Viktor Stalberg Keeps Blackhawks Winning

Viktor Stalberg has now scored three goals during the 2011-12 season. Two of them are game-winners.

Stalberg ended a great, back-and-forth overtime game that saw the Blackhawks overcome almost 30 minutes of game without Duncan Keith available. Of the 15 goals Stalberg has now scored for the Blackhawks, five are game-winners.

Keith has an “upper-body” injury, according to coach Joel Quenneville. Quenneville said he expects Keith to travel with the team to Florida, but would not commit to him playing against the Panthers.

Patrick Kane played another special game, scoring two goals and assisting on Nick Leddy’s snipe in the second period. Kane was only credited with three shots getting to the net, but six of his shot attempts missed the net. He was aggressive all night, and finished with a plus-three rating.

Leddy stepped up in the absence of Keith and played well again. He skated almost five minutes on the power play and his 28 shifts were behind only Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson for the Hawks on the night.

Jonathan Toews had one assist and ended the night with an even plus-minus. He was credited with five shots on goal, one hit and one takeaway. But he was as dominant as a center can be without factoring in the scoring.

Toews won 20 of his 25 faceoffs in the game, including an incredible 13 of 14 in the third period, and skated 8:49 on the power play in the victory.

Bryan Bickell scored the Blackhawks fourth goal of the night, which briefly gave Chicago a 4-3 lead in the third period. Marian Hossa was credited with three assists in the game, and Seabrook and Patrick Sharp were each credited with two. Sharp won all four of his faceoffs in the game, and Jamal Mayers won all five of his draws as the Blackhawks had a stunning 42-26 advantage at the dot.

John Scott was again a waste of space, skating only four shifts in the game.

Corey Crawford made 24 saves against 28 shots for the victory. He improved his record to 5-2-2 in October, winning his last two decisions after regulation had expired. Crawford has been outstanding to begin the season, and has carried the Hawks through a number of rough patches this year.

For Nashville, netminder Pekka Rinne deserved a better outcome. He was incredible throughout the night, and was personally responsible for the Blackhawks failing to score on seven power play opportunities. Chicago had plenty of quality chances, and forced the issue with 18 shots in the third period, but Rinne was every bit a Vezina nominee.

2 thoughts on “Viktor Stalberg Keeps Blackhawks Winning

  1. If Keith doesn’t play in Florida, this may be a good thing long-term; because it’ll give Leddy a chance to prove to Quenville that he can survive without being paired with Keith.

    Eventually, I’d like to see Keith and Seabrook reunited, with Leddy paired with Hjalmarsson.

  2. @Gunther

    I like having Dunc and Seabs split up. Honestly, Leddy has been more noteworthy in his defensive pair with Keith. On top of that, it spreads some skill around.

    And since Quenneville likes to chop the lines up, he can pair up Dunc and Seabs when he needs to change the flow of the game.

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