Dec 3, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wingBrandon Saad
(20) with the puck during the third period against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. Chicago won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
An Original 6 Matchup at the United Center on Friday with the Montreal Canadiens facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks. The teams met up earlier this season with the Hawks shutting out the Canadiens 5-0, here is how things transpired Friday Night in Chicago.
The Chicago Blackhawks picked up where they left off against the St. Louis Blues when they scored 3 minutes into the contest. Andrew Shaw pushed the puck through the neutral zone passed it to Bryan Bickell who found a trailing Michal Rozsival who put a wrister past Carey Price for a quick lead. It was Rozsival’s 66th career goal and Pat Foley proclaimed that a Rozsival goal is like winning the lottery. Rozsival also brought some physical play to the contest throwing some checks making everyone forget that Klas Dahlbeck didn’t get to play tonight.
The real story of the first period was each team hitting the post multiple times with one of them being Kris Versteeg with a wide open net that he missed on a nice pass from Patrick Kane on a 2 on 1. Less than a minutes later Ben Smith made a nice power move and put in his own rebound to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. The lead didn’t last long when Brenden Gallagher scored in the slot with everyone watching him to cut the lead to 2-1. The Canadiens actually out shot the Hawks 14-12 in the first but trail by one.
The biggest bug a boo for the Blackhawks this season has been the second period and nothing changed on Friday night. The Blackhawks were stymied early by the Price and then the Canadiens offense got going. The oldest player on the ice Sergei Gonchar scored to tie the game a puck that Raanta should have stopped.
The Blackhawks were in their own end controlling the puck when Brandon Prust took a dive and sent Patrick Kane to the penalty box and 13 seconds later P.K. Subban scored to give the Canadiens their first lead of the game. It was the first time in 20 attempts that the Blackhawks penalty kill gave up a goal. Marian Hossa was pulled down when the horn sounded so the Hawks will have a powerplay to start the period.
The Blackhawks started the period on the powerplay but they weren’t able to cash in on the man advantage but the Hawks got a second chance with the extra man and they were able to convert their second shot. A Brad Richards shot/pass got through Carey Price and Jonathan Toews was able to tip in the rebound to tie up the game. Raanta was good but his rebound control was sketchy and this created some anxious moments late in the game for Blackhawks fans.
In the last minute of the game the Blackhawks offense was attacking and Brandon Saad had his stick down and the puck found him and he didn’t make a mistake and put home the game winner with 27 seconds left in the game. Raanta would have to make one more big save on Raanta preserved the win 4-3!
– The Hawks have won 5 straight
-The Hawks have won 10 out of their last 12 games.
– The Blackhawks are in second place having surpassed the St. Louis Blues in the standings
– Raanta has made 40 and 38 saves in his two starts. He’s looked good and shaky at the same time.
– I expect to see Klas Dahlbeck and Scott Darling tomorrow night.
– Off To Nashville for the Battle for First Place