Crawford, Blackhawks Hang On In Denver

The Blackhawks rolled into Denver with a lineup that included three rookie defensemen and was missing its captain. But the All-Star Break served the tired Hawks well, and a rejuvenated team earned a big win against a divisional opponent to start the season’s “second half.”

One of the rookie defensemen, Viktor Svedberg, was recalled earlier on Tuesday and got into the mix quickly in his first game back with the NHL club. He picked up an assist on the Blackhawks first goal of the game, less than three minutes into the contest.

Richard Panik’s third of the year gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead, but 18 seconds after the goal Chicago would go short-handed as Brent Seabrook was called for tripping.

On the penalty kill, Niklas Hjalmarsson got banged up and Svedberg saw penalty kill time. The Hawks successfully killed the penalty and Hjalmarsson was able to return because he’s made of either rubber or adamantium.

Artemi Panarin started the second half of his season right where he left off before the break, scoring his 18th of the season with an assist going to Patrick Kane. The assist was the 396th of Kane’s career, moving him past Chris Chelios into seventh on the Blackhawks’ all-time list for helpers.

Coach Joel Quenneville mixed his lines quickly in the first. Teuvo Teravainen started with Marian Hossa and Andrew Shaw, but every line other than Panarin, Kane and Artem Anisimov was thrown into the blender early. Teravainen stayed with Shaw, but Panik joined them; Hossa saw time with Phillip Danault and Andrew Desjardins.

The combinations worked, as the Hawks poured 14 shots on Calvin Pickard in the opening 20 minutes. Shaw had a strong period and Teravainen won three of four faceoffs. Danault won three of five at the dot while Anisimov won three of eight to start the game.

Colorado only put six shots on net, but the second – at 9:59 – went in. An attempted clear bounced off a couple bodies and sticks and found Gabriel Landeskog right in front of Crawford.

Chicago killed a second penalty in the first period and finished the opening 20 with a 2-1 lead.

Teravainen took the place of Jonathan Toews on the penalty kill as Chicago’s captain serves his All-Star Game suspension. In the second, the Blackhawks had their first power play opportunity and it was Jiri Sekac who replaced Toews on the second unit. The Hawks weren’t able to convert their first advantage of the game.

The second period came and went without a score from either team – and without much of anything from the home team. The Hawks out-shot the Avs 16-2 in the second and held a 29-8 shot advantage after 40 minutes. In fact, Chicago held a EV shot attempt differential of plus-40 through two periods.

But, predictably, Colorado came out firing to start the third. They matched their eight shots from the first two periods in the opening four minutes of the third as the possession game the Hawks had dominated was now favoring the Avs.

Panarin had a great breakaway chance but was stopped by Pickard with nine minutes left in regulation. He had Chicago’s two best scoring chances for the Hawks until the Avs’ net was empty in the final two minutes.

Corey Crawford had another tremendous third period, and had to as Calvin Pickard was superb on the other end for Colorado. Pickard stopped 40 of 42 in the loss, while Crawford made 16 big saves in the third period to finish the night with 24 saves and a victory.

Danault led the Hawks at the dot in the absence of Toews, winning 10 of 14 faceoffs, while Anisimov had a strong third period to finish winning nine of 21 draws. Shaw and Hossa led Chicago with five shots on net, and the Hawks were led by Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook’s three blocked shots each.

Chicago’s three rookie defensemen played well. Svedberg skated 13:45 and was credited with one hit, three shots on net and two missed shots with an assist. Erik Gustafsson spent 2:44 of his 16:46 on the power play and was credited with two takeaways and two shots on net. And Trevor van Riemsdyk blocked two shots and was credited with one hit in 17:09.

The Western Conference-leading Blackhawks are in Arizona on Thursday night, and expect Toews to be back in the lineup.

16 thoughts on “Crawford, Blackhawks Hang On In Denver

  1. Well how about that! We sure played our possession game for 2 periods anyway and Crawford help ’em off for the third period blitz. A spectacular save near the end of the game still has my head shaking. Special kudo’s to Svedberg and Panik for getting it all started. Have to admit I was expecting the worst for some reason with this tilt but they proved me wrong. Nice.

  2. Lots of positives in tonights game. Crow continues to be strong in net. Defense around him played well limiting quality shots.

    Tuevo looked good centering the top line, panik was noticable all night. Danault continues to play a smart game. Svedberg looked sokid and Kane’s line continued to impress. Solid road win against a division foe.

  3. Hey, this team is pretty good when they have the energy and focus to play fast.

    Crawford. Good.

