Blackhawks Comeback Falls Short, Winning Streak Ends In Pittsburgh

After struggling to stay out of the penalty box for 40 minutes, the Blackhawks were a couple posts away from tying a fantastic game. In the end, Chicago lost in regulation for the first time in December.

The game was impacted early in the first period when Marcus Kruger was levelled by Deryk Engelland. John Scott came to Kruger’s defense and was hit with 17 penalty minutes; Engelland was only called for the fighting major.

But that was the story of the night. The Hawks were in the box, and didn’t get on track until the third period.

Viktor Stalberg was strong in the third period rally. He was credited with nine shots on goal, scored his sixth goal of the year and was credited with an assist on Jonathan Toews’ goal that started the Chicago scoring.

Toews struggled at the dot in the first two periods, but battled back to win 15 of 29 draws in the game. Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa had the other two Hawks assists in the game.

Ray Emery didn’t get much help in the first two periods, but kept the Blackhawks in the game in the third. He allowed three goals against 28 shots in the game and took his first regulation loss in over a month; his last regulation loss was Nov. 19 in Edmonton.

To the Blackhawks’ credit, they allowed only one power play goal on seven advantages for Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, the goal they allowed was to Chris Kunitz during the first penalty of the night, the questionable instigator called on Scott.

Kruger did not return after the first period and is questionable for Wednesday night’s game against Montreal. Engelland should receive a phone call from the league office for the hit on Kruger, which was not only illegal but caused an injury.

After Kruger left the game, Kane moved back to center.

James Neal was also called for a couple penalties in the game, once leaving his feet to hit Duncan Keith and another on a crosscheck on Brent Seabrook. The hit on Keith is worthy of league attention as well.

12 thoughts on “Blackhawks Comeback Falls Short, Winning Streak Ends In Pittsburgh

  1. Three posts tonight…one by Frolik and two by Stalberg. We hit posts and the puck stays out while Neal hits one and his goes in. Scattered play and effort in the first 40 minutes and way too much time in the box. Engelland has to be suspended for the Kruger hit; Scott definitely had the justification to batter him; no complaints for that action as the hit was dirty and cheap. Geezus, Stalberg looked like an all-star in the final 20 minutes; why not something similar more often?

  2. Very courageous effort by the Hawks…horrible reffing all night long…and it definitely was the difference in the game…the Hawks had one stolen from them tonight…

  3. I totally agree with Greg. But, when I watched the video you provided, Tab, it seemed to me that Bob McKenzie was not in favor of our response to the dirty hit. If so, I know where he can get a good pair of glasses. I hope Shanahan doesn’t pull one of his “it’s only a 2-gamer”.
    We’ll hope for the best for Marcus, that looked prettybad.

  4. While the loss sucks and the officiating didn’t help any, the Hawks have no one to blame for this loss but themselves. The endless parade to the box for stupid penalties like hooking (Kane twice, Bolly once) occurred far too often and when you give a team like the Pens enough chances they will eventually bury one on you. Sleepwalking through the first 40 minutes usually doesn’t help your cause much either. The Pens flat out outplayed, out battled, and out hustled the Hawks at every turn during the first 2 periods and by time they woke up it was too late.

    Razer had another strong game without much help from those in front of him and didn’t need to stand on his head in the 3rd thanks to the Hawks finally deciding to wake from their slumber. Stals was a monster in the 3rd and used all of that speed for a purpose.

    The hit on Krugs was a disgrace seeing as how it came from the team who’s star player’s career is in jeopardy from a similar hit, and I did appreciate Scottsquatch lumbering over to sort things out; this time he served his purpose.

    Oh well, judging by the post game comments none in the locker room were too happy with their performance which should make things very uncomfortable for the visiting Habs tonight. Crow should get an opportunity tonight to see if he has gotten things straightened out, and if the D provides the same support that Razer has enjoyed recently he shouldn’t have much of a problem. Let’s get another streak underway boys!

  5. Again, the NHL officiating is a joke and as always their are two of them and neither of them could get it right. The Engelland hit on Kruger should have been a match and a game it was a deliberate attempt to injure. That he only got a fighting major is a joke it is so NHL like. A guy that is six foot two leaves his feet to hit a guy that is barely 5′ 10″ that is really gutsy what a man. That SOB better get 8 games or better for that crap I am so sick of the lack of respect for each other.

  6. I the NHL really wants to penalize the “cheap” shots it must allow an IMMEDIATE VIDEO REVIEW… especially when there is an “instigator” involved… did it ever dawn on the NHL that perhaps something “dirty” occurred to warrant the instigator.
    Furthermore, penalizing a team for 5 min. in a game is in alot of ways more effective then suspending a (usually a thug) guy for 2 games… this hit is the perfect definition of Illegal hit- that the NHL is trying to minimize. 1st contact to head, went out of his way to contact head, left his feet, 3 feet from the boards (so his head would snap just right)…. PATHETIC!!!!
    Stalberg needs Hossa-
    Still need that 1st or 2nd line power forward-
    Liked Morin’s play around the net… just a matter of time before he scores… but he really sucks at moving the puck off of his defensive boards… you can tell he has a fear there.
    How did Frolik ever score 20 goals?

  7. This loss has to be encouraging and I can see it being a foundation for continuing/rebuilding momentum. Toews pissed as hell, Scott leading by example, all good things to continue this momentum. This team does incredibly well when rallying against the injury- they carry a chip on their shoulder well and these two injuries by dirty hits will keep a team known for getting complacent on the right track.

  8. It was nice to see the team finally come around and begin playing the way they are capable, but I don’t think I would characterize this loss as encouraging. When you give up that many PIM and allow yourself to be outworked for the first 2 periods (with the exception of the first few minutes of the game) against a team like the Pens you’re not gonna’ win a lot of those games.

  9. Your all right about the ref’s. Not an excuse just fact… The nhl needs to be serious w suspensions, there a joke. It should be the same for every team/player… or these hits hits will never stop. & we should call up the hanson brothers and the syracuse bulldogs ogglethorpe, cracken, and company when we play the dirty discrace teams. Well only get suspended 2 games.

    The nhl suspensions are a joke, they should be this or players will never stop.

    2-hit on Seabs

    2/4-hits to the head like Bicks took (maybe not intential but to the face)
    20-dirty & cheap on Kruggs
    40-dirty & cheap-behind hit on Seabs

    Until the nhl takes away 40 games,roster spot and salary to the players who do this there just telling those player go ahead and do it, its only 2 games and chump change for million players. Plus your not suspended against the team you did it to.

    The nhl needs to give 10,20 & 40 games, roster spot, salary, and suspend that perticular player playing against that team for 2,4,6 games…

  10. “The nhl needs to give 10,20 & 40 games, roster spot, salary, and suspend that perticular player playing against that team for 2,4,6 games…”

    never ever gonna happen…

  11. Here is another crazy idea… to minimize the Illegal dirty hit as well as penalize…

    if a team loses a guy to injury from a dirty hit… then the guilty team loses the corresponding player ( lose 2nd line center to injury, guilty team loses their 2nd line center for the rest of the game…)

    what really needs to happen is the NHL allows grab and hold on the checks along boards. the hits to Paciorretti (from Chara last year) or the one to Campbell (from Ovechkin) or Seabrook, or Kruger are going to end a career or life someday.

  12. Maybe not losing a corresponding player (#2 pivot for #2 pivot) but maybe something along the lines of the offending team being responsible for a portion of the players cap hit to be added onto the teams existing cap.

    Sounds good but until the players begin to take some responsibility for the hits they are dolling out and the league begins to really start hammering down on the offenders it will continue unabated.

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