The January doldrums finally reached a crescendo for the Blackhawks on Friday night in Boston — save for goaltender Scott Darling.
If not for the netminder’s play against the Bruins, Chicago might’ve been dealing with it’s second embarrassment this month. Instead, Darling made 30 saves to give the Hawks a chance to pick up the victory.
Then late in the third period, Marian Hossa gave Chicago the goal it needed to secure it. With just more than a minute left in regulation, Tanner Kero fed a pass to Hossa that the winger buried into a wide open net for game-winner.
Chicago 1, Boston 0.
Hossa’s goal came from the same area that the Bruins used to torture the Hawks all game long — right outside the crease.
With the defense reeling for most of the game, It was the stellar play of Darling, both early and often, that kept Boston off the scoreboard.
The Hawks’ backup bailed out an offense that was trailing 17-6 in shots on goal after the first period, and 25-14 after two. Darling paved the way for Hossa’s goal late in the third to secure his fourth career shutout.
Hossa’s goal late in the third sent the Bruins scrambling. With 1:26 left in regulation, Boston went from preparing for OT to pulling their goalie for a quick score. It was too much to overcome.
SCH 3 Stars
1. Marian Hossa, Blackhawks (game-winning goal)
2. Scott Darling, Blackhawks (30 saves)
3. Tuukka Rask, Bruins (21 saves)
Play of the game
Hossa’s finish was nice, but look at that pass from Tanner Kero. Backhand, through the slot and between legs of Boston’s Adam McQuaid right onto the tape of Hossa’s stick.
The Blackhawks kick off a three-game homestand on Sunday night against the Vancouver Canucks. That’ll be as easy as it gets, tough, with Tampa Bay and Winnipeg coming to town next.