Tonight was a special night for the Blackhawks, Coach Quenneville was going for his 700th coaching win and Michal Handzus was playing in his 1,000 game. Handzus was presented with a silver stick by the Blackhawks management before the game.
The Blackhawks were squaring off the best team in the NHL tonight in the St. Louis. The Blackhawks should have been reeling after an overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. This was third loss in three games for the Blackhawks; instead they put the Blues on their heels the whole night.
The Blackhawks put 30 shots on the Blues which is impressive stat. The Blues rarely allow that many shots per game. The Blackhawks played a very strong first period but had nothing to show for it UNTIL Duncan Keith found the back off the net. Keith blasted a shot past Ryan Miller with less than a minute left in the first period to give the Blackhawks the lead. The first period ended with the Blackhawks leading 1-0.
The second period started much like the first; the Blackhawks continued to outwork the Blues. Andrew Shaw was in front of the net all night and he was rewarded for his efforts. Shaw swatted a puck out of the air to score. Shaw put the Blackhawks up 2-0 late in the second period. The Blackhawks lead 2-0 but then they suffered a HUGE LOSS. Patrick Kane went to the ice after a hit to his knee. It was deemed a freak played by Coach Quenneville. Kane was taken to the locker room and would not return for the third period. Initial reports say Kane could be out minimum three weeks. Coach Quenneville was very coy in his post game on whether Kane will play again this season. He did not guarantee Kane will return for the playoffs. This could be a HUGE LOSS going forward.
The loss of Kane did not affect the Blackhawks in the third period. The third period was taken over by the Blackhawks “depth players”. Marcus Kruger received a great pass from Peter Regin to put in the easy goal. The Kruger goal put the Blackhawks up 3-0.
Less than two minutes later, Ben Smith put the icing on the Blackhawks cake. He slapped a wrist shot past Miller for the fourth goal of the game. Smith who has been playing well as of late and has been rewarded by getting time as the second line center for the Blackhawks. The final score was 4-0 in favor of the Blackhawks.
NEWS and NOTES:
- This was Coach Quennville’s 700th win, he is now third behind Al Arbour (782) and Scotty Bowman (1244).
- Second game in a row Brandon Saad has not played due to an upper body injury.
- This was the first win for the Blackhawks against the Blues.
The Blackhawks will take on the Hurricanes on Friday at the United Center.
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LET’S GO HAWKS!