Shorthanded goals give Hawks a win...again
Blackhawks 2, Flames 1
In another game that the Blackhawks probably had no business in winning, they were out-shot 31-14 and barely produced anything offensively, but shorthanded goals by Jacob Dowell (his first goal in his first NHL game) and Patrick Sharp helped the Blackhawks steal another one, by a score of 2-1 in Calgary on Thanksgiving.
The 1st period was a pretty big yawnfest, except for an awesome hit by James Wisniewski, which you can probably find on the NHL.com video highlights of the contest. Otherwise, shots were 7-5 in favor of the Blackhawks, and there was no score going into the 2nd period.
Five minutes into the 2nd, however, the scoreless tie was finally broken. While the Flames were on a PP, a pass was sent to the point that got away and squirted back towards the Flames zone. Because of a miscommunication from the Flames bench, the Flames' defenseman on the ice thought that a change was going to be made, but there was not, so Dowell was able to skate, pick up the puck and move in alone. He made a nice move and put it past Miika Kiprusoff to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
With just under 8 minutes left in the 2nd, the Flames were able to tie things back up, again on the power play. On this play, a nice pass was sent from behind the net right to an open Jarome Iginla in front of the net, who tapped it quickly past Nikolai Khabibulin, making it a 1-1 game which is how it stayed into the final period.
Just 30 seconds into the 3rd period, Patrick Sharp would put the Blackhawks up for good, courtesy of one of his patented shorthanded tallies. He was able to steal the puck at the Hawks blue-line and move in partially alone, and put a nice shot over Kiprusoff and into the net to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead, but with still plenty of time left for Calgary to answer.
This is where Khabibulin really earned his salary. The Flames would out-shoot the Blackhawks 15-2 in the 3rd period, coming up with countless scoring chances, especially within the last 40 seconds or so of regulation, but the 'Bulin Wall came up with some big stops to help the Hawks hang on to the 2-1 lead and preserve the victory.
The 'Hawks cannot plan on winning many games the way they won last night and in Detroit. They were severely outplayed in both games and were lucky to come up with some shorthanded goals (unbelievable how many they seem to get) and amazing performances from Khabibulin. They have been out-shot by a combined total of 73-31 in the last two games...that has to change. It's time to get the puck on the net, and pick up some quality scoring chances, because being outplayed badly is usually not a winning formula.
SCH Hawks Player Of The Game: Jacob Dowell, who picked up his first NHL goal on a nice breakaway, short-handed to boot.