Blackhawks Handle Columbus, Historic Run Continues

It wasn’t the blow-out most fans wanted/expected, and might have taken a few minutes longer than the team/coaches had hoped, but the Blackhawks once again emerged with a victory on Friday night.

After jumping out to the early lead last night in St. Louis, the Hawks found themselves on the other end of the margin; Columbus jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Vinny Prospal’s seventh goal of the season.

Not surprisingly, the game was tied late in the first period by Columbus-killer Viktor Stalberg. One second after a Hawks powerplay expired, Stalberg established good position in front of the net and put a loose puck home. Brandon Saad was credited with the primary assist on the play, giving him helpers in two straight games and points in three of his last five contests.

In the second, Columbus took the lead again. Artem Anisimov, who had a fantastic game for the Blue Jackets, scored his fifth of the year. Anisimov was the best player on either rosterĀ at the dot, winning 12 of 17 draws in the game.

But, once again, the Hawks came back to tie. This time, Patrick Sharp banked a shot in from a tough angle.

Only 59 seconds later, Bryan Bickell read a lazy pass and took it to the house. Bickell now has points in three of the last four games and was credited with five hits and a takeaway against Columbus.

Unfortunately, the Hawks didn’t hold onto the lead an finish in regulation. Ryan Johansen tied the game with his first goal of the year, and the game sprinted into ovetime.

With less than a minute left in regulation, coach Joel Quenneville showed a great deal of confidence in his third line of Stalberg, Bickell and Andrew Shaw by sending them out in a tie game. That group has been fantastic over the last couple weeks; in the last five games, that line has combined to score six goals with three assists.

Brent Seabrook capped a strong performance with the game-winning goal off a gorgeous feed from Jonathan Toews at 3:23 in overtime. Seabrook’s stat line in the game was huge: eight hits, three blocked shots and the game-winner in a team-high 26:41 of ice time.

Toews left the bench briefly late in the game, but didn’t miss much time. He won 10 of 18 faceoffs in the game, but finished minus-one for the night; he and Marian Hossa were on the ice for the Blue Jackets first two goals.

In net, Ray Emery stopped 19 of 22 shots to stay perfect on the season. Corey Crawford, who left the game in St. Louis on Thursday night, was healthy enough to serve as the team’s back-up against Columbus.

There were two fights in the game. Sheldon Brookbank dropped the gloves with Nick Foligno in the first, and Daniel Carcillo was challenged by Nikita Nikitin after putting a big hit on Fedor Tyutin. Carcillo skated only 13 shifts in the game, but managed to be minus-two.

Through Friday night, the Blackhawks have now extended their historic streak to 21 games to start the 48-game season without a regulation loss. They travel to Detroit on Sunday, when Marian Hossa will play his 1,000th NHL game.

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10 Responses to Blackhawks Handle Columbus, Historic Run Continues

  1. Sr. Brad says:

    Yeah, I think its time to concede that our 3rd line is very, very good…across the board…Shaw has kept Bickell focused and motivated, and when he plays like that, he is a good hockey player (and Bicks has a GREAT wrist shot)…Stahlberg was perhaps the best player in the game tonight…even on the OT winner, he took up 2 BJs to free up Seabrook…he is also playing physical and has become an all around good hockey player…and Shaw is superb…he captain’s that line so well, and rarely makes a mistake.

    Seabrook took a little while to get back into his game, but he is back to an all star now…he and Keith are playing as well as they ever have together, and that’s good to know because the other 2 pairs are also playing well…

    Another good game from Saad…he should really be back on that 1st line…he is getting better and better each game. I thought Emery was very average tonight…I don’t know how he got the 3rd star…

    Man, the BJs are a hardworking team…they deserved at least a point tonight…credit is due to their players and coaches…bad record, actually pretty good hockey team.

  2. Peter says:

    Seabs was on his game tonight. I loved it. These are good problems to have but Saad needs to be back on the first line. He needs the confidence to correct his small problems like being offsides too much and making crisper passes with Hoss and Toews. That would come with more time with them. Saad always seems to be in the right position. Carrillo seems to always be in the wrong position. I counted at least three times last night where he messed up a pass from Toews or Hossa to the other one because he was too close to them.

    Finally, how great is it to root for the team with the best Captain in the league. He is a great player (both ways) and leader.

  3. wall says:

    What we really need to see is Hayes, Smith, Pirri/Morin brought up to replace Mayers/Bollig at some point… hopefully Hayes/Smith. Smith and Hayes are finishers- could be good fits w/ 19/81.

    Yes, Cbomb looks a little slowed by knees- but Saad is “hurried”- still would like to see Saad w/ 16/67 on 4th (Kruger is good at moving puck quickly).

    and a healthy 36- without 36 on that 2nd line- Kane and Sharp have had a hard time being effective!

    Tab, now that O’Reilly is out of play- Who could be on Hawks Radar as a late season- 1 yr. option power forward???

    I still believe this PP net presence/Power Forward would solidify the Hawks Playoff/Cup run – barring injuries of course.

  4. waitforawhistle says:

    I thought Seabs bailed himself out with the winning goal. He got lazy in the third period and took a horrible icing call that led to the Jackets tieing goal.

  5. Ryan says:

    Right now what this team is missing is Dave Bolland centering that 2nd line. There are a few small problems that would be corrected if we could get Bolland back.

    As for the Saad/ Carcillo argument. We really need Bolland back to kick Krugs back to that 4th line with Frolik to detemine who’d be better on the 1st line and who fits better on the 4th.

    Carcillo may have made some bad plays, but he had some great passes too that set up nice scoring chances. One play in particular went Carcillo, Toews, Hossa for the snap shot and it was beautifully worked. Carcillo has very good hands and does work well with Toews and Hossa. Both Saad and Carcillo will work well on either the top line or on the 4th with Krugs and Fro. We need a healthy squad to see which fits the team better.

  6. jeff says:

    So whats the deal with Bolland? I thought Q said he was day to day almost a week ago?

  7. Sr. Brad says:

    Wall, I agree…I would love to see Jimmy Hayes called up to the 4th line…

    Here is a crazy stat for you…the Hawks are leading the league in takeaways, and they are 52 ahead of the 2nd place team (Carolina)…that’s an insane # of takeaways!

  8. Sr. Brad says:

    BTW…a quick update from Rockford sees the Hogs doing very well since Henrik Karlsson arrived to become the #1 goalie…Ben Smith is back and scored 2 goals in his first game…Jimmy Hayes has remained on fire, as has Morin (the line of Hayes/Morin/St. Pierre is a monster)…and now the Pirri/Smith/Beach line is racking up points, and Pirri is on fire.

    Clendening continues to play very well on D…but what is getting lost is that often knocked Shawn LaLonde is playing very well and having a very good season! There is lots of NHL ready talent in Rockford.

  9. Mike says:

    I think the organization knows that the Hawks have a few players at Rockford who could replace a Bolig, Mayers, Brookbank etc. That said, Hayes, Morin, Perri, Smith etc. get far more minutes at Rockford than they would get on the Hawks. They also have a leadership role as the top guys in their situation. Great experience.

    Hawks are finally deep enough to grow their young guys in the AHL. I think it is a good formula.

  10. Mike says:

    One other thing…..With next years salary cap, Hawks will be looking to Rockford.

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