The Blackhawks played almost perfect hockey on Sunday in their 7-1 win at Detroit, and they played almost flawless 40 minutes of hockey on Monday night but hockey games are 60 minutes. This is the type of games the Hawks have lost during the playoffs the last few seasons a combination of soft goals and not working hard for 60 minutes, luckily for the Hawks this is a regular season game but hopefully they may finally learn their lesson.
The first period was a typical snooze fest with the Predators while they only play defense which is very boring. The play was pretty even for the period, and then a real strange thing happened. For the first time since seemingly the Calgary game the Hawks were the team scoring at the end of a period when Brandon Saad fired on that was redirected in front by a Predator for his 7th goal of the season and his 3rd in two games. To say that Saad has grown into his role on the top line is an understatement and each passing game he is making his case for Rookie of the Year.
The second period was owned by the Blackhawks. Shots on goal can be a misleading stat but the Hawks out shot the Predators 18-4 in the period. The Hawks scored the only goal of the period when playing 4 on 4 hockey Patrick Kane broke in on Pekka Rinne and put it for his 19th goal of the season. Rinne although beat on the goal was the star of the game for the Predators stopping 38 stops on 40 shots. There is a reason Rinne is one of the best goalies in the NHL by stopping shot after quality shot. The Hawks were in cruise control heading to the third period.
The third period was an entire different game with the Predators actually trying offensively the game fell apart for the Hawks with Corey Crawford soft play behind net turning the momentum for good when the puck was poke checked out of his glove for the first Predators goal. At one time the Predators had a 10-0 shooting advantage and then Taylor Beck tied up the game with 13 minutes left on what looked like another save that Crawford could have made but the puck trickled over the goal line. Crawford then just like in the playoffs last season stood tall with the game tied up to get the game into overtime.
The game went to a shootout with Michal Rozsival of all people netting the game winner. The Hawks escape with 2 points, but in the process keep Nashville’s fainting playoff hopes to stay alive and give all the Hawks critics more ammunition that they can’t close out and their goalies will be the reason they won’t hoist the Cup come June.
-Dave Bolland played only a few shifts into the second period and was not seen again for the rest of the night.
Next Up is the St Louis Blues Thursday night puck drops at 7:30 it will be interesting if there are anymore roster moves by the time the Hawks hit ice at the United Center after the trade deadline.
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