    Lots of positives but I’ll focus on just one of them. I thought Shaw-Teravainen-Panik played pretty well together. If the Hawks do pick up a LW that can play with Toews and Hossa, I’d like to see 65-86-14 be the 3rd line and move Danault to center the 4th line between Desjardins and Rasmussen.

  4. I loved the young D-men. It’s exciting to see.
    24 is continuing to do all that is asked of him.
    TT, in my opinion, is a RW. He just does not have the size or strength to be a NHL center.
    Lastly, I don’t think, at this time, that we need to acquire a LW. The guys are stepping up in all aspects. Shaw is doing the job on the 1st line.
    I feel confident with the team, as is.

  5. This is a typical Hawks win in a way and is why they are a tuff out. A big win on the road vs. AVS. AVs looked a little slow. win. Hawks also moved up to the blue line on defense to slow them down all night. Hawks again get a league leading first goal that gives that Team Defense an advantage. The DOT was a train wreck as was the power play but defense limited Crows work load.

    Hossa rested was hopping and skipping and dominating the ice. Where ever he was he found the puck. Great game . . . still cant find the back of the net?

    Panik looked great, speed, closing on the puck and at least using his Body to invade the Crease and good thing happen, he like Hossa seemed to be just skating, checking, and chasing in their own world. Good to see.

    Svedberg played very well. With about 10 minutes to go in the second, he made a technically brilliant play he may not have made 30 days ago. On an odd man break he had great body position on both the “entry winger” and the “center” crusing up the middle, This is up near the blue line where the angles are very tricky, lots of open ice, but simply he was able to use his size and length and reach, he used his long arm and stick to totally shut down the pass in the middle, moved it back to the puck and back and slowly used his “Frame” to lean over and rub out the puck carrier, Sounds easy but not, really a smart play and all night he played to his strenghts.

    go hawks okay start since hibernation

  6. Pete, my view of the game regarding Sekac was that he was just ok. Panik on the other hand played well. I like how Panik skates and he gets into good position to score.

    Hawks looked rejuvenated last night from an energy standpoint. The team clearly was running on fumes into the break. Smart for the team to get to Denver a day early to work on skating and drills at altitude. It paid off last night. Crow was awfully good again and played large. Mad Avs scrambles around the Hawks net got nothing past Corey. Speaking of keepers Pickard was excellent for the Avs too. Hawks could have blown that one open were it not for some big saves.

    Svedberg was pretty darn good last night considering he hadn’t played and NHL game since Nov? Very imprerssive. Loved seeing “Sveddy” give some back to McLeod. Same with Shaw giving it back to Holden and Beauchemin after getting repeatedly crosschecked to the ice.

    Line shuffling compared to what we have become accustomed to without 19 made for an interesting game. Teuvo doesn’t have anywhere near the strength of Toews, but the kid moves the puck quickly into areas where teammates can make plays. I enjoyed watching a Teravainen interview where he spoke of knowing how to play with just about everyone on the team having been moved around on different lines as a wing and a center.

    Energy looks back. It will be a fun run to the finish as long as the core can stay healthy.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  7. Very good game…

    Only strange thing to me… 81 looked great with 11/24 two true cyclers/board players … and 86 looked great with Panik ( as i predicted couple weeks ago) and Shaw… 2 guys who can make quick passes/decisions (Panik is soft on boards- but moves puck and body to soft spots- just like TT)…

    and Q switched that – after a great 1st period for 81/86/14/24/65???

  8. Not to beat a dead horse, but January 31 has come and gone, yet TT is still a member of the Black Hawks.

    So much for RTF’s earlier guarantee that “TT will be traded by January 31”.

  9. Sekac was invisible last night. He had about 8 minutes on the ice total, so indeed invisible and hard to tell. Panik and Hoss only ones that really stood up and out.

    MASH & MOOOSE need to do more on that 4th line, chemistry is off?

    Danault quietly won 8 at the dot last night . . .

  10. Didn’t see the game but did see the hi-light of Kane’s pass off the boards-genius at work-
    speaking of genius-they clocked McDavid at 43 km/hr carrying the puck last night
    (speed skaters have been clocked at 48-no puck, no stick, special suits etc.)

    Pulled this up—16. The sample size is small (one-to-six times per player), but growing, and PowerScout (for business reasons) won’t allow its videos to be posted. The data I did see was compelling. MacKinnon was not one of the quickest accelerators (Alexander Ovechkin was first among those tracked, followed by Erik Karlsson, Ryan Kesler and Taylor Hall), but only Carl Hagelin had a faster highest speed, at slightly above 37 kilometres per hour. MacKinnon was tied for second, with Phil Kessel. (You can see some of that information here)

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