Crawford, Blackhawks Escape Shooting Stars

After out-shooting the Vancouver Canucks 44-15 on Tuesday night, the Blackhawks opted for the opposite approach on Thursday against the Dallas Stars.

Dallas held a 13-7 shot advantage after 20 minutes, but a Patrick Kane power play goal gave Chicago a 1-0 lead.

Kane’s 33rd of the season came with assists from Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik, but the first period was sloppy by both sides. Chicago killed two penalties successfully in the first, and Dallas was able to kill one of two.

Corey Crawford, who was joined on the ice by Hall of Famer Ed Belfour pregame, was shaky early but settled down as the period progressed. And it’s good that he did because the Stars attack continued into the second period.

Ryan Hartman, playing center again, won half of his eight faceoffs in the opening 40 minutes and agitated the Stars frequently. Dallas picked back at him, and Hartman dropped the gloves with Dan Hamhuis at 11:46 into the second.

Ales Hemsky scored his second of the year 40 seconds after the fight to tie the game at one, and the Hawks struggled to clear their defensive zone way too much.

After 40 minutes, Dallas held a 27-14 shot advantage. If not for Crawford, the Hawks could have easily been chasing a couple goals entering the third.

Early in the third period, Marian Hossa had a good scoring chance broken up on a partial breakaway. Later, however, Hossa wouldn’t be denied.

Trevor van Riemsdyk and Nick Schmaltz picked up the helpers on Hossa’s 24th of the season at 8:37 into the third.

Unfortunately, Hemsky decided to contribute offensively on Thursday night. With 5:09 left in regulation, he scored again to tie the game – again. Hemsky’s second goal of the night gave him three for the season.

With 55 seconds left in regulation, Radek Faksa tripped Artemi Panarin to give the Blackhawks a much-needed power play. Chicago couldn’t capitalize before the third period ended, and carried 65 seconds of power play time into overtime.

Through 60 minutes, Dallas held a 38-23 shot advantage but both teams had two on the scoreboard. Chicago’s skaters blocked another 11 in regulation; Dallas blocked 15.

Dallas – the worst PK unit in the league – killed 65 seconds of Toews, Kane, Panarin and Keith to start overtime.

The Hawks had control of the pick for almost all of the first three minutes of overtime, but Jamie Benn got a good shot off with 94 seconds left in overtime that Crawford struggled to control. Crawford made a few huge saves in the final minute to keep the game tied, and the teams headed to a shootout.

Crawford finished with 42 saves; Kari Lehtonen stopped 24.

In the shootout, Toews led off with a miss for Chicago. Tyler Seguin scored for Dallas. Kane then undressed Lehtonen and scored. Benn missed. Panarin beat Lehtonen and Hemsky, the night’s villain, missed. Chicago won.

Toews won 13 of 24 faceoffs with an assist, one hit and two takeaways. Kane led Chicago with five shots on net.

Hartman won six of 14 faceoffs with one blocked shot, two hits and seven penalty minutes. John Hayden skated 13:13 and led the Blackhawks in hits again; he was credited with four on Thursday night.

Keith skated 28:51 and led Chicago with five blocked shots.

Minnesota lost in regulation, meaning the win gives Chicago a nine-point lead in the Central Division.

20 thoughts on “Crawford, Blackhawks Escape Shooting Stars

  1. Crawford bailed the boys out. Put Schmaltz back with 19 & 14 where his elite passing, stick handling and speed will make that line dominant again.

  2. Several posters keep wanting to move AA to 3rd line center. It takes his absence to show his true value. He’s the perfect 2nd line center for this team.

  3. Were good but we need to do what we need to and came here for. Let the other teams win the big ten championship. Well win the national championship. Just ask OSU and PSU how that works.

  4. Crawford made amends for the egg he laid against the Canucks on Tuesday. He was excellent tonight and this was a goalie win for sure. Nice bounce back by CC.

    And the only way the Hawks eke out the win is because Crawford played as well as he did because this was the third game n a row where the Hawks played like they were disinterest or perhaps it’s more accurate to say half interested, unfocused and low energy. This is not a good trend to have with only 8 games left. The 2 points picked up tonight are nice to put a little more distance between us and Minnesota but the points are only a secondary concern at this point. The primary concern is the level of play and the current level of play isn’t good enough to win in the playoffs. Let’s hope they can get their mojo back in time for the playoffs.

  5. Crow was lights out , Out of his mind .,.i saw Espo meets Belfour . First class . Watch the highlights ,.,.,Espo , Belfour . Goalie win for sure . P.S this is a team that plays better with Tootoo in the line up .

  6. thats 8 poins Tab. :)

    i agree, 3 meh games in a row concerns me some, but i think the boys will be alright..

  7. * points

    if i type fast on replies, it misses letter

    anyone else have this problem?

    Go Hawks!!

  8. 1961 – agree. The Hawks were playing better when that trio was together; Q — for good reason — moved Schmaltz off that line when Anisimov got hurt. Hayden can slot down to the 3rd line if Hartman (instead of Schmaltz) is going to play center w/ Kane & Breadman.

