Hawks shut out Islanders on '61 Heritage Night

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Hawks shut out Islanders on '61 Heritage Night

Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011
8:40 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

A complete game. The Chicago Blackhawks have been looking to have one of those for a while. But on Sunday night, with some of the greats from the 1961 Blackhawks in the arena, the 2011 team got it.

Five different Blackhawks scored goals, with Marian Hossa getting a goal and two assists, as they beat the New York Islanders 5-0 at the 1961 teams Heritage Night on Sunday. The Blackhawks have now won three of their last four, and their four-point weekend moved them up to sixth place in the Western Conference.

Thats huge, said Corey Crawford, who was stellar once again, stopping 29 for his first shutout this season. It seems like you lose a couple games and youre at the bottom of the standings, so it was good to get a couple in a row.

The Blackhawks were getting an Islanders team that was ending a five-game road trip that began on New Years Eve but had won four of their last five. Still, it was a game the Blackhawks needed to have a strong outing in and, more important, needed to win.

Patrick Sharp once again started it, as his power-play goal early in the first period proved to be the game-winner. He now has 25 goals, equaling his total all last season.

The Blackhawks, who peppered Islanders goaltender Nathan Lawson with 45 shots, added four more goals in the second. Hossa, Patrick Kane and Dave Bolland scored, as did Niklas Hjalmarsson, who added his with less than a minute remaining in the period. Finally, the Blackhawks entered a third period with breathing room.

Its been a while since weve had a third period like that, Sharp said. You dont want to develop any bad habits and just go with what works out there and for the most part we did that. We didnt give up too many chances then, but when we did Crow was there to make the save.

And many of the 29 shots Crawford face werent easy ones. The rookie goaltender came up big several times, and another potential Islanders goal was waived off on Jon Sims interference.

All the saves he had to make were high quality, coach Joel Quenneville said. Breakaways, open-side plays, he made several key stops. He was solid.

The Blackhawks in front of Crawford are benefiting from good health right now. Because of that, they can stick with the same lines that the players gained comfort with earlier this season.

The lines are clicking, everybodys coming together now, said Bolland, who had his first goal in seven games. We havent been mixing the lines up so weve had some time together. All four lines are rolling and doing a good job.

The Blackhawks were feeling good after Sundays victory. Theyve got everyone healthy and an opportunity to build off this weekend.

We havent played this type of game for a long time, Hossa said. We didnt have to worry about the score. We were dominating from the beginning and I think we can build on this win.

Should-be All-Star

The remaining NHL All-Stars will be selected on Tuesday, and coach Joel Quenneville said Sharp should be among them.

Absolutely, Quenneville said when asked if Sharp was deserving. Hes had a great season, great consistency. Its been a big part of our offense all year long; his consistencys been very solid.

Sharp, meanwhile, doesnt want to talk too much about it right now.

Its an individual accomplishment. Well talk more about it if it happens, he said.

Ceremony for 61

The current Blackhawks enjoyed watching the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1961 team. This years team said they did get a bit of a charge out of watching the former Cup winners in the 20-minute pregame ceremony.

That was great seeing the guys in their uniforms with the big smiles coming off the ice, Hossa said. The whole thing inspires you and gives you extra jump.

As for the 2009-10 Cup team getting together in 50 years, Hossa had to laugh.

I would like to see Buff, he said.

Briefly

John Scott, Nick Boynton and Ryan Johnson were the healthy scratches on Sunday night.

Niklas Hjalmarssons goal on Sunday was his first since Nov. 26 against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Blackhawks 45 shots on Sunday was their second-highest total this season. They had 47 in a 5-0 victory over Edmonton on Nov. 17.

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

Preview: Blackhawks open preseason against Penguins Wednesday on CSN+

Preview: Blackhawks open preseason against Penguins Wednesday on CSN+

Scott Darling and the Blackhawks open up preseason play against the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN+ at 7:30 p.m. 

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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After World Cup of Hockey, Patrick Kane joins Blackhawks at training camp

After World Cup of Hockey, Patrick Kane joins Blackhawks at training camp

Patrick Kane’s break from the ice lasted less than a week, his time in Toronto serving as a good preseason primer, of sorts.

And with the season about two weeks away, Kane said he’s about where he needs to be.

Kane and Michal Kempny joined the Blackhawks on Tuesday, two of several players beginning to trickle in from their World Cup of Hockey stints. For Kane, the World Cup didn’t go nearly as long as expected – Team USA was ousted in the preliminary round. But now, the focus is on honing things before the season begins.

“I feel pretty good,” Kane said following the second group’s practice on Tuesday. “I feel like everything’s starting to come around right now for sure. I guess, starting to feel kind of like myself again on the ice, so to speak. It’s good to be back in the locker room here with all the guys and back in a Blackhawks uniform, too. It’s always fun coming back. Feels like home, for sure.”

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Kane will not play Wednesday, when the Blackhawks face the Pittsburgh Penguins in their preseason opener. How many preseason games he does get is uncertain; but considering Kane’s time in World Cup of Hockey, the Blackhawks aren’t concerned with him getting rusty.

“He’s going to probably want to do it sooner than later, but I think we can be patient because he’s already been playing games,” assistant coach Mike Kitchen said. “Usually the veteran players when you come into a normal camp, they want to play maybe two or three games to just get their timing. For him, he’s already played quite a few games. There’s no reason to get him in right away, so we’ll just kind of bring him along, especially this early into camp.”

Team USA had a dismal showing at World Cup of Hockey, losing all three games in the preliminary round. But Kane said he’s put that behind him.

“It was a situation, looking back on it now, where we lost to a good team in Europe – they’re in the championship now – and I think at that point there’s a lot of noise from the outside that maybe crept in to our locker room a little bit. We needed to beat Canada. You could say they probably outplayed us but we had chances I that game to keep ourselves in it and ended up losing that one and we were out. But you’re playing in the World Cup of Hockey, you’re playing for your country, it’s always an honor to play for the United States. I’ll always remember playing for my country and always want to do it if you get the opportunity.”

BRIEFLY

  • Duncan Keith skated with the second group on Tuesday. The Blackhawks will continue to monitor him. “He’ll probably want to get maybe a couple of [preseason] games just for his timing, especially for a defenseman, too. Just so he’ll able to get his gap control and things like that. I imagine he’ll want to try and get some games, but we’ll just see how his knee’s come along and how he responds,” Kitchen said. “We don’t want to put him in a situation before we have to because it only is preseason. We’ll just have to monitor that.”
  • Scott Darling is scheduled to play the entire game vs. the Penguins tomorrow.