Brouwer injured; Hawks stymied by Habs' Price

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Brouwer injured; Hawks stymied by Habs' Price

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Posted: 9:06 p.m. Updated: 10:52 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The Blackhawks and Canadiens had just completed a late regular-season game with plenty of playoff feel. Great goaltending, great chances, great drama.

And then it ended on a call the Blackhawks didnt think was so great.
P.K. Subban scored the game-winning power-play goal in overtime after Jonathan Toews was whistled for a trip on him in the Blackhawks 2-1 loss at Bell Centre on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks got a point out of what was a classic game played by both teams, but they were frustrated that the questionable-at-best penalty led to the conclusion.

Watch: Toews frustrated with late penalty call

I dont really know what to say right now. We worked our butts off and you dont want to blame it on one little thing and say it comes down to a call but thats obviously what happened, Toews said. You can argue the call, especially when you feel there are a lot of stick penalties that dont get called against you out there. And then the games decided on something like that, its pretty damn frustrating.

Coach Joel Quenneville said I 100 percent disagreed with the call. He wasnt calling it (at first) and Jonny didnt touch his feet. Both goalies were great tonight. It was a tough way to end it.
Watch: Quenneville disagrees with overtime call

As angry as the Blackhawks were with the conclusion, they certainly did have their opportunities to win. They had 42 other shots, all of which Carey Price stopped in a fabulous performance. The Blackhawks also went 0 for 5 on their power play.

The Blackhawks gained a point and remain in eighth place in the West. Patrick Kane scored, giving him his 300th career point and changing game momentum. But the Blackhawks also lost Troy Brouwer who suffered an apparent right-shoulder injury with 13:07 remaining in regulation. Corey Crawford was stellar in his return home, stopping 33 of 35 shots.

Watch: Crawford thought calls didn't go Hawks way

We played well and we had some chances and I thought we couldve gotten some calls that we didnt. We get that one in overtime and thats a tough one to swallow, Crawford said. At least we got a point out of it. Its just tough because others are chasing us now and theyre playing well and we need every point we can get. Thats a tough point to lose.

The Blackhawks wont have much time to be angry, as they play St. Louis Wednesday night at the United Center. The Blackhawks, with 93 points, hold a two-point edge over ninth-place Dallas (91); both teams have three games remaining. Points are at a premium right now and they need all they can get.

Watch: Kane thinks Hawks have some work to do

Its tough to take because the call came so late, Kane said. But we got a point tonight. We have to look to tomorrow and try to win and move forward.
Brouwer hurt

Read: Brower leaves with shoulder injury

Brouwer suffered an apparent right shoulder injury with about 13 minutes left in regulation and did not return. Brouwer landed shoulder first around the boards and did not get up for several moments. When he did, he skated off under his own power.

Quenneville said hed have a better assessment of Brouwers status on Wednesday.

The Blackhawks are already missing two forwards in Patrick Sharp (left knee) and Dave Bolland (concussion). Sharp continues to improve and could be skating in the next day or two, Quenneville said. Meanwhile, Bolland is showing a little progress.

Briefly

Patrick Kane played just over 21 minutes and had five shots on goal. Marian Hossa logged 23 and a half minutes.

Bryan Bickell had a team-high seven shots on goal.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back vs. Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back vs. Lightning tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. How will Blackhawks respond to worst loss of season?

The Blackhawks suffered their worst loss of the season on Saturday in a 7-0 rout at the hands of the Panthers. It was the first time they've lost by at least seven goals since 2011 when Edmonton beat them 9-2 and the first time they lost 7-0 since 2001 against San Jose; the Blackhawks lost to Washington 6-0 earlier this year. But by no means was Saturday their worst effort of the season. A questionable interference penalty by Marcus Kruger led to a two-man advantage, which Florida cashed in on with a goal and another shortly after, and it opened up the floodgates. Expect a big bounce-back against a hungry Lightning team.

