Hawks 'outplayed,' shut out by Bruins' Thomas

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Hawks 'outplayed,' shut out by Bruins' Thomas

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Posted: 9:03 p.m. Updated: 11:12 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

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.

They couldnt.

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.

Injury updates

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).

Thornton injured

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.

Briefly

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.

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The Blackhawks' starts have been all over the map this season but their finishes have usually been strong. That was the case again on Sunday night as the Blackhawks took a lead, lost a lead and regained a lead for good in their 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

This one featured a little bit of everything. So let's just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks' victory over Vancouver.

1. Jonathan Toews breaks through. If the Blackhawks captain's confidence was a little shaken with his lack of scoring this season, it should've gotten a boost with his Sunday outing. Toews' goal and three assists were as big for him as they were the Blackhawks, who needed every bit of it late against the Canucks. In his last 12 games Toews has three goals and eight assists. He's getting there. Said coach Joel Quenneville, "it seems like he was around the puck way more and when he does that, usually good things happen."

2. Great start. This hasn't been written very often but it was more than evident on Sunday night. If this wasn't the Blackhawks' best opening period of the season it was pretty close, as they broke out to a 2-0 lead against the Canucks. The Blackhawks, outside of a 3 ½-minute sequence without a shot on goal, were tenacious and ready to shoot, taking an 18-9 shots-on-goal edge in that first.

3. Corey Crawford rebounds. Quenneville considered Scott Darling for this game, an understandable thought with Darling coming off a 30-stop shutout. But he wanted Crawford to get back to where he was prior to his appendectomy, and Crawford took a step in that direction on Sunday night. In stopping 26 of 28 shots Crawford got his 18th victory of the season and 200th of his career. Quenneville said Crawford "looked like he was in control."

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4. Michal Kempny’s tough stretch. When Kempny has been good this season he's been very good. When he's been bad... The defenseman was in the penalty box when the Canucks scored their first goal and he was beaten by Bo Horvat on the Canucks' second goal. Kempny didn't play the final 14 minutes of the game. Quenneville, who liked what Kempny brought on the team's road trip, said Kempny just has to work through some things. "Coverage with awareness and knowing sometimes it's man coverage, sometimes it's playing the puck and clearing the loose stuff," Quenneville said. "Defenseman is a tough position as you're growing and learning it, but the more you play the better you play and I still think he's making progress."

5. Brian Campbell gets to keep No. 500 this time. Campbell thought he had his 500th point against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night but it was taken away. Well he got it back on Sunday night, setting up Richard Panik's 11th goal of the season in the first period.