It seems that all we've been able to talk about recently were the Blackhawks offensive woes. The lack of scoring, especially at 5v5, was disheartening. Entering tonight's game, Chicago had a team shooting percentage of just 5.6% (comparison: last year was 9.61%). We knew the goals would come eventually, but in the meantime, there was just a lot of frustration.
Well tonight, Chicago finally broke through the scoring wall. The 'Hawks had some nice energy in their play, especially as the game went on. Both goalies played well, with Carey Price making some ridiculous saves to keep the Canadiens close. But Corey Crawford, playing in his hometown, stood strong and came up with some huge saves at key moments to get the shutout.
In what’s been a problem for Montreal all season, the Blackhawks got on the board first, with a nice redirected goal on the power play. The ‘Hawks are getting the milestones out of the way early this season, as the goal was Jonathan Toews’ 200th in the NHL. He only needs one more assist to reach 250.
The ‘Hawks added to their lead halfway through the second. Originally, it looked like Marcus Kruger deflected the puck in, but the goal was later credited to Kris Versteeg. Chicago added another goal on a beautiful redirect by Brad Richards on a Patrick Sharp shot. Patrick Kane scored to make it 4-0, and oh was it a beauty. Toews weaved his way in the zone, made a quick pass right to Kane's stick, and Price had no chance on it. Versteeg added his second of the game to cap off the scoring for the night.
However, this win will be dampened by the injury of Patrick Sharp. Sharp left the game just seven minutes into the third period, after what appeared to be an injury to his right knee after a collision with Alexei Emelin. Hopefully, it's nothing too serious, but if he's out for a while, you have to wonder what that means for the lineup and who might be recalled from Rockford.
It’s amazing what a little net front presence can do! This has been one of the ‘Hawks biggest problems recently. Chicago has been getting a lot of shots off, but the goalies have been able to see everything. It was nice to see some net front presence and the ‘Hawks get rewarded with some greasy goals
The Blackhawks return home to host the Washington Capitals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the United Center.