2. Lightning fighting for playoff lives.

Every game is a must-win for the Lightning with eight games remaining on their schedule. They're three points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand on the Bruins, who currently occupy that spot, but still have to jump the Islanders. The Lightning didn't do themselves any favors by losing three straight in regulation last week, but they've won two in a row and tonight will be the first of a four-game homestand for them.

3. Keep the puck off Nikita Kucherov's stick.

There isn't a hotter player in the NHL right now than Kucherov, who has seven goals and two assists in his last four games. He's had two hat tricks in the past month, and he ranks sixth in the league with 78 points and second in goals with 38. You know how lethal Artemi Panarin's slapshot is from the left faceoff circle? That's Kucherov, but on the right side.

4. Staying disciplined.

The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team in the league, but they acted out of character Saturday by racking up 30 penalty minutes. They were also slapped with a pair of unsportsmanlike penalties, which isn't something you normally see from Joel Quenneville's teams. Ryan Hartman, who along with Marcus Kruger was penalized for "yapping" at the officials, accepted responsibility for it after the game, and insisted it "won't happen again."

5. Special teams to play key factor?

On the flip side, the Lightning are the second-most penalized team, averaging just over 11 penalty minutes per game. Power plays will be key for the Blackhawks in an effort to keep Tampa Bay's collection of talented young goal scorers off the ice. The Lightning also boast a top-five power play unit with a 22 percent success rate. Both teams would be better served staying out of the box and making this a 5-on-5 battle.

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Will lopsided loss shake Blackhawks from their slumber?

Will lopsided loss shake Blackhawks from their slumber?

The Blackhawks have talked the past several games now about how they need to play better, how they need to get back to their 60-minute game. But even when you tell yourself you have to improve the message doesn't always translate into immediate action. That's especially true if, despite so-so play, you're still managing victories or still eking out a point.

Sometimes, you need a jolt to realize you have to get better. Well, that thud the Blackhawks made in South Florida ought to get their attention. 

The Blackhawks' 7-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, that "ugly, ugly game," as coach Joel Quenneville, is the latest in what's been a mediocre stretch for the team. They've been leaning on their goaltending again (please see Minnesota, Montreal, Ottawa and Dallas games). Or they've been leaning on their ability to wake up in the third period after sleepwalking through the first two. Sixty-minute games and four-line rotations, such a big part of the Blackhawks' success through February and early March, have been absent.

Call it the Blackhawks' mid-March malaise.

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It hasn't been more painful because the Blackhawks have still found ways to get points. Or at least they did until Saturday night, when two "yapping" penalties – Quenneville's (accurate) description of Ryan Hartman and Marcus Kruger's unsportsmanlike calls – started the Blackhawks' demise against the Panthers. Players told the traveling media following the game that this was a wake-up call. It ought to be.

Granted, the Blackhawks' late-season issues aren't as bad as some of their fellow Western Conference teams. The Minnesota Wild are 3-10-1 in March. The San Jose Sharks have lost six in a row. This also isn't the first time the Blackhawks have gone through this late-season mediocrity.

Entering the 2015 postseason they struggled to score goals and lost four in a row (five goals in those four games). It turned out alright. Still, best to avoid bad habits.

Perhaps the Blackhawks are in a bit of a swoon because, really, there's not much for which to play in these final few games. They don't care if they win the Presidents' Trophy (and they probably won't). They're currently in first place by seven points following the Wild's 3-2 overtime loss to Detroit on Sunday. Whether the Blackhawks finish first or second, they'll start this postseason at home. 

So is this panic-inducing? No. Is it a concern? Certainly. The Blackhawks can't start thinking they'll automatically flip the switch as soon as the postseason begins.

The Blackhawks want to get their four-line rotation going again. Artem Anisimov returning in the next week or two will certainly help that. They want to get their overall game going again. The Blackhawks have been telling themselves what needs to be done for a few games now. Maybe they needed a wake-up call. On Saturday, they got it.