Monday, 17 April 2017

NHL - Hawks - Update - April 02-08, 2017

Boston Bruins @ Hawks 3-2 - Sunday, April 02, 2017
The Boston Bruins moved into second place in the Atlantic Division and got closer to qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in three seasons with a 3-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Bruins (43-30-6) are one point ahead of the idle Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic; the Maple Leafs and Senators each have two games in hand. Boston is also six points ahead of the fifth-place Tampa Bay Lightning, who have two games in hand and host the Dallas Stars on Sunday.
Goaltender Anton Khudobin extended his winning streak to six games with 41 saves for the Bruins, who won their season-high fifth in a row following a four-game losing streak. Ryan Spooner, Patrice Bergeron and Kevan Miller scored for Boston. The Blackhawks (50-22-7) failed to gain ground on the Washington Capitals in the race for the Presidents' Trophy one day after Chicago clinched the Central Division title and the top seed in the Western Conference. Chicago trails Washington, who has two games in hand, by three points. Washington plays at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. Artemi Panarin and Jordin Tootoo scored, and Corey Crawford made 26 saves for the Blackhawks, who had won their past two games. Spooner scored on a tip-in at 6:34 of the first period to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Bergeron scored a power-play goal at 18:47 to make it 2-0. Panarin beat Khudobin with 1:28 remaining in the second period to get the Blackhawks within 2-1. The Bruins regained their two-goal lead on Miller's goal at 9:15 of the third period to make it 3-1. Chicago got back within one 25 seconds later when Tootoo scored at 9:40 to make it 3-2.

* Miller gained the Chicago zone after a neutral-zone turnover and skated to the top of the left circle before beating Crawford with a wrist shot high to the glove side.
* Chicago forward Patrick Kane's slap shot from the right dot changed direction when it hit Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara's stick in front, but Khudobin gloved the puck and held on with 1:10 remaining in the third to keep the Bruins ahead.
* Chara had one assist and led the Bruins with 23:44 of ice time. His last shift lasted the final 1:41 of the third period, 1:33 of which came with Crawford out of the Chicago net for an extra attacker. Chara blocked two shots in the closing minutes to preserve Boston's lead.
* Kane played despite getting hit in the face with a puck during warmups. He had a cut on his upper lip stitched up. ... Panarin extended his goal streak to four games. He has five goals during that span. ... Bruins forward Brad Marchand has a four-game point streak (two goals, three assists). ... Blackhawks forward Artem Anisimov missed his 10th straight game with a lower-body injury. Quenneville said Anisimov, who has 45 points (22 goals, 23 assists) in 64 games, will start skating Monday.
Hawks Quotes
"They scored early and then got one at of the first late in the period. You're down 2-0 and you've got to claw your way back and they got the two-goal lead again. We got ourselves a couple decent looks; I don't think we gave up much today. But it's certainly tough coming back from chasing the game all day."
"That [Richard Panik's assist on Artemi Panarin's goal, which came after Panarin's initial shot rebounded off Panik who was down in the crease] was one of the all-time great passes by [Panik]."  Joel Quenneville said.

Hawks @ Colorado Avalanche 3-4 OT - Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Erik Johnson scored at 1:57 of overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center. The loss prevented the Blackhawks (50-22-8) from breaking the franchise record for road wins; they are 24-12-3 on the road this season. Chicago has already clinched the Central Division and No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Johnson, who earlier missed 36 games because of a broken fibula, went end-to-end to score his second goal of the season. He eluded Marian Hossa behind the Avalanche net, raced down left wing into the offensive zone and cut to the net to score against Scott Darling, who had an NHL career-high 47 saves. Mikhail Grigorenko, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog also scored for the Avalanche (22-54-3), who had a season-high 51 shots and are 13-25-2 at home. Marcus Kruger, Artemi Panarin and Ryan Hartman scored in the second period to give the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead. Kruger scored the third one on a breakaway against Calvin Pickard at 10:57 for his fifth of the season. The Avalanche answered with shorthanded goals by Duchene and Landeskog 4:15 apart to make it 3-2. Grigorenko tied the game 3-3 with his 10th goal at 5:46 of the third period off a pass from Duchene. Duchene, who had gone nine games without a point, converted Matt Nieto's pass on a 2-on-1 at 12:16 for his 18th goal. Landeskog banked his own rebound off Darling at 16:31 for his 17th. Panarin gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 28 seconds into the second period. Patrick Kane passed to Panarin, who was wide open at the left circle for a one-timer and his 30th goal. Hartman made it 2-0 at 4:15. Kruger skated down right wing and fed Hartman, who slipped the puck between Pickard's pads for his 19th goal.
* Landeskog skated down left wing and took a shot that Darling stopped. He scooped up the rebound, moved behind the net and banked in a shot off the goalie's back for a shorthanded goal.

