Hawks erupt for five goals in milestone period


Hawks erupt for five goals in milestone period

Monday, March 14, 2011
Posted: 9:36 p.m. Updated: 11:15 p.m.

By Tracey MyersCSNChicago.com

The Chicago Blackhawks have had some very good second-period performances this season.

On Monday night, they had a great one.

WATCH: Sharp a happy helper

Patrick Kane scored his 100th career goal, Marian Hossa scored twice and Patrick Sharp had a franchise-tying record four assists in the second period as the Blackhawks came back to beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 at the United Center on Monday night.

The Blackhawks scored five goals in the second period, erasing a 2-1 deficit and chasing former teammate Antti Niemi midway through the frame. The Blackhawks snapped a three-game winless streak and jumped back into fourth place in the Western Conference.

Jonathan Toews was also in on the second-period barrage, getting a goal and an assist. He now has 71 points this season, a new career high; his 30 goals are just four shy of the career-best 34 he had in 2008-09.

I thought we gathered ourselves pretty quickly after that start there, said coach Joel Quenneville, whose Blackhawks have now outscored opponents 82-54 in second periods. We did a lot of good things. You measure (great periods) in different ways, but certainly the timing of it you can certainly put it up there as one of the better ones (this season).

Toews said the big second period obviously dictated the outcome of the game so it was good for us. Especially when they made it 5-3 and we came back and got that sixth goal. We were just confident. We knew weve had a couple games where we squandered 2- or 3-goal leads and that wasnt going to happen (tonight).

WATCH: Special game for Hjalmarsson

And it was led by the Blackhawks big guns. Toews, Kane, Sharp and Hossa had just five points combined in the three previous games against the Sharks. On Monday night, they combined for 10 points.

Sharps assist tally marked the fifth time a Blackhawks player has done that in a period. The most recent occurrence was when Jim Pappin did it against Atlanta on March 24, 1973.

What was it, four assists in 15 minutes? Thats pretty crazy coming from him, said Kane, whose goal was set up by a Sharp pass. Hes just playing patient with the puck. He has time and space to make plays so good for him.

WATCH: Kane's 100th goal no big deal?

The Blackhawks dictated everything in the second period. They drew hooking and holding penalties, those catch-up infractions that drive coaches crazy, throughout the game and went 2 for 6 on the power play. Both of those came from Hossa.

For whatever reason in the first period we werent on the same page. We started working as a team (in the second), Hossa said. We were supporting each other and battling.

San Jose coach Todd McLellan said his Sharks did just the opposite.

If I was going to sum up the game, they skated, we glided. They were hard on the boards, we were soft. They were determined at the net, we played I hope around the net, he said.

It was Toews goal, however, that sent Niemi packing. The former Blackhawks goaltender was pulled after allowing four goals on 18 shots in a period and a half.

Hes a good goaltender, we know that, but it was good to get to him, Sharp said. Hes still a good friend, but you dont feel bad for him leaving.

Niklas Hjalmarsson and Viktor Stalberg also scored for the Blackhawks, who have now won five in a row at home. Corey Crawford stopped 33 of 36 for the victory.

The Blackhawks got a big one on Monday and did it convincingly. Theyve been on a roll at home. Theyd like to keep rolling regardless of venue.

We want to go into every single game looking for those two points, Toews said. Were back on track now. Maybe we didnt have the greatest road trip, but its time to get on another swing here.

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

Richard Panik fueling Blackhawks' top line

Richard Panik fueling Blackhawks' top line

Richard Panik was coming off his first career hat trick last week when he was asked about solidifying his spot on the top line with Jonathan Toews.

“I wouldn’t call it mine, for now,” Panik said.

The right wing’s hesitancy was understandable: Outside of some Blackhawks veterans, your place on a line is only as good as your last game.

But considering how he’s playing right now and the amount of goals he’s scored, you’d think Panik will be a top liner for a little while longer.

