Campoli's first goal is a winner; Sharp injured


Campoli's first goal is a winner; Sharp injured

Sunday, March 18, 2011
Posted 9:32 p.m. Updated 10:43 p.m.

By Tracey Myers

GLENDALE, Ariz. Chris Campoli had been looking for his first goal with the Chicago Blackhawks since he was traded to them at the deadline.

He couldnt have picked a better time to convert.

Campoli scored the game-winner on a power play late in the third period as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 at Arena on Sunday night. The victory put the Blackhawks back into fifth place in the Western Conference.

But it came at a cost. Patrick Sharp went down with an apparent left knee injury when Phoenix defenseman Rostislav Klesla collided with him with 1:35 left in the first period. Sharp did not return, and coach Joel Quenneville said he would be re-evaluated on Monday.

Keith: No replacing Sharp

We dont now for sure, Quenneville said of how long Sharp could be out. Weve definitely lost a couple guys in the last stretch. Hopefully (Brian Campbell) can come back and well see about Sharpy.

Corey Crawford stopped 22 of 23 shots, including two critical ones in the closing minutes, to preserve the regulation victory.

The Blackhawks only had two power plays on the night -- their second came on a questionable-at-best holding call on Phoenix captain Shane Doan but they took advantage of both. Duncan Keith scored on the first advantage, and the Blackhawks scored on six of 10 power plays against Phoenix this season.

We know the power play and penalty kill is a big deal in the playoffs and these games here are as close as it gets to playoff-style hockey, said Jonathan Toews, who fed Campoli the pass through the crease on the winner. It was kind of a slow-motion play where all he had to do was get good wood on it and he made no mistakes. Obviously it was a huge goal for us.

For Campoli, it was also a weight off the shoulders. The defenseman, acquired from Ottawa on Feb. 28, has had some good scoring chances since arriving in Chicago. So Sundays goal was especially sweet.

Toewser saw me going, gave me a great pass and we executed it the way we do in practice. It worked out well, he said. Its huge.

Quenneville said hes had some great looks, had some great opportunities. It was a great play and a great finish. It was a nice start in the goal-scoring department for him.

The Blackhawks didnt allow the Coyotes much their lone goal was an Eric Belanger shot that hit off Nick Leddy and past Crawford.

It wasnt the prettiest win but we did what we had to do, said Keith, who was back with old partner Brent Seabrook as the game wore on Sunday. I thought we deserved to win tonight. We had a lot of chances and the good thing is we won in regulation.

The Blackhawks banded together a man down. It didnt have to be pretty. It just had to yield them two points.

I thought we had a defense-first mentality, especially after the outing (on Thursday), Campoli said. We wanted to bounce back. Good teams find a way to do that, and we did that tonight.

Sharp injured

The Blackhawks have had their share of injuries this season and may be missing another star depending on the severity of Sharps knee injury. If hes out for a bit, the Blackhawks said theyll find a way to press on.

Its just the story of the year, Toews said. Weve had a lot of guys go down. As frustrating as it is for those individuals, they always battle back and bring a lot when theyre ready to play again. Hes going to hurry back as quickly as he can. For the time being were going to have to step it up and find a way to score goals and create offense.

The Blackhawks got through the final two periods on Sunday without Sharp by juggling lines throughout.

I thought the guys did a good job of trying to fill in and step up, Keith said. When guys go down you need others to fill the void and tonight we did that.


Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin was honored in a pregame ceremony for playing in his 1000th NHL game on Sunday night. Keith was part of the video tribute. Aucoin spent two seasons with the Blackhawks.

Forward Ben Smith was recalled from Rockford for Sundays game as a precautionary move. Smith, who found out he was being called up prior to Rockfords game on Saturday, was a healthy scratch against Phoenix. He was reassigned to Rockford immediately after the game.

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

Five Things from Blackhawks-Blue Jackets: Same mistakes resurface

Five Things from Blackhawks-Blue Jackets: Same mistakes resurface

COLUMBUS, Ohio – We’ll save you some time tonight. The Blackhawks lost another one in familiar fashion. You can guess what our focus will be, so let’s get right to it.

