Monday, 17 April 2017

NHL - Hawks - Update - March 25-31, 2017

Wild @ Florida Panthers 0-7 - Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Florida Panthers kept pace in the Stanley Cup Playoff race in the Eastern Conference with a 7-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at BB&T Center.
Florida (33-30-11) is seven points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wild card into the playoffs with eight games remaining. Jonathan Marchessault scored his first NHL hat trick and James Reimer made 25 saves for his first shutout of the season. Chicago (48-21-6) remained eight points ahead of the Minnesota Wild for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. The Wild lost 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday and have one game in hand on the Blackhawks. Aleksander Barkov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead on the first shot of the second period. Jonathan Huberdeau carried the puck through the neutral zone before threading a pass between Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jonathan Toews to Barkov, who shot over Corey Crawford's glove at 17 seconds. Florida extended its lead after Ryan Hartman was called for two penalties, hooking and unsportsmanlike conduct, at 7:20 of the second period. Marcus Kruger went off for interference at 9:38, which gave the Panthers 1:42 of a 5-on-3. Huberdeau shot a one-timer inside the right post to make it 2-0 at 10:21. Barkov and Huberdeau each had three points (one goal, two assists) in the second period. Marchessault pushed the lead to 3-0 at 11:40 of the second, 4-0 at 4:59 of the third, and completed his natural hat trick to make it 5-0 at 7:13. Scott Darling replaced Crawford, who made 21 saves on 25 shots, after Marchessault's second goal. Darling made three saves on six shots.
Nick Bjugstad made it 6-0 at 7:53 before Reilly Smith made it 7-0 at 11:45.
Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr left in the second period with a lower-body injury.
* Huberdeau passed through the slot to Barkov, who moved it back across to Marchessault to the left of the net. Marchessault dropped to one knee and shot past a sliding Crawford for his first goal.

"Every game is different. That was an ugly, ugly game, the way it ended up. For 30 minutes, it was probably heading in the right direction. The fact of whether it was complacency [or not], the way it ended, it wasn't good enough."
"We were going along fine and then that one play changed the complexion of the game. At that point, whether it was the frustration, complacency or no compete, it wasn't fun after that point." Joel Quenneville said.
"If we continue to play like that and think we're going to turn it on come playoff time, we've got another thing coming." Jonathan Toews said. 

Hawks @ Tampa Bay Lightning 4-5 OT - Monday, March 27, 2017

The Tampa Bay Lightning moved one point out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference after a 5-4 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena. The Lightning (37-29-9) trail the Boston Bruins for the second wild card with seven games remaining and are one point ahead of the New York Islanders, who lost to the Nashville Predators 3-1 on Monday. Yanni Gourde scored the game-winner with 35 seconds left in the overtime when he beat Scott Darling on a breakaway to complete a three-goal comeback after trailing 4-1. Jonathan Drouin scored twice, and Ondrej Palat and Anton Stralman also scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy was temporarily pulled for Peter Budaj in the first period but returned and made 25 saves on 29 shots. Artemi Panarin, Patrick Kane, Tomas Jurco and Richard Panik scored for the Blackhawks (48-21-7), who are eight points ahead of the Minnesota Wild for first place in the Central Division. Darling made 25 saves.
Panik gave the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead at 8:47 of the second period when he was able to score off a rebound of his own shot. Drouin started the Lightning comeback when he made it 4-2 at 11:45 of the second period with a redirection off a shot form Alex Killorn. Stralman made it 4-3 at 12:47 when he beat Darling with a shot high on the glove side off a pass from Greg McKegg.
Drouin's 20th goal of the season tied it 4-4 at 16:24 with a slap shot high on Darling's stick side. Panarin made it 1-0 at 1:23 of the first period when his one-timer from the left circle trickled between Vasilevskiy's pads. Palat tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 9:29. Kane gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead on the next shift at 10:17 when he found space in the slot and beat Vasilevskiy with a wrist shot to the stick side. Jurco scored his first goal of the season to make it 3-1 at 13:41.

* McKegg passed up a shot on a wraparound and made a centering pass to Stralman, who scored his fourth goal of the season.
"I think every save I make on Kane is a huge save," Vasilevskiy said. "I just played the situation, it wasn't anything crazy."
"[Kane] makes a good play there, but huge, huge save by Vasilevskiy," Dotchin said. "I thought I had [Kane] but he stayed with the puck, I don't how he did it."
* Gourde's game-winner came after Hedman successfully poked the puck away from Panarin. Gourde took control of the puck in the neutral zone and beat Darling on the glove side with a wrist shot.
* Hedman had three assists, giving him 50 this season. ... Kucherov had two assists and has 80 points (38 goals, 42 assists) this season. ... Jurco hadn't scored since Feb. 18, 2016, as a member of the Red Wings.
"It's tough. We had such a good first period and a good start to the second. They turned it on there in the last 10 minutes in the second. It's pretty impressive, and I thought we played good. I've got to come up with a save there in OT." Scott Darling said.
"We were 100 percent better than we were last game. We had everything going our way there and we started getting cute in the neutral zone and some poor turnovers gave them some rush chances. We have got to be better with the puck." Joel Quenneville said.

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Hawks 1-3 - Friday, March 31, 2017
The Columbus Blue Jackets' hold on second place in the Metropolitan Division loosened with a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Blue Jackets (49-20-8) are one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated the New York Rangers 4-3 in a shootout. The Blue Jackets trail the Washington Capitals by four points for first place in the division, Eastern Conference and NHL. The Capitals lost to the Coyotes 6-3. The Blackhawks (50-21-7) lead the Minnesota Wild by nine points for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. The Wild have one game in hand. Chicago is three points behind Washington for first in the NHL. Artemi Panarin scored two goals, and Marian Hossa scored for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford made 32 saves. Nick Foligno scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves for the Blue Jackets. Panarin scored an empty-net goal with 44 seconds left to make it 3-1. Patrick Kane got his third assist of the game on the goal to give him 750 points in the NHL (285 goals, 465 assists). Chicago is 8-1-2 in its past 11 games. The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead 32 seconds into the first period on Panarin's 27th goal four seconds into a power play. The Blue Jackets tied it 1-1 at 17:15 when Foligno scored his 25th goal, which was his first in nine games. The Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead at 17:37 off the rush during a 4-on-4 when Kane passed in front to Hossa for his 26th goal. Columbus, 0-for-4 on the power play, has scored nine goals in the past six games.

* Jonathan Toews got the puck to Kane after a faceoff win. He passed to Panarin in the right circle for a wrist shot that beat Bobrovsky high.
* Hossa took a centering pass from Kane, froze Bobrovsky with a move and scored.
* The Blue Jackets ended their 18th of an NHL-high 19 back-to-backs 21-9-6, including 9-5-4 in the second game. … Columbus is 13 for its past 104 (12.5 percent) on the power play. … Blue Jackets forward Lukas Sedlak left the game in the second period because of an upper-body injury. … The Blackhawks reached 50 wins for the second time in their history. The first was in 2009-10 (52) when they won the Stanley Cup. … Kane has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) and Panarin has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in the past 12 games. … Toews got his 350th NHL assist.
"I think that's another good team tonight that we were facing from the East. It's nice to have that measuring stick, see where you stand against that conference." Kane said.
"[Corey Crawford] was excellent tonight. Very sharp, very quick. They go to the net hard. There's a lot of traffic, a lot of bodies. He was finding the puck and was square to the next shot as well. He looked very alert around the net." Joel Quenneville

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