After an ugly stretch of offensive play, the Hawks bounced back with a strong performance in Montreal on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the win came at a cost; Patrick Sharp needed help leaving the ice early in the third period and did not return.
Jonathan Toews scored the 200th regular season goal of his NHL career to open the scoring and his first period tally held up as the game-winner as the Blackhawks thoroughly dominated the final 40 minutes to run away with a 5-0 victory.
Kris Versteeg scored twice (the first of which was initially credited to Marcus Kruger in the second period) and the Hawks also picked up goals from Patrick Kane and Brad Richards.
Carey Price wasn’t very good but didn’t get much help from the skaters in front of him. Chicago’s first four goals came from the greasy areas that coach Joel Quenneville stressed after the team’s 1-0 home loss on Sunday night. Price allowed all five goals against 32 shots in the loss.
Corey Crawford, a Montreal native, picked up the 11th shutout of his career. Chicago’s netminder stopped all 27 shots he faced and looked great once again. Thankfully, this time Crawford’s effort was rewarded with offense to get him a victory.
Marian Hossa and Toews led the Hawks with four shots each; Toews won 12 of 20 faceoffs and picked up an assist with the goal.
Two other Blackhawks players to have a multi-point night: David Rundblad and Bryan Bickell, who picked up two assists each in the game. Niklas Hjalmarsson, Andrew Shaw, Duncan Keith, Brandon Saad and Sharp were each credited with one assist in the contest. Johnny Oduya led the way with four blocked shots.
Montreal failed on all four of the power plays, while Toews’ goal in the first period came on the advantage. Chicago was 1-4 on the power play in the game.
Chicago’s performance was the most dominant of the young season for the Blackhawks, but the injury to Sharp will overshadow the result. After the game, Quenneville said Sharp would be out “a bit” and indicated the Hawks forward would likely miss weeks, not days, due to the lower body injury suffered in the third period Tuesday.