Mar 5, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner (4) moves the puck past Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
The first period ended with no score, but it wasn’t because the Hawks didn’t have their chances. Brandon Saad had a chance to redirect a Jonathan Toews pass with half the net open, but he couldn’t get a good stick on it. The Toews, Saad, Marian Hossa line dominated the ice everytime they were on it during the first period. Patrick Sharp finally returned to the ice with Marcus Kruger, and Patrick Kane and though they didn’t score it was good to see Sharp take a check and deliver the only hit for the Hawks in the 1st period. The Hawks outshot the Wild 11-4 in the first, but they were not able to get any in the net except for the play the ref let go longer than they usually do and then with the puck coming loose then the ref blew the whistle as the puck found the back of the net for no goal.
The second period was a whole lot of the same as the first period for most of the 2nd. The Hawks had there chances especially while outshooting the Wild again 16-10 for the 2nd period. A light moment happened when a puck flew on to the Hawks bench and hit Coach Quenneville in the head. It was a strange site to see Coach Q laughing on the bench during a game. The Hossa line continued to get great chances and then on a very bad turnover by Clayton Stoner, Marian Hossa picked off the pass and then blasted one past a helpless Niklas Backstrom. Another odd site was watching Daniel Carcillo restrain himself when a Wild penalty was called and not retaliate. The Hawks took another lead to the 2nd intermission.
The third period didn’t yield any goals and Emery had his 2nd consecutive road 1-0 shut outs having to come up big only once in the final period. The real worry for the Hawks after this game was that Patrick Sharp was boarded by Ryan Suter and fell awkwardly into the boards and looked to be favoring his shoulder. Sharp was solid for the entire contest, but if he’s injured this would be a serious deflating blow after another outstanding game by the Hawks defense in front of Ray Emery. After the game the comments were just a stinger for Sharp, but hopefully he will be ready to play come Friday night at the United Center, but more importantly healthy and ready to go when the playoffs begin.
The Hawks have the next two days off before facing the Detroit Red Wings for their final regular season division contest Friday night. The puck drops at 7:30.
It sounds like Dave Bolland is close to returning possibly as soon as Friday night.
For more Blackhawks conversation follow us on Twitter @Blackhawk_up or Friend us on Facebook.