After being thoroughly frustrated during the playoffs, the Blackhawks solved Mike Smith and stayed undefeated on the young season.
At the center of the controversial series in April was the concussion suffered by Marian Hossa. In his return to Glendale, he led the offensive assault.
Hossa continued his ridiculous start of the year, scoring two more goals. Dave Bolland also scored twice and added an assist in the game, while newcomer Michael Rozsival added a couple assists against his former teammates. Rozsival had a strong game on both ends of the ice, including a pretty cross-ice pass on Hossa’s first goal.
Almost every player on the Blackhawks roster has registered a point in the season’s first two contests. Viktor Stalberg and Patrick Sharp scored their first goals of the season, while Bryan Bickell, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya were credited with their first assists. Sharp and Nick Leddy each had an assist and Patrick Kane was credited with two helpers in the victory.
Unfortunately, a dominant offensive performance wasn’t a comfortable win because of mediocre play between the pipes by Ray Emery. Emery struggled with rebound control throughout the game and allowed a few soft goals that, frankly, kept Phoenix in a game in which they were outplayed. He was credited with the victory, but allowed four goals on 29 shots.
On the Hawks’ blue line, Hjalmarsson and Leddy both had solid games. Hjalmarsson was credited with two hits and three blocked shots in 21:20, while Leddy was credited with one hit, one takeaway and one blocked shot with his assist.
Quenneville once again spread out the ice time on the blue line exceptionally well. Oduya led the team with 22:04, followed by Duncan Keith (21:52), Hjalmarsson (21:20) and Seabrook (20:37). Rozsival was on the ice for 16:15, of which almost two minutes came on the power play.
The Blackhawks have now put up big scores – 11 total goals – against two of last year’s better goaltenders in the Kings’ Jonathan Quick and the Coyotes’ Smith. They’ll get another shot at a great netminder in the home opener on Tuesday night when St. Louis visits the United Center.