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Blackhawks Lose To Penguins, Toews Leaves Game

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The Blackhawks dropped their third straight game and captain Jonathan Toews left the game with an apparent shoulder injury.

Justin K. Aller

A game that started with great pace took a somber turn in the 2nd period when Brooks Orpik mashed Jonathan Toews into the boards. The captain would not return for the remainder of the game, and time will tell if he misses more. Early word from Coach Q is "day to day; I don't think it's serious." I'm taking that with a grain of salt like I do all Qisms. Toews's grimace as he clutched his left arm looked as bad as it gets. He will have more testing tomorrow.

The Penguins opened up the scoring with a James Neal goal at the 9:44 mark. And then again 21 seconds later. Credit the Pens for capitalizing on two misplays by Blackhawks defensemen early on. Brent Seabrook got tripped up that led to an odd man rush for the first goal. A lot of people pointed at Seabs for this one, but you can't fault him here. He made a decision to make an aggressive play, something a lot of Hawks D-men do. On the second, Oduya found himself in lalaland instead of marking Lee Stempniak. Would have been nice if Crawford could have bailed out his D-man, but he didn't. Crawford rebounded well after that softish goal.

The second started with 90 seconds of Blackhawks power play time that they promptly pissed away. Couldn't enter the zone, turnovers at the blue line, blah blah blah, same old story. They wouldn't make it any easier on themselves as Sharp and Hossa took consecutive penalties, putting the Blackhawks penalty killers in a hole. But the PK came through and the tide shifted a bit as the Blackhawks netted some good zone time and started hitting a bit of a stride. After a good cycle, Sheldon Brookbank fired one from the point that found the twine. Andrew Shaw provided a good screen in front to give The Accountant his second goal of the season. Two minutes later, Orpik would wallop Toews in the corner, and the tide would change again. The Blackhawks couldn't find their way through the neutral zone and Pittsburgh got the better of the chances for the rest of the period.

Aided by score effects, the Blackhawks made a charge in the third. The fourth line opened with a good shift, and a pissed off Hossa and Versteeg played like beasts. For a while it looked like the Blackhawks were going to gut it out and tie the game at two. Fleury and the Pens would stymie the Blackhawks efforts, and a bad Seabrook pinch would lead to Crosby's first goal of the night to take a 3-1 lead. An empty netter would seal the deal for the Pens, and the Blackhawks would drop their third straight game.

Hits, Guys, Goalies, Power Plays

- I thought it was clean.

- Versteeg had a vigor about him that we haven't seen in a while. Kruger as well. I don't think I need to explain why this is important going forward.

- An under the radar positive was Crow's rebound from that second goal. He made some big saves on odd man rushes that kept the hope of winning alive. Giving up a goal to Sidney Crosby on an odd man rush? Yeah, that happens to literally everyone.

- Fleury, Crosby, and Bennett were the best in black and gold tonight.

- Teuvo finished with four shots on goal after Q called him out on getting the puck to the net. He looked real good at times tonight, but still looked tentative in the waning moments. It's not unusual for a rookie to want to defer to his teammates, and it's something he will learn. Petty smart of him to save all his hat tricks we were promised for the playoffs.

-Look, another stretch pass.

- Handzus didn't play for the second half of the game. Not sure if he was hurt, but if he wasn't then...yikes. Down a center and Q doesn't trust you to log some TOI? That's no good.

- Rozsival and Bickell coming back on Thursday would be a boon.

- The power play is 5 for is last 39 and 1 for its last 27 on the road. That's bad. That's real bad. I said in my last Flight Check that winning a cup is not dependent on a thriving power play, but those numbers are puke city.

- With the promise of dismal baseball seasons getting underway for both sides of town and two key Blackhawks players hurt, anyone looking to start a Futurama Suicide booth business might have found their market.

Attach The Stone Of Triumph To...

The first person that can make that healing, white blood cell wax bath from Wanted. Seriously, get that thing to Johnny's IceHouse on the double.

Next game is Thursday night against Minnesota in the UC. Have a great week, er'rbody.

Advanced Nerd Stuff:

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Keith, Duncan

D

21:20

64.9

2.6

62.5

0.6

47.1

Hjalmarsson, Niklas

D

17:23

53.3

-14.3

54.5

-10.8

41.7

Seabrook, Brent

D

22:07

62.5

-1.3

55.6

-12.9

47.1

Leddy, Nick

D

15:16

75.9

17.9

87.5

32.3

50.0

Sharp, Patrick

R

17:44

51.6

-17.0

33.3

-34.4

50.0

Regin, Peter

C

09:45

60.0

-3.6

71.4

11.4

80.0

Kruger, Marcus

C

12:47

72.4

13.0

66.7

6.7

22.2

Brookbank, Sheldon

D

14:35

75.0

16.4

87.5

32.3

50.0

Toews, Jonathan

C

06:53

53.3

-11.7

42.9

-23.8

0.0

Saad, Brandon

L

16:48

67.6

6.7

60.0

-3.0

42.9

Versteeg, Kris

R

16:53

74.1

14.9

78.6

26.4

70.0

Handzus, Michal

C

06:06

16.7

-53.1

20.0

-48.8

40.0

Oduya, Johnny

D

17:28

50.0

-19.7

46.2

-24.7

41.7

Smith, Ben

R

14:51

69.0

8.1

66.7

6.7

22.2

Bollig, Brandon

L

13:36

65.2

2.6

66.7

6.0

22.2

Shaw, Andrew

C

17:06

48.3

-21.3

42.9

-23.8

50.0

Hossa, Marian

R

14:43

75.0

17.4

63.6

2.1

44.4

Teravainen, Teuvo

L

15:33

73.9

13.9

81.8

28.0

75.0

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Niskanen, Matt

D

18:27

35.7

-1.4

46.7

14.8

50.0

Maatta, Olli

D

18:21

37.0

0.4

50.0

19.6

50.0

Scuderi, Rob

D

19:08

42.4

8.6

33.3

-6.7

44.4

Engelland, Deryk

D

19:47

42.4

8.6

30.8

-10.9

44.4

Kunitz, Chris

L

18:24

37.5

1.1

46.7

14.8

42.9

Glass, Tanner

L

11:46

16.0

-27.8

14.3

-29.0

100

Sutter, Brandon

C

13:56

45.5

11.2

50.0

14.5

80.0

Pyatt, Taylor

L

12:46

45.0

10.4

50.0

14.5

66.7

Neal, James

L

13:27

47.8

14.5

40.0

3.0

55.6

Bennett, Beau

R

12:28

54.5

23.0

40.0

3.0

55.6

Stempniak, Lee

R

16:19

37.9

1.7

46.7

14.8

42.9

Adams, Craig

R

10:22

12.5

-32.1

0.0

-45.2

100

Jokinen, Jussi

L

14:03

42.3

7.6

40.0

3.0

54.5

Bortuzzo, Robert

D

16:12

32.4

-6.9

30.0

-10.7

70.0

Orpik, Brooks

D

16:14

31.6

-8.4

30.0

-10.7

70.0

Gibbons, Brian

C

11:12

52.9

19.6

40.0

2.5

60.0

Megna, Jayson

C

09:30

13.6

-29.8

0.0

-45.2

100

Crosby, Sidney

C

17:58

40.6

5.8

46.7

14.8

42.9

*all data collected from www.nhl.com and www.extraskater.com