With revenge on their minds, the Blackhawks handled their business in Denver on Monday night.
Patrick Kane had another dominant three-point night (one goal, two assists) leading the Hawks to victory. He also had three takeaways.
Unfortunately, Kane spent a lot of the night back on a line with Jonathan Toews. Marian Hossa was hit hard with just under two minutes remaining in the first period by Ryan O’Byrne – the same O’Byrne that hurt Patrick Sharp – and did not return to the ice. The team reported that Hossa had an “upper-body injury” but wasn’t ruled out for the rest of the contest.
Thankfully, the Hawks handled their business on the ice and his services weren’t needed.
When Hossa left the game, his teammates had a 2-0 lead on goals by Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw; the goals came 57 seconds apart inside the first five minutes of the game. Hayes finished with a nice backhand off a Kane feed from behind the net, while Shaw put a gorgeous pass from a flying Viktor Stalberg into the back of the net.
A late short-handed goal by Gabriel Landeskog got the Avs to within 2-1, and a poor play by Brent Seabrook may have put the defenseman into coach Joel Quenneville’s doghouse; he didn’t take a shift for over 13 minutes to begin the second period.
Kane extended the Hawks’ lead to 3-1 with his 16th goal of the year. On the play, Toews was credited with his first of two assists on the night.
When he finally got back on the ice, Seabrook earned it. On his second shift of the period, he finished a great rush from Kane and Toews to push the Hawks’ lead to 4-1.
On the blue line, even with Seabrook spending most of the second period in the doghouse, Quenneville spread out the ice time once again. Johnny Oduya led all Blackhawks defensemen in ice time, but only skate 21:47 in the game. Michal Rozsival (21:46), Niklas Hjalmarsson (21:10) and Duncan Keith (20:42) were the four Hawks to skate over 20 minutes, while Nick Leddy (19:46) came up just short of that mark.
Hjalmarsson filled the box score and played a strong game. He was credited with four blocked shots – one of which saved a goal with Ray Emery out of position – and also had three hits and two takeaways.
The Avalanche would add another late-period goal, but that would effectively end their night offensively. In a dominant third period, the Avs were only credited with only four shots in the final 20 minutes. Toews added his 14th goal of the season on a missile to put the game away.
For Emery, he bounced back and made a few key saves in the second period to maintain the Hawks’ lead. He stopped 17 of 19 shots to earn another victory.
Kane and Toews led the offense with three points each, and Seabrook added a pair (one goal, one assist). Bryan Bickell, Brandon Saad, Keith and Stalberg were credited with assists.
One encouraging note from the final box score, the Blackhawks were only short-handed once and did not allow a goal. After killing only nine of 17 penalties and allowing at least one power play goal in five of their last six games, the Hawks showed a lot of discipline in a physical game.
On Wednesday night, the Hawks visit an Anaheim squad that made some news off the ice on Monday night.
It was later reported that Perry signed an eight-year, $69M deal ($8.625M cap), which is $3M more than the eight-year deal Ryan Getzlaf recently received.