On Thursday Night, the Chicago Blackhawks faced-off against The New York Rangers at the United Center. It was a great team win as goals were recorded from 4 different Hawks’ skaters.
In the opening period, the Hawks’ took an early lead from a goal off the stick of Jonathan Toews just three minutes into the game. The Hawks’ looked to be skating circles around the Rangers to start off the game. That is, Until Pavel Buchnevich tied the game two minuets later with a wrist shot that found it’s way into the back of the net. After that, the first period was quiet, but the Hawks’ looked to be controlling the ice.
Also in the first period, the Hawks’ faced a penalty kill and a power play. The kill, for once, looked great and everyone seemed to be on the same page, including Corey Crawford who ended the game with 18 saves and only letting up a lone goal. The power play looked to improve tremendously, even though they did not connect on a goal. Nevertheless they created plenty of opportunities, which is improvement for them if you can believe it.
Throughout the second period, the Hawks’ were in the drivers seat and it felt like they controlled the puck for the entire period with all the time they spent in the offensive zone. Although dominating the period, the Hawks’ only tallied a single goal. The goal came from Alexandre Fortin to break the tie and put the Hawks’ up 2-1. Assists on the goal came from Nick Schmaltz and Brandon Manning.
I feel the real story coming out of this game is about the goaltender Corey Crawford. Although letting up the tying goal early in the first period, he persevered. A short memory could possibly be a goalie’s best trait so he doesn’t get into his own head. Crawford quickly forgot about the early goal and went on to block the rest of the shots that came his way. Crawford has let up only one goal in each of his last three starts. It feels Great to have him back in net.
In the third period, the Hawks looked to pad their one goal lead. That didn’t come until late in the period on a controversial goal coming from Patrick Kane. Originally on the ice, the referee called it a no-goal. But, upon further review, the war room made the call that it was in fact a good goal. that was not the end of it though. The Rangers had their timeout left so they decided to challenge the call. I’m not quite sure the reasoning behind the challenge because the war room made the call not 30 seconds prior to the challenge. In the end it was, in fact, a goal. Also collecting a goal was Alex DeBrincat on an empty-netter with about two minutes left in the game.
With less than a minute left in the game, Brandon Manning was minding his own Business when the Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey decided to test him. Manning was having none of it as he dropped the gloves immediately. It was a pretty good scrap and it was fun to watch, because well frankly, fights rarely happen in the NHL anymore and even less often with the Blackhawks. In the end, Manning found the same fate as the rest of the team, coming out on top.
The Hawks look forward to Saturday, when they Battle the St. Louis Blues…again.
Follow Alex on Twitter-Feature Photo Credit: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune