Campoli's first goal is a winner; Sharp injured

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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
CSNChicago.com

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 Jobing.com 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.

Briefly

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

Tomas Jurco ready for 'fresh start' with Blackhawks

Tomas Jurco ready for 'fresh start' with Blackhawks

Tomas Jurco lingered near the end of the Blackhawks' practice on Saturday, watching as fellow Slovak/now-teammate Marian Hossa drew a few things up on the dry-erase board.

Having a few familiar countrymen's faces (Hossa and Richard Panik) in the room helps. But for Jurco, just getting a fresh start is a welcome sight.

Jurco skated on the third line with Marcus Kruger and Hossa, and it looks like he'll make his Blackhawks debut there when the team hosts St. Louis on Sunday night. Jurco spent the last few seasons with the Detroit Red Wings but couldn't find a steady place in the lineup. Now here, he's hoping to change his fortunes.

"I mean, it's been tough couple of years for me in Detroit, so I was talking to [general manager] Ken Holland and we were discussing some options. I wasn't progressing in the last year or so, so I think this is a great time to push my game to another level," Jurco said on Saturday. "Like I said, this is another fresh start for me and I'm very excited for it."

[MORE: Niklas Hjalmarsson out Sunday vs. Blues]

Jurco joins a Blackhawks team that is surging (winning eight of nine) these last few weeks of the season. He and Hossa played together in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, so there's some familiarity as well as friendship there.

General manager Stan Bowman said Friday night that, based on Jurco's skills and the Blackhawks' style of play, Jurco should fit in well.

"I think he's going to get better here," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's going to get a little bit more comfortable with how we have to play, knowing that you want to go right through the puck and you want to pressure. Offensively I think he's got a chance to recapture some confidence. I think he moves well. I like his size. [It's] just getting a little more comfortable with our game and trusting his own instincts right off the bat."

It was time for a change for Jurco. Whether he blossoms like Panik, who came here from the Toronto Maple Leafs last season and is now putting up career numbers as part of the Blackhawks' top line, remains to be seen. It's an opportunity nonetheless, and Jurco is ready to take advantage of it. 

"It was a number of different reasons in Detroit it didn't work out for me. I wasn't playing much, so that's obviously tough. And when you don't play for a few weeks and you play a couple of games, it's very tough," Jurco said. "I'm very happy that I'm here and excited for tomorrow."

Blackhawks' Niklas Hjalmarsson out Sunday vs. Blues

Blackhawks' Niklas Hjalmarsson out Sunday vs. Blues

Niklas Hjalmarsson is day-to-day with an upper-body injury but he will not play on Sunday when the Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues, coach Joel Quenneville said.

Hjalmarsson left with a little over eight minutes remaining in Thursday night's 6-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. He missed morning skate that day and, prior to the game, was seen wearing a wrap around his back. Whether or not that is the injury, however, is unknown. Quenneville said the Blackhawks will give Hjalmarsson time to regain full health, especially at this point of the season.

"I think he knows his body and he knows when he can fight through certain things. Giving him enough time to get back to where he's basically 100 percent is what we want," Quenneville said. "That's why he left the game last game. We want to make sure that when he comes back – you know, there's certain things you can fight through, and with him he can go through anything. Let's make sure at this time of the year that he recovers from this."

[RELATED: Nick Schmaltz gaining confidence, effectiveness with Blackhawks]

Quenneville said the Blackhawks will go with the six defensemen they currently have. The last time Hjalmarsson missed a game due to injury was late February/early March of 2012 (six games with an upper-body injury).

"He's a warrior, he gives you everything you want in a big game like tomorrow's. Certainly missed him in the last game," Quenneville said. "We haven't exposed too much not having Hammer out there in important shifts, but it's a good chance for other guys to get critical and important shifts, and hopefully that helps them in their games as well."

Briefly

- Jordin Tootoo also missed practice (illness).

- Corey Crawford will start vs. the Blues.