Blackhawks vs. Devils recap: Marian Hossa finishes off 4-3 overtime win
Zajac’s hat trick got New Jersey to overtime, but the Devils couldn’t steal a second point in Chicago
Game in a paragraph
The Hawks shook off a slow start, scored three goals in the second period and survived in overtime to earn two points at the United Center on Thursday night. Marian Hossa ended the game 1:31 into the extra frame to give the Hawks a victory that was much harder to earn than they would’ve liked. Travis Zajac essentially kept the Devils in the contention throughout the game with a goal in each period, but it wasn’t enough to steal a win in Chicago as the Hawks swept the season series.
The first intermission. It sounds silly, but the Hawks were outworked so badly in the opening 20 minutes that they need to catch their breath and start over again. This wasn’t another game where the Hawks played dead for 45 minutes before turning on the offense. Chicago was the better team for the majority of the game. Just not in the first period whatsoever. The Hawks were lucky to start the second with only a 1-0 deficit, and forced the Devils into a much tighter game after they failed to take advantage of a reeling Chicago bench.
Numbers to know
10-0-0: Hawks record when leading after two periods
1: Blackhawks goals on their last 18 power plays
7-3: Hawks record in OT this season
4: Game-winning goals for Marian Hossa this season
SCH Three stars
1. Travis Zajac (3 Goals)
2. Marian Hossa (1 Goal, game-winner)
3. Kyle Palmieri (2 Assists)
Period 1 Notes
The Hawks were outshot 13-9 in an opening period that was largely dominated by the Devils in all areas. New Jersey took a 1-0 lead early after Travis Zajac put away a loose puck in front of the net as Crawford scrambled to hold his ground. It should’ve been a wake-up call for Chicago. Instead the Hawks struggled to maintain possession (with the Devils outshooting the Hawks 8-1) until a power play midway through the period seemed to open things up. Even still, the final 10 minutes of the frame looked more like an escape job than anything else.
Period 2 Notes
The Hawks tied things up one minute into the period when Marcus Kruger sniped a shot over Cory Schneider’s blocker on a 2-on-1. That whole play started with Kruger winning a defensive zone draw, allowing Chicago to get the puck out of it’s end quickly. The tie lasted less than 10 minutes. With the puck behind the Hawks net on a penalty kill, Niklas Hjalmarsson whiffed on a clearing attempt allowing Zajac to clean up another loose puck in front of the net to go up 2-1 with 9:17 remaining. Two minutes later, Artem Anisimov picked up a big rebound on a Seabrook slapshot (that Anisimov redirected) and went forehand, backhand before tucking the puck into a seemingly empty net. Hjalmarsson made up for his earlier gaffe soon after with a quick shot off a turnover in the slot to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead— their first of the night — with just less than two minutes remaining in the period.
Period 3 Notes
Brian Campbell was denied his third goal of the season after a tally that would’ve put the Hawks up 4-2 was disallowed due to goalie interference 1:27 into the frame. The Hawks challenged the play to no avail. It was the first of numerous prime scoring chances the Hawks generated early in the third period — including a breakaway for Ryan Hartman. Instead it was the Devils who opened the scoring up in the third with Zajac completing the hat trick with 11:03 remaining in regulation to tie the game.
Duncan Keith broke up a Taylor Hall breakaway a minute into the overtime. The Devils watched their next chance go off the post and seconds later Hossa buried one to give the Hawks the win.
Brent Seabrook was pulled from the game by the concussion spotter late in the second period after Devils rookie John Quenneville (yes, they are cousins) drove the defenseman into the boards. Quenneville earned himself a boarding penalty. The Hawks didn’t score on the penalty, but they did keep possession once it ended which led to Hjarlmarsson’s goal to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead. Seabrook would return to the game at the start of the third period.
Lines (at least at the start of the game)
The Hawks have a Saturday afternoon matchup in Philadelphia as they finish up their season series with the Flyers at noon. After that it’s four straight games back at the United Center.