The game started out with Ray Emery in total adventure mode playing pucks behind the net and although it never cost him on the scoreboard he was not able to finish the first period. The scoring in the period started with one of the two Blackhawks Hart Trophy candidates, Jonathan Toews on a quick 2 on 1 beat Devan Dubnyk for a quick lead. The lead didn’t last even a minute when Nail Yakupov beat Emery to tie the game up at 1. The other Hart trophy candidate got behind everyone when Michal Handzus sprung Patrick Kane and he didn’t miss giving the Hawks a 2-1 lead. Marian Hossa collected his 500th assist on the Toews goal but none of this was very exciting after watching Emery leave with an apparent lower body injury half way through the first. The Oilers outshot the Hawks 11-9 in the first but trailed when the horn sounded.
The second period was a bunch of power plays with a lot more Blackhawks chances, but only one play stands out. The Oilers on a 2 on 1 got in on Corey Crawford and Crawford made the save of the night with a huge glove save. Crawford wasn’t tested a lot in the 2nd period, but when he was given a test it was very difficult and he came away with high passing marks. The Hawks only gave up 2 shots on goal for the period but were also unable to capitalize on their many chances and the 2nd period ended with the same score as the 1st period ended with 2-1.
Patrick Kane picked up his 31st assist of the season when he let the play set up and made a nifty pass to Johnny Oduya who buried it for a 3-1 lead early in the 3rd period. Corey Crawford didn’t allow a goal during his relief stint and the Hawks defense played well in front of him for most of the evening. Drew LeBlanc saw a lot of ice time during the third period and played well with some good scoring chances that he wasn’t able to cash in on for his first NHL point. Late in third you could hear Hawk nation groan when it looked like Patrick Sharp was skating off the ice with a bad knee injury, and then minutes later with the net empty Sharp somehow was on the ice and fought off a check and deposited the puck into the net for the final tally in the Hawks 4-1 victory.
A game that meant nothing the Hawks won easily and it could have been a lot worse had it not been for the good play by Oilers goalie Dubnyk. Two more games until the real season can finally start! Hopefully Ray Emery just tweaked his injury and will not be out for an extended period of time.
The Hawks clinched their second ever President’s trophy, and that will be the last time you hear me mention it again!
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