    Tootoo can’t dress in the playoffs and play 5 minutes — he has to play regular shifts if he is going to dress. The 4th line has to play 10 minutes a game (excluding OT) in the playoffs. Q has a couple of weeks to sort this out, who is going to dress and play (not dress and watch the final half of the game glued to the bench). History has shown when Q cuts the 4th liners out of the mix in the playoffs, bad things happen.

    Crawford outstanding last night.

  9. Thank you Corey Crawford.

    Apart from some great 3rd period offensive blitz’s by the Hawks to pull out a few recent games the offense has been sputtering since Anisimov went down with injury. Even while not playing a strong 60 minute game, the Hawks are finding ways to rack up points while not firing on all cylinders. The Hawks have taken games from the teams they should be beating. This is a really positive development.

    We all know that getting deep in the playoffs requires a healthy roster especially within the core of the quality players. Hawks will need a healthy Anisimov if they are to progress into the later rounds of playoffs imo. Get that guy healthy and ready to roll. Meanwhile, it is appearing ever so much more likely Hawks will take the division and possibly the Western Conf. Home ice will loom large and become a big advantage if the Hawks can get through the front round. It was a real long shot when the season began that the Hawks would be in such a positive position. SB and player development guys get massive credit for keeping this team competitive. It has by any standard an incredible season for the Chicago Blackhawks to this point.

    I agree Iceman with your comments as it relates to the 4th line. ER, I see your concern re lack of intensity in recent games. I don’t think we can go to the dark side with this as it relates to attitude once the puck drops in playoffs. These guys representing the core of this team know what is on the line and have risen to the occasion countless times. They have not forgotten the St Louis series last year, I can guarantee that. The mojo is there.

    Jackets game and then the Bruins will be the best barometer of where this team is going to playoffs. Meanwhile keep racking up those points.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  10. Yeah … emotions always raw with me immediately following a game – win or lose. Either I’m too jacked after the boys play well or too critical when they don’t. My only defense is … I’m a fan.

    So … I’ve been critical after the last three games because they didn’t play well. But, I know this team has been through this before and I’m confident they can get it moving in the right direction again, especially when it counts the most.

  11. Q was pretty negative after the game, Kane said the Stars played a boring style of game. I’m not concerned about this team until they have 3 losses against them in a playoff series. Too much talent and experience to be worried. It seems like forever since the Hawks were in a shootout. This team keeps chugging along despite not playing great.

  12. Good post by everyone. We didn’t play that good against ARI as well so theres the last 4 was it BUF the last bottom 10 team we played good against.

    Even though SAN plays an easier sch. (because of division) there still around 21 so we win division the conf. will come with it. Coming back and getting that tie was the key point in getting the division and conf. for the 1 seed. The goal the whole way has been we want the 1 or 2 seed. We did it. Even when people thought MIN would still get it after we won 5 took a hit and won 7. We have been pacing ourselves and that is how we did it. This mini not good stretch, is what someone else here predicted mth ago, is at a good time. Split these 8 games 4-4 and that gets us the division and conf. 1 seed.

    ER, your right it is because these are bottom 10 teams reasons. Its also because we just went won 5/hit/7/2hits/6-0-1. It goes with the territory of doing that good. I like that this is happening because it means Frog soup is coming.

    We have a stretch in the 8th 10 game segment against mostly top 10 teams. This will get our juices flowing which is better then these kind of teams. As long as we go 4-4 or better it doesnt matter which ones we win or donot, it just how we played for that particular game. This is the stretch to shift to that gear we were in and it doesn’t matter whos on what line, its how we play, then it matters. We play when we play.

    Most important to stay fresh, even if that means not win a game, and pick up the pace after we payed our dues by playing hard with no shortcuts. Then lets go.

  13. What is your preference in the first round-(I know you have to be able to beat them all, just a preference) They probably get first in west.
    Right now it is Nashville..could be St. Louis, Calgary with an outside shot it being Edmonton.
    I would like to see Nashville.

  14. Don,t want to face Oilers in the first round ,.,.man they have some great skill and grind ,they score lots of goals ,guess we just gotta beat,em 6 -5

  15. It doesnt matter to me. We play who we play. I always thought if theres 5 in a division the 5th should go to other not the 1/5 thing as this allows teams like RAN to skirt the teams they deserve to go through. Overall only watching the other teams get beat so it shows how good we are by our wins. We really deserved the 1 or 2 seed by our play and how we got better as we go along during these 82.

    Would love to get revenge on STL, would be sweet to do that in 2nd round, but we can do that on any other yr in playoffs, doesnt need to be this yr. NAS would be tough like other yr but would prepare us better for MIN if they donot get beat by STL. Good thing happen when we beat NAS or MIN in playoffs. Even though these are not as good, I donot like sneaky teams like EDM or CAL.

  16. Blues are playing pretty good hockey right now. 9 of the last 10 i think? Not a team I want to face first round. Let them and Minnesota wear each other out a bit. Nashville is good and fast, but definitely a beatable team.

  17. I agree with above I would rather not play St.Louis leave them for Minny. Looks like Nadhville as they have the toughest schedule. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want Edmonton. I would love that match up. McDavid is the only thing to worry about and Talbot has played wayyyyy too many games and is faltering

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