Hawks transition game that saw four of the Hawks five goals coming off of the rush. Special teams was not a factor in this game as all of the goals were five on five scores with the exception of a penalty shot.
The Hawks had great body positioning and back checking off ...
Through three games the Kings/Sharks Western Conference Semifinal has been nothing short of fantastic. Entering the series was the Stanley Cup defending champions who disposed of the St. Louis Blues in six games despite falling behind 2-0; the Sharks entered red hot as a team drenched with momentum after easily sweeping the Canucks 4-0.
The two Californian teams play rough styles of hockey that aren't always pretty but are effective for playoff hockey. The Kings won the first two games in different fashion, the first behind the perfect play of Jonathan Quick who shut out the Sharks facing 35 shots and secondly behind some late game heroics in a spectacular comeback win.
The Flames welcome the Sharks to the Dome for the first time, for their second match-up of the season. They two combatants opened the season against each other as the Sharks defeated the Flames by the score of 4-1. The story for tonight’s game is the return of Miikka Kiprusoff, who will get his first start since going down with a knee injury on February 5th.
Anze Kopitar and the Kings win their fifth straight for the first time this year. (photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Needless to say, the Kings offense is certainly clicking at the right time. With a 5-2 win over division rival San Jose Tuesday night, Los Angeles improved their record to 9-3 since the addition of Jeff Carter and vaulted themselves back into the playoff picture for the first time in over a week. With nine games left in the season, the Kings are tied with Phoenix for the eighth seed with eighty-four points.
Mike Richards (who, after an extended post-Christmas slump) netted his third goal of the month...
It was another frustrating loss as the Wings fell in OT to a goal from Martin Havlat.
The Wings can at least look forward to the fact that they were able to get a point for making it into OT. They still sit at fourth in the West, only two points ahead of Nashville.
The first period was the most active, as Joe Pavelski scored the first goal of the night with less than a minute into the period. Martin Havlat followed suit near the end of the period to give San Jose a two-goal lead.
The Wings were not out of it yet. In his first game back since having knee surgery, Pavel Datsyuk scored shortly after Havlat, to cut the Sharks' lead down to one.
Another benchmark game won for the Detroit Red Wings, continuing their home game winning streaks at 23. It was a tough game for both teams, but the Wings were able to come out on top with the help from the star of the game Joey MacDonald.
The Wings controlled the first period, having 8 shots on goal compared to 6 for the Sharks. Henrik Zetterberg took the first goal for the Wings, which he did with a beautiful backhanded shot six minutes into the period. The Wings ended the first period killing a penalty for Bertuzzi for goalie interference.
The second period did not go as well for the Wings. The Sharks dominated with shots on goal, 19 to 8. ...
Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks are in San Jose, facing off against their former Stanley Cup-winning goaltender, Antti Niemi, and their Western Conference rival, the Sharks.
No matter if Niemi stays with the Sharks or if he goes on to another team, that's how it will always be said. Niemi, after all, helped the Blackhawks win their first Cup in 49 years. Then the Sharks got Niklas Hjalmarsson to sign an offer sheet, and it put the salary-cap-strapped Blackhawks over a barrel in terms of choosing between a young and promising defenseman, and a young and promising goalie; they couldn't keep both without further gutting their roster of players considered core -...