If you can find anything to complain about from the Hawks from this game...you're wrong. The fact of the matter is, for nearly 64 minutes, the Hawks dominated this game, and the only thing that kept the Rangers in it was Henrik Lundqvist. The one sequence that the Hawks gave Marian Gaborik any room to work with in the first he found an open Chris Higgins who beat Cristobal Huet from the left circle with a perfect water bottle wrister. Other than that, however, the Rangers didn't get a sniff, as evidenced by the 3 shots COMBINED in the third and OT, and totaled 18 for the evening.
In the offensive zone, the Hawks mauled the rangers for a total of 41 shots for the night, and the game would have been out of hand early if not for Lundqvist's heroics. Every line for the Hawks produced offense, and it finally took four Hawks jamming away at King Henrik with 6 minutes left, and on a power play, to finally prod one past him to equal the score, and consequently force the overtime.
Once in OT, the Hawks kept the pressure on, and then came one of the most ridiculous things I've seen at the UC in a long time. Dustin Byfuglien picked up a loose puck at the top of his own rings and led a one-man rush down the ice and slid the puck past Lundqvist for the game winner. Buff has regularly been a whipping boy of this blog, and this play is part of the reason why. Seeing this, we all know he has it in him, and yet he is still quite often a passenger on whatever line he happens to be playing with. It's confounding, but even still, it resulted in my maniacal victorious laughter at the end of the night, so all's well that ends well. Hawks win 2-1.
- The second line of Sharp, Kane, and Brouwer looks quite promising, as Sharp was everywhere tonight, despite not making it onto the score sheet
- I TELL YA, DAT HORSA GUY CAN BACKCHECK
- Nice to see Troy Brouwer throwing his weight around again
- It seemed like the book on Lundqvist was to go high, which the Hawks adhered to, but it led to many, MANY shots over the net and rung off the end board glass. Had they not gotten too cute, the shot total would have dwarfed the 41 that was put up.
- The Hawks have only scored 4 even strength goals since the San Jose game.
- I cannot believe a game that involved Donald Brashear, Sean Avery, and Ben Eager did not contain a single moment of unbridled numbskullery.
Player of the Game
In spite of Buff's goal, and even though it ended up being a losing effort, there is no denying that King Henrik had the best game of anyone on the ice tonight.