Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Posted: 9:03 p.m. Updated: 11:12 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
BOSTON The Chicago Blackhawks were coming off one of their most critical victories on Monday night when they faced the same situation on Tuesday.
They needed points, were playing a gritty, defensive-minded team and they needed to rinse and repeat that effort in Detroit.
Tim Thomas stopped all 32 shots he saw for his ninth shutout of the season, as the Chicago Blackhawks fell 3-0 to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.
The Blackhawks held onto eighth place in the Western Conference, but that was little consolation to the opportunity lost to jump past the idle Anaheim Ducks and into seventh. The Blackhawks looked like they were starting to feel the effects of Monday nights overtime victory in Detroit halfway through Tuesday nights contest. But coach Joel Quenneville wasnt buying it.
(The Bruins) were a hard-working team tonight. The first 10 minutes we were on our heels, we got back into it, but we didnt do much after they scored first, he said. We were looking for more tonight. You play good hockey teams on back to back nights, getting two is OK, but you cant be happy with just that.
Corey Crawford stopped 31 of 34 for the loss, including 12 in the first when the Bruins were pushing and the Blackhawks mustered just five shots. Zdeno Chara put the Bruins up 1-0 with 12:02 left in the second period, and the Blackhawks could manage little past that point.
CSNNE.com: Thornton gash requires about 40 stitches, Blackhawks chirping
They out shot us pretty good in the first and we didnt really get rolling, if at all, until later in the game, defenseman Brian Campbell said. They got a couple of deflected pucks go in on Crow and thats tough for him. They outplayed us.
Johnny Boychuk and Nathan Horton also scored for the Bruins, who kept the defensive pressure up throughout the game. Thomas allowed few rebounds, and those he did allow the Blackhawks were unable to capitalize upon.
Theyve got a big defense and thats part of their game. They love to box you out, Quenneville said. There were some good opportunities around the net but we werent hungry enough. (Thomas) saw too many pucks.
Crawford said the Bruins worked for their chances and crashed the net hard. They did what they wanted to do.
The Blackhawks wont play again until Friday when they face Columbus. Where theyll rank in the Western Conference by then, who knows.
Were not just trying to play our best hockey but were trying to get points and thats all that matters, Duncan Keith said. There are no excuses (on Tuesday), no tired legs, nothing. Its all battle and heart and thats what it comes down to.
Patrick Sharp (left knee) is still progressing well, Quenneville said, and the forward could start skating when the Blackhawks get back to town.
Hell be skating soon, but how soon I dont know, he said. I dont think hell be on ice the next couple of days, but we could see him in not too long.
Asked if Sharp could be back for the Blackhawks April 8 game in Detroit, Quenneville said, wed love to have that situation. Whether it happens or not is a question mark. Were optimistic. But I dont think it would be before (that).
Shawn Thornton said the skate he took near his eye that he needed 40 stitches to close was accidental. But he wasnt too happy with chirping he allegedly heard from the Chicago Blackhawks bench as he skated off.
Thornton skated off under his own power after taking Fernando Pisanis skate near his eye as he fell behind the net in the Bruins 3-0 victory over the Blackhawks. But Thornton said something was said by the Blackhawks that left him angry.
There was some stuff said that Im not happy about, he told Boston media. Im going to find out who it was and Ill deal with it in my own way.
I dont know if its right when someones face is half across the other side of their face, continued Thornton. But its a tough game and people have to live with their actions. If you guys even find out who it is dont be afraid to send me a Christmas card.
John Scott was the Blackhawks lone healthy scratch on Tuesday.
The Blackhawks headed home after Tuesdays game. Theyll fly to Columbus on Thursday.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.