After relatively quiet first games from all of the Blackhawks participating in the Winter Olympics, Thursday was a different story.
In the first game of the day, Patrick Kane scored a goal early in the second period as the United States ran away from Norway 6-1. Late in the game, Kane was moved off the line he had been on with Zach Parise and Paul Stastny and was playing more with Bobby Ryan. Kane was also effective in the faceoff circle on a number of occasions.
In the second game of the afternoon, Canada needed a shootout to get past Switzerland. Jonathan Toews assisted on Dany Heatley’s goal in the first period, and was one of the three Canadian players to get a chance in the shootout that was won in the fourth round by Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby on his second shot. In the Olympics, teams can bring back players for more than one shot in a shootout once the first three rounds are completed. Crosby was the only competitor to score in the shootout, ending the game in favor of the home country.
For the second consecutive game, Brent Seabrook again played the fewest minutes of Canada’s defensemen and has been separated from Duncan Keith for most of the tournament. There were rumors floating online that Seabrook had been hurt in the second period, leading to him barely stepping on the ice in the third period. However, Canadian officials confirmed later that Seabrook’s limited action was coach Mike Babcock’s decision. Keith played well, but left an empty box score again.
In the late game, which also went to a shootout, Marian Hossa tied the game in the third period. It took seven rounds in this shootout for Slovakia to upset the Russians, as Pavol Demitra scored on Coyotes’ netminder Ilya Bryzgalov. Montreal’s Jaroslav Halak, in net again for Slovakia, then stopped Evgeni Malkin and the Slovakian upset was complete. For the night, Hossa ended up with the goal and a +1 rating, and Tomas Kopecky contributed two penalty minutes and a -1 rating.