Jan 23, 2014; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa (81) drives to the net as Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper (35) makes the save in the second period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
The Blackhawks didn’t come out with their skating legs in the first period at Minnesota, and to make matters worst they were without Duncan Keith for the contest because he was out due to sickness. The Hawks had some early chances but then Jason Pominville finished off a very pretty passing play to give the Wild and early 1-0 lead on a play that Handzus trailed the entire way, the goal isn’t a good sign for the Hawks who are 7-8-6 when they don’t score first. The Hawks killed off a 5 on 3 and you would think this would be a huge momentum lift and after Marcus Kruger missed an open net, Matt Cooke put in a rather weak goal to give the Wild a 2-0 lead heading to intermission.
The second period was only exciting if you like watching Joel Quenneville blend lines, because besides seeing Marian Hossa skate with Michal Handzus and Bryan Bickell it was an incredibly boring period of hockey. The Hawks had two good chances, one was by Bickell on a turnover at the blue line that Nick Leddy made a nice pass to Bickell but he couldn’t finish. The other good chance was by Hossa shorthanded but he couldn’t control the puck on his way to the net. The Hawks look very uninterested through two periods in Minnesota so a big third period has been ordered by Hawks fans!
The Hawks didn’t get much done in the third period with the Wild standing on the blue line for most of the period. The Hawks looked liked they were heading to their first shut-out defeat since February of 2012, but Patrick Kane scored with Antti Raanta on the bench with 31 seconds left. The Hawks made a big push in the final minute but could not get the tying goal past Darcy Kuemper who picked up his 5th win of the season in the 2-1 Wild victory.
-This is only the 2nd Blackhawks regulation loss in 18 games.
-The Hawks fall to 9-1-3 on the back end of back to back games this season.
-Patrick Kane scored his first goal since December 28th so hopefully he can get back on a hot streak now that a puck found the back of the net.
-The Hawks have a couple days off before the red hot Winnipeg Jets skate into town Sunday Night.
-The Hawks have the look of a team in the dog days of the season something we didn’t see last year during the 48 game sprint in the shortened season.
LET’S GO HAWKS!!!