Panik scored the game-tying goals against his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, with 88 seconds remaining in regulation on Saturday night. There was probably a little feeling of vindication for Panik on that goal – Panik spent last season with the Leafs’ minor-league team until he was traded to the Blackhawks. But no matter the opponent, Panik’s been a scoring threat.

“We didn’t expect six goals in six games but we knew he’d be an offensive threat for us,” Toews said. “He’s showing consistently. He had the hat trick – when you have a game like that, the puck keeps finding you and he’s making no mistakes around the net. He’s shown he can score goals in any which way.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Part of the reason Panik’s back on the top line was the Blackhawks wanted to get more balance among the forwards. Marian Hossa, a longtime sight on that line, is on the third. But again, it’s all in what you do with the opportunity.

“The position he ended up being in was probably more so [for] being ready every game, consistent, doing the right things,” coach Joel Quenneville said after Saturday’s game. “He has all the tools we look for. He’s coming up with loose pucks, hanging around the net, going to the hard areas, giving us some physicality and finish as well. That was a big one, for sure, so he’s been a very pleasant start for us and for himself.”

The Blackhawks will always take goals no matter who scores them. But it’s how and from where Panik’s scoring those goals that’s especially good for the Blackhawks. Constantly looking for a net-front presence, Panik’s providing it. Most of his goals have been within a few feet of the net.

“Yeah, I’m just trying to find the space in front of the net and the goals are scored from there,” he said. “That’s the area I want to go to and it’s working.”

In six games Panik has already reached the totals he had in his 30 games with the Blackhawks last season (six goals, two assists). Panik approaches every game on the first line like it could be his last up there, and considering how often the Blackhawks change combinations that’s a smart approach. But the Blackhawks were looking for more consistent scoring on that top line, and as long as Panik helps provide that, he’ll stay put.

“Consistency was my biggest weakness. I’m just focusing on that, bringing it every night,” Panik said. “I think I know what I’m capable of. I know I can play on this level. Now I have an opportunity. I just have to take advantage of it and keep playing this way.”

Five Things from Blackhawks-Maple Leafs: Richard Panik stays hot

Five Things from Blackhawks-Maple Leafs: Richard Panik stays hot

This Five Things was headed for a lot of negativity before the final three minutes of regulation. But thanks to the Blackhawks’ third-period comeback, this one won’t sting as much as Friday’s installment.

So while you all celebrate the Cubs going to a World Series, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 5-4 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

1. Waking up just in time. The Maple Leafs haven’t played their best hockey in third periods – entering Saturday’s game, they’d been outscored 6-1 in that frame. But for 17-plus minutes of the third it didn’t look like the Blackhawks were going to take advantage of that stat. But they would, salvaging a point out of nowhere with two goals within a minute (Artem Anisimov at 17:32 and Richard Panik at 18:32). Better late than never.

2. The Richard Panik show continues. The forward said he doesn’t think about Toronto anymore, that it’s all about the team he’s with now. But looking at his celebration on his game-tying goal late in the third period, there had to be a little motivation to score against the Leafs, right? The Blackhawks don’t care who the opponent is, and Panik now has six goals to start the season.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. Power play fizzles. Ah, thought we were going to talk about the other special teams? In a second. The bigger problem on Saturday was the Blackhawks’ advantage, on which they went 0-for-6. It took until overtime, when their fifth power play was a 4-on-3 for them to really generate anything against the Leafs.

4. Late-period goals hurt. The Blackhawks looked set to enter first intermission with a 1-0 lead but Tyler Bozak scored with just 14 seconds remaining. They could’ve had a 2-2 tie entering the second intermission but James van Riemsdyk scored with 1:44 remaining in the second. Again, the Blackhawks overcame that. But coach Joel Quenneville talked about the loss of momentum in games, and here are two examples of it.

5. The Auston Matthews show. The Leafs phenom didn’t score a goal on Saturday but there’s no doubt he had his effect. His speed was especially on display on William Nylander’s goal; Matthews drew several Blackhawks and Nylander had a rather open net on the rebound.