Dec 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman David Rundblad (5) celebrates with his teammates after scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period of their NHL game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
The Blackhawks returned home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs at the United Center and after a disappointing end to the game last night in the shootout against the Columbus Blue Jackets the Hawks were looking to get back to their winning ways.
The first period started out with a quick Toronto powerplay but it didn’t amount to much of anything but a 2 on 1 break for the Hawks that James Reimer was able to stop easily. The Hawks and Leafs then played a pretty boring first half of the first period with a lot of neutral ice play, but as the period went on the Hawks started to take control of the action. David Rundblad, yes Rundblad scored the first goal of the game with a strong blast from the point that went in through a Patrick Sharp screen.
It was nice to see some net front presence because there really wasn’t much of any net front presence until Sharp showed up on Rundblad’s goal. It was Rundblad’s first goal of his Hawks career and only his 2nd career goal overall having scored with Ottawa in the 2011-2012 season. The period looked like it was going to end 1-0 but the puck got into the Maple Leafs zone with only seconds left and Patrick Kane found Kris Versteeg who got it past James Reimer with only 0.4 seconds left on the clock for a 2-0 lead heading into the 1st intermission. Kane had 2 assists in the first period putting his point streak up to 6 straight games.
The second period started out a lot like the first period with a bunch of neutral ice action and then the ice tilted towards the Maple Leafs. They had their chances including two mini-breaks by Phil Kessel but he shot both of them wide. Toronto got one shot past Antti Raanta but the goal post saved him. The Hawks had one really good chance when Brent Seabrook shot it in and the puck took a crazy bounce to Marcus Kruger but his set of moves could not produce a goal. The Period was pretty boring but the Hawks still lead 2-0 after 2 periods thanks only to the play of Reimer.
The third period didn’t look like a normal third period with the Leafs dominating the first half of the first period. The Leafs were up 11-1 on the shot chart and had a powerplay, but the tide turned in the period when the Leafs went to the box and Patrick Kane put in a rebound for a 3-0 lead. The Captain then put on a personal clinic of his greatness and scored on a fantastic highlight goal and sealed the game with a 4-0 lead late in the contest. The Leafs played out the rest of the game and the Hawks skated away with a 4-0 Win
-Third career shutout for Antti Raanta
– Kane has a 6 game point Streak
– Patrick Sharp picked up 3 assists
– The Hawks have one more game Tuesday night before the Christmas Break.
-Brad Richards was a late announced scratch and is listed as day-to-day
HAWKS WIN!! HAWKS WIN!!
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