In what was, without question, his finest game in a Chicago sweater, John Scott was rewarded with one of the game’s three stars after the Blackhawks dominated every aspect of the game against a lifeless Ducks team.
There were fantastic statistical performances all over the box score for the Blackhawks on Friday night.
The usual suspects made their mark. Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp had a goal and an assist each. Nick Leddy had a gorgeous assist to Dave Bolland for a power play goal. Brent Seabrook had four hits and four blocked shots, and Niklas Hjalmarsson had five blocks as well.
But the role players came up big in an overwhelming victory.
Marcus Kruger won eight of nine faceoffs. Jamal Mayers scored a goal, was credited with three hits and won seven of nine faceoffs. Mayers also fought once and served another penalty for roughing after coming to a teammate’s defense. Sean O’Donnell had five blocked shots. And Andrew Brunette was credited with an assist.
But the man making the most noise was Scott.
He was named the game’s Number Two star and was credited with an assist and won a fight in the game. In the third period, there was a legitimate buzz in the 300 level for Scott to get his first goal as a member of the Blackhawks to complete the Gordie Howe Hat Trick, an opportunity that apparently coach Joel Quenneville recognized when he shifted Scott with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane late in the third period.
The game’s Number One star was Ray Emery, who continues to be a revelation between the pipes for the Hawks in December. He kept 24 of 25 Anaheim shots out of the net, unfortunately losing his shutout bid at the end of the Scott-Toews-Kane shift. He was also credited with an assist in the game, and ran his record to 5-0-1 in December.
Chicago is 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and have won four straight. Their 44 points (20-8-4) are tied with Minnesota for the top spot in the Western Conference (same records), and the Hawks improved to 10-2-3 at the United Center.
Most importantly, the Blackhawks are five points ahead of both the Red Wings and Blues; both Detroit and St. Louis have played two games fewer than Chicago.