"We didn't play the way we'd like to. We'll move forward. There were some good things and we'll try to get a little bit tighter in our responsibilities without the puck. That's probably the focus."
"A number of guys have had some nice years offensively, but at the same time we're only going to be as good as we are without the puck and tonight was an example of how we can be better." Joel Quenneville said.
"You want to get up for every game. Playoffs are two games away and you want to play every game like it's a playoff game just to get our bodies, ourselves amped up for the playoffs. We've got two games left to amp it up." Hartman said.
Hawks @ Anaheim Sucks 0-4 - Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Anaheim Ducks moved closer to their fifth consecutive Pacific Division title with a 4-0 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks at Honda Center. The Ducks lead the Edmonton Oilers by four points and San Jose Sharks by six points for first in the division. The Oilers defeated the Sharks 4-2. Anaheim would have clinched had Edmonton lost, but it did secure home-ice advantage in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Ducks play the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday in Anaheim's season finale. The Oilers play the Vancouver Canucks in a home-and-home Saturday and Sunday. John Gibson made 37 saves for his sixth shutout of the season, first since Feb. 19. Corey Perry, Chris Wagner, Ryan Kesler and Rickard Rakell scored for the Ducks (45-23-13), who began an 8-0-2 run and pulled within four points of the Sharks for first place with a 2-1 victory in San Jose on March 18. Anaheim was nine points back on March 15. The Blackhawks (50-23-8), who clinched the top seed in the Western Conference on Saturday, rested veterans Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa and Brent Seabrook. It was their third straight loss (0-2-1).
The Blackhawks went on the power play five seconds into the game when Ducks defensemen Josh Manson played the puck over the glass in his own end. Anaheim then had back-to-back power plays early in the first and scored on the second when Perry beat Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya to the right post and redirected a diagonal pass from Rakell for a 1-0 lead at 6:53. Wagner made it 2-0 at 17:08 of the second period with his sixth goal. He was checked into the boards by Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins and fell to the ice near the red line. Wagner got up as the puck went behind the Chicago net and skated into the zone unnoticed. He tapped his stick, and Ondrej Kase passed to him for his second goal in as many games. Kesler scored at 4:42 of the third period to put Anaheim up 3-0, and Rakell made it 4-0 with his 33rd goal at 14:43.
* Jakob Silfverberg created a turnover in the Chicago zone, and after getting the puck back from Andrew Cogliano, he sent it to Cogliano behind the net. Cogliano made a spinning, backhand feed to Kesler in front for his 22nd goal.

"We had a few tough breaks where pucks are lying there and [Gibson] made some good saves, and we hit a couple posts too." Patrick Kane
"We're coming back Saturday with one more game. We'll try to do the right things and get ready." Joel Quenneville said.

Hawks @ Los Angeles Kings 2-3 OT - Saturday, April 08, 2017
Drew Doughty scored 27 seconds into overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center. Chicago (50-23-9), the Central Division champion which lost its season-high fourth straight game to end its regular season, will play the wild-card Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin Wednesday. The schedule will be announced Sunday. Dustin Brown and Tyler Toffoli scored for the Kings, Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter each had three assists, and Jonathan Quick made 25 saves for Los Angeles, which ends its season Sunday at the Anaheim Ducks. The Kings (39-35-7) were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday, but coach Darryl Sutter credited veterans Brown, Doughty, Kopitar, Carter and Quick for their performance. Brown, the longest tenured member of the Kings in his 13th season, tied the game at 2-2 with 55 seconds left in the third period after taking a pass from Kopitar when he charged toward the left post. Doughty then scored the game-winner off a pass from Carter on a 2-on-1. Jonathan Toews and Artemi Panarin scored for the Blackhawks, Duncan Keith had two assists, and Corey Crawford made 23 saves. The Kings tied the game at 1-1 on their second power play of the game in the third period on a goal by Toffoli. After a flurry of shots in the Chicago zone, Kopitar slid a pass to Toffoli inside the blue line. He scored his 16th goal of the season on a slap shot at 4:52. Panarin scored his 31st goal of the season from the bottom of the left faceoff circle at 13:53 of the third for a 2-1 lead. The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Toews at 6:25 of the first period. It was his 21st of the season.
* The first scoring play started with a giveaway by Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin in his zone. Toews gave up the puck to Nick Schmaltz and quickly got it back, taking it behind the Los Angeles net before coming out the other side and spinning and shooting near the right faceoff circle. The puck hit Quick in the chest before going across the goal line.
* Broadcaster Bob Miller called his last home game after 44 seasons with the Kings. The crowd gave Miller a standing ovation and held "Thank You Bob" signs. Brown tied the game in the final minute, giving Miller the chance to announce one final win at Staples Center when Doughty scored.
* Joel Quenneville coached his 700th game with the Blackhawks (413-204-83).
... The 109 points by Chicago are second-most in its history (2009-10; 112). … Toews has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past 13 games. ... Panarin has eight points (seven goals, one assist) in his past seven games. ... The three assists matched an NHL career high for Carter. ... Kopitar has four assists in his past five games. ... The Blackhawks came in with three goals on their past 27 power plays (11.1 percent) and finished 0-for-3 with the man-advantage.

"That energy, that ambition, that motivation is back. We have that feeling again that every single moment, every single game matters."
"The real season begins," Toews said. "Obviously, we want to see what we're made of, and I think we're all pretty confident what we're able to do.

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