If there's one thing you can say about these Chicago Blackhawks, it's that when they're unhappy with their play, they'll do a pretty good job of rectifying it in their next outing. After a disappointing outing against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night, the Hawks bounced back quite nicely as their California swing continued, besting the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center by a 4-1 count.
While this wasn't a visibly dominating performance, the Hawks dictated the pace for the majority of the game, and subsequently dominated the shot chart as a result. The final tally for the game fell 33-22 in the favor of the Blackhawks, with the Corsi numbers coming in at 60-45. Tells you all you need to know about what transpired in Anaheim on Friday night.
Jonathan Toews opened up the scoring for the road team, coming off of a Patrick Kane pass that occurred when the entire world was expecting him to shoot. Halfway through the second, Duncan Keith went on to record his 400th career point on a goal of his own. He took a pass from Patrick Sharp and took advantage of the wealth of space the Ducks gave him, skating it right up and putting it home.
That wouldn't be the only goal of the second, as Patrick Kane added the third tally of the night for the Blackhawks, which came off of an unbelievable snipe of a shot (it should probably be stated that it's hard to describe anything Patrick Kane does as "un" believable at this point).
The Ducks made a solid push in the third period, outshooting the Hawks for the period. They had a 5-on-3 opportunity about midway through the period and eventually went onto score once the Hawks got one of their men back. The Blackhawks were able to respond on the Patrick Kane goal, courtesy of Patrick Sharp, who notched his fourth assist of the night on the goal.
One additional observation: Teuvo Teravainen. It's pretty clear he's becoming extremely comfortable with the Hawks, and at the NHL level. Late in the third, he left an absurdly beautiful drop pass for Andrew Shaw. Of course, Shaw missed on the not on the ensuing shot, but it was a gorgeous pass nonetheless. It's clear the confidence is coming for Teuvo. With that and some offensively competent linemates, watch out.
For all the talk of the Hawks not having enough size or physicality or grit, Friday night showed us all we needed to see. The Hawks took a bigger and more physical team and virtually skated circles around them for the better part of 60 minutes. That was the type of win this team needed coming off of the game in Los Angeles. They'll turn right around and meet the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
Three Stars of the Night
3. Duncan Keith
Major props to Duncan Keith for notching his 400th NHL point on his second period goal on Friday. That wasn't all he did, as he turned in yet another high quality night on the Chicago blue line. He finished a plus-3 for the night and registered a 67 percent in terms of his CF%, adding a blocked shot and a takeaway for the game. Strong night for him.
2. Patrick Kane
At this point, nothing that Patrick Kane can do should come as any sort of surprise to anyone. He's had some goals this season in which he's flashed some absurdly good stickhandling and confused the hell out of opposing netminders. Then in others, like tonight, he just snipes the puck from way out in the most precise location possible. He had another three points on the night, running his season total up to 56, the second highest total in the league, with his 25 goals leaving him just four back of Alex Ovechkin for the league lead.
1. Patrick Sharp
While Kane's been on another level all season, Patrick Sharp was head and shoulders above everyone else on the ice this evening (and what a handsome head and shoulders they are). Sharp finished the game with four assists and absolutely dominated puck possession, as he finished with an incredible 92 percent CF%. No, that's not a typo, that's the actual number. Nobody in this game, on either side, was as dominant as he was with the puck.
Randy Holt is a staff writer for Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.