Here are Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

1. We’re trying not to pick on the penalty kill again, but… it cost them again. The Blackhawks gave up their 10th and 11th power-play goals in their first five games on Friday night. Opponents are planting themselves in front of Corey Crawford and, be it screens or tips, they’re capitalizing. Long-distance shots are getting through far too often. “I think our focus always has to be 5-on-5. When our effort and our energy and our work ethic is there it usually translates into our special teams and I don’t know. It’s frustrating," Jonathan Toews said. "We definitely have to keep pushing to find a solution. Even when it seems like we’re doing a good job bounces go against us. We deserve all the criticism and we just have to keep finding ways, dig deep and really try to dig ourselves out of this thing.”

2. The seven-defenseman set. Quenneville didn’t want Trevor van Riemsdyk sitting out too long, and for a few days it looked like Brian Campbell was going to be the odd-man out tonight. Instead the Blackhawks went with seven, which gave them the chance to rotate and put Campbell back on his natural left. With that, however, the forward lines were naturally skewed. Patrick Kane played nearly 29 minutes. Quenneville said earlier this season that it wouldn’t be something the Blackhawks would try often. Speaking of van Riemsdyk…

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. Van Riemsdyk hurt again. You have to feel for van Riemsdyk. He finally got healthy last season playing in all 82 games after knee and wrist injuries sidelined him the previous one. Now it looks like he’ll be out again after he went hard into the net late in the second period. Van Riemsdyk got tangled up and his right arm/shoulder collided with the post.

4. Tyler Motte gets his first. The University of Michigan product scored his first career NHL goal, a rebound off a Toews shot in the second period. Considering the game’s outcome, however, Motte’s enthusiasm was tempered. “It was exciting. It felt good to chip in offensively but obviously the real story is us losing another game,” he said. “We were better in the offensive zone but there are still some things to improve on. The most important thing is winning games.”

5. Brandon Saad great but stymied. The former Blackhawks left wing had some tremendous scoring opportunities on Friday. He had a team-high seven shots, most high quality, but Crawford stopped him every time. Just in case anyone needed a reminder of what the kid is capable of, regardless of which sweater he’s wearing.

Penalty kill struggles again in Blackhawks’ loss to Blue Jackets

Penalty kill struggles again in Blackhawks’ loss to Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Blackhawks were trying a different look on Friday, going with seven defensemen. But at the end of the night, it was something all too familiar contributing to their downfall.

Tyler Motte scored the first goal of his NHL career but the Blackhawks gave up two more power-play goals in their 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. It was another night on which special teams doomed the Blackhawks; through the first five games of their regular season, their penalty kill has now allowed 11 goals.

And the loss could also sting them, personnel-wise. Trevor van Riemsdyk went hard into the post late in the second period and did not return. Coach Joel Quenneville said van Riemsdyk, who has had his injury issues in the past, “may be out for a bit.” Quenneville added that he’ll know more on Saturday.

Quenneville dressed seven defensemen to get everyone playing. Van Riemsdyk had been a healthy scratch the previous three games. It also gave him a chance to put Brian Campbell back on the left, his normal side. But regardless of the new defensive look, the penalty kill remained its unreliable self.

“It just seems a lot of times it’s a quick play off a faceoff and it’s in our net,” said Duncan Keith. “It’s a few different things and obviously, we as players, we need to take ownership of it and figure out a way to get the job done. You watch it, there’s lots of different things.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno was set up right in front of Corey Crawford on both of their successful power plays. On the first, a Zach Werenski goal, Foligno set the screen. On the second, he tipped David Savard’s shot. The Blackhawks’ confidence has to be shaken, and that never helps.

“It’s the same way 5-on-5: I think when you’re snake bitten you tend to try too hard and do too much. That can end up hurting you as well,” Jonathan Toews said. “As forwards I think that’s the No. 1 thing. We have to be better getting in shot lanes. It started on the road against Nashville, they scored two goals going right past our forwards and it kind of led one game after another to today.”

Still, the Blackhawks had a great chance to find an equalizer at the end. They got a power play with 3:26 remaining. Despite some good scoring chances, and Crawford pulled for an extra attacker, the Blackhawks couldn’t capitalize. Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 32 of 34 shots in the victory.

The Blackhawks can’t stop the bleeding on the penalty kill. It’s cost them in all three of their losses and it’s made their two victories closer than necessary. They know what the problems are. They have to fix them fast.

“Both plays could have been prevented, whether it was a block, clear, just got to get sharper, more determination and try to stay out of the box,” Quenneville said. “Starts from the faceoff to a clear to shots and recognize when there’s a chance to pressure. We had a couple of opportunities there. they end up in our net right now.”