It's no secret the Blackhawks' depth and secondary scoring have played a main role in the team's success throughout the shortened 2013 campaign. Their Friday night matchup against the Sharks was no exception.
Chicago's 4-1 win over San Jose marked the Hawks' second win over their West Coast opponent this season, following a 5-3 victory just 10 days ago.
"We played really [well] here… We're really comfortable in our own end," Niklas Hjalmarsson, who recorded his first goal of the season on Friday, said. "It's just a good feeling in our team right now."
It's not just the secondary scoring that's been notable for the Blackhawks this year; the rebounding on the ice has played a major role as well. In addition to Hjalmarsson's goal, Marcus Kruger, Dave Bolland and Andrew Shaw each found the back of the net. But it was Kruger's goal in particular that had the team buzzing after the game.
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Kruger fired a shot that whizzed over the glove of Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi. But a timely bounce gave him a chance for a rebound, and he was ready, giving the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead in the second period.
"I thought the first one went in and it just hit the inside of the post there," Patrick Sharp said about Kruger's goal. "Credit him for following it up. That was a fluky goal, but 'Krugs' had the puck on his stick all night, bunch of great defensive plays, good penalty killing. When you do things like that you get rewarded."
Hjalmarsson added how rare it is for an opportunity like that to come around, and was glad he wasn't in Niemi's skates during the play.
"Every now and then, once or twice a year the puck takes a funny bounce like that," Hjalmarsson said. "It’s tough for goalies. It may look pretty bad but I can’t imagine myself being a goalie after a bounce like that. Pretty nerve-wracking. Pretty funny bounce. Lucky for us."