The Hawks kicked off the first leg of their Mother/Son road trip with a shootout win Tuesday night in Florida against the Panthers. Corey Crawford stopped both Florida attempts in the shootout and Patrick Sharp netted the game winner for the visitors.
The Hawks continued to have trouble putting together a full 60 minutes of hockey, and gave up two unanswered goals to Florida in the third to tie a game that was 2-0 heading into the last period.
The New York Islanders have officially removed Rick DiPietro's name from their roster after using one of their two compliance buyouts on the former number one goaltender yesterday. The buyout will pay him $1.5 million over the next 16 seasons and makes him an unrestricted free agent in search of a new NHL home (Photo credit: xjowell/Flickr).
DiPietro was drafted by Mike Milbury with the 1st overall pick 13 years ago, making history in the NHL as he was the first goaltender to ever be selected first overall. He immediately began his career with the Islanders before seeing some time with the Isles AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
And then there were two. It took two overtimes for the Chicago Blackhawks to punch their ticket back to the Stanley Cup Finals but they did. They now are returning there for an opportunity at the most coveted trophy in sports.
The game saw the return of two key players for each side, Mike Richards for the Kings and Duncan Keith for the Blackhawks. Both players factored into the game in significant ways.
Duncan Keith got the scoring going in the first with what would have to be categorized as a soft goal by Jonathan Quick. Keith fired off a slap shot just inside the Kings blue line that squeaked through Quick’s pads into the net.
With the Blackhawks out of Duncan Keith's services for the evening on Thursday night, other players were going to have to step up in a big way.
Unfortunately for Sheldon Brookbank, he wasn't the solution, going -2 and logging just 6:50 of ice time. In comparison, the only forward even close to him in minutes was Viktor Stalberg at 8:47.
However, Johnny Oduya, Michal Rozsival, and Niklas Hjalmarsson were very noticeable in a good way for the game, making up for the missing Keith. Between them, they were +4 with 3 assists, 4 hits and 4 blocked shots.
Once again, the Kings were first on the board, with a goal by Slava Voynov just 3:28 into the ...
All the talk swirling around this series for the past two days has centered around the Kings' dominance at home. Through two series, Los Angeles has been 7-0 at home, despite a mostly-poor road performance.
In tonight's game at the Staples Center, the Blackhawks played like they expected the Kings to win. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't until the third period that they looked like they realized they didn't need to give the game away.
On the positive side: despite poor play for two periods, being out-shot (28-20; 60-40 once factoring in all shot attempts) and out-hit, despite being just 41% on the dot and 15 giveaways, the Blackhawks limited the King...
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.
Friday night's game was not the Blackhawks' best - they coughed up 4 goals against the offensively-challenged Nashville (29th in league - average 2.27 goals/game). Chicago is on their way to their first Presidents' Trophy since 1991, and the Predators have already been eliminated.
Five of Chicago's games have come against the Predators this season, and the Blackhawks swept the Nashville series, including two shutouts against them.
At the end of the night, it was a familiar scenario: Marian Hossa putting in the overtime winner to give the Blackhawks a 5-4 win, making long-time fans remember a certain first-round game vs the Preds back in 2010.