(Photo: NHL Youtube)
But, Kinkaid’s prowess in his first NHL start was a major factor in the Devils’ one point earned from the regulation tie before Kane’s goal gave Chicago their seventh consecutive win–nine out of the last 10.
Patrick Sharp made his return from the long-term injured reserve and Scott Darling tended goal in for injured Corey Crawford as the previously hot Blackhawks struggled versus a competitive New Jersey team at the Prudential Center Monday.
Neither team could take advantage of a power play–with Chicago going 0/3 and New Jersey 0/1.
New Jersey had the Blackhawks’ game down pat, shutting down prime scoring opportunities from the start. The Hawks led the Devils 39-24 in shots on goal, with Chicago defense blocking eight and the Devils blocking 17.
- Jordin Tootoo scored first after Steve Bernier sent a loose puck up the middle to Tootoo, who fired it past Darling with 4:49 left in the first.
- At 10:55 into the second, Bryan Bickell tied the game by firing a shot from the hashmarks after a pass from Sharp.
- The Devils took back the lead 2:31 into the third, with Stephen Gionta batting in a mid-air shot from Damon Severson, redirected by Bernier, when the Hawks failed to clear the zone.
- With 3:13 remaining, Duncan Keith rebounded the game-tying-goal into an open net after Marian Hossa‘s shot from Toews was deflected.
Hossa and the Hawks Get Their Groove Back in Nashville
Despite a campaign to “keep the red out,” the red jerseys and “Let’s go, Hawks” chants gave the Blackhawks a home advantage feel when they played the Nashville Predators Saturday–and Hossa scored two goals in their 3-1 victory. The Blackhawks also reclaimed first in the Central Division.
Nashville outshot Chicago 33-31 and outhit them 23-7. The Blackhawks were 0/2 on the power play while the Predators were 0/1. Despite this, Darling was able to hold off the Predators and the Hawks were able to maintain a lead through regulation.
- Brandon Saad went top shelf from the faceoff circle after Keith stole a turnover attempt with 5:07 left in the first.
- Just under three minutes into the second, Brent Seabrook passed up to Saad at the blue line. Saad took the puck to the net–and goaltender Pekka Rinne—where he backhanded it to Hossa for a clear shot in and a two-goal lead.
- Colin Wilson halved the lead 19:26 into the third going top-shelf from the point after a face-off win and pass-back play with Victor Bartley and Mike Fisher.
- With 1:11 remaining, Hossa pickpocketed the puck mid-ice and shot in the empty-netter for a 3-1 final score.
‘Haappy’ Saad Sends Hawks Over Habs in Last Seconds
The Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens battled through the final minute of regulation Dec. 5 in Chicago–leaving more than the standing room only crowd on its feet.
The Canadiens led 41-36 in shots on goal, 20-11 in blocked shots, and 19-15 in hits. Chicago was 1/5 on the power play and Montreal was 1/3, though their goal came when P.K. Subban scored after a questionable tripping call on Kane–ending a long-running penalty kill streak for Chicago.
23 for 23 streak by #Blackhawks penalty kill ended by a goal by a guy named PK.
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) December 6, 2014
- Michal Rozsival scored first just 2:13 into the game, when Andrew Shaw skated the puck from Habs territory and passed it up to Bickell, who delivered it to Rozsival for a quick one-timer past Price.
- With less than two minutes remaining in the period, Ben Smith gave the Hawks a two-goal advantage when he rebounded his own shot on a play set up by Marcus Kruger and Joakim Nordstrom.
- Brendan Gallagher would answer, though, about 30 seconds later, with a point-blank shot just inside the post on a centered pass from behind the net by Alex Galchenyuk–also assisting, Tomas Plekanec.
- Just under eight minutes into the second (the Blackhawks’ lagging period this season), Sergei Gonchar fired in a shot from the far right hashmarks after a passing play from Gallagher and Alexei Emelin to tie the game.
- Subban went top-shelf with a one-timer set up by Andrei Markov and David Desharnais on the power play for the lead with 2:38 left in the second.
- Toews would answer with a power play goal of his own 4:18 into the third when he pushed in the puck on a rebounded play from Brad Richards and Kris Versteeg.
- And, as the clock wound down with overtime play looming, Saad shot in a rebound from Toews and Kane to win the game with just 27 seconds remaining.
It was the Blackhawks’ second game back in Chicago following an extended road series known as the “Circus Trip,” and the team’s first sign of positive momentum this season.
The first was Wednesday night rivalry night.
Playing Chelsea Dagger for the Blues
To welcome Chicago fans, and the St. Louis Blues, back to the United Center, the Blackhawks carried out a 4-1 win.
Despite a 41-32 shots on goal deficit, the Blackhawks managed to find the back of the net three times more than the Blues–once again only faltering in the second period. The Blues were 0/6 on power plays while the Hawks were 0/3.
- Kruger struck first with a quick shot past Jake Allen less than five minutes into the first, after Saad stole the puck and passed across to him.
- With 7:22 left in the second, Ian Cole pushed the puck in on a delayed penalty with the help of Patrik Berglund and Steve Ott.
- Versteeg fired the puck in from the hashmarks less than a minute into the third thanks to passes from Toews and Keith.
- Richards took the puck from Blues territory and passed it up to Versteeg, who saucered it across to Kane for another clean shot from the right faceoff area and into the net–giving Chicago a 3-1 lead at 17:13 in the third.
- Kane used his deke prowess to score on a near-breakaway set up by Versteeg and David Rundblad with 14:41 left in the game.
Despite repeated efforts, the Blues couldn’t catch up and the Hawks couldn’t set Kane up for the hat trick.
News and Nexts
Winger Jeremy Morin is with the Rockford IceHogs on a conditioning assignment, for a maximum two weeks, which allows him to play with the AHL team while avoiding being placed on waivers.
Crawford is out of his boot and on the ice again, but there’s no date set for his return. Darling is set to start Thursday at 6 p.m. CT against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
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