Chicago Blackhawks

LIVE: Blackhawks down 3-0 in 3rd period

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LIVE: Blackhawks down 3-0 in 3rd period

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Posted: 10:45 a.m.

(AP) -- While the Boston Bruins have already clinched a playoff spot, the Chicago Blackhawks have plenty of work left in order to do the same.

The Blackhawks look to build on a emotional victory to open a three-game trip with a third straight win over the Bruins on Tuesday night.

Chicago (41-26-8) remained eighth in the Western Conference with a 3-2 overtime win at Detroit on Monday. Winners in three of four, the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks are one point behind seventh-place Anaheim and three ahead of ninth-place Calgary and four up on 10th-place Dallas with seven games remaining.

READ: Hossa makes former 'mates pay with OT winner

Despite blowing a pair of one-goal leads against the Red Wings, the Blackhawks were able to prevail and bounce back after giving up a third-period lead in Saturday's 2-1 home loss to the Ducks.

"We just have to keep it simple," said forward Marian Hossa, who scored the game-winner and added an assist Monday. "We're coming off a tough game and Boston is playing great now. We are real desperate to get points."

The Bruins (42-23-10), who earned a playoff berth with a 2-1 victory at Philadelphia on Sunday, are third in the East and four points behind second-place Washington.

With seven games remaining and a seven-point lead over Montreal in the Northeast Division, Boston still believes it has much to play for down the stretch. Having a hungry Chicago club in town also raises the bar.
WATCH: Toews enjoying new celebration moves

"(Chicago is) a desperate team," coach Claude Julien told the Bruins' official website. "Those kind of games should be helpful for us to stay on top of ours and realize that if you are not ready for games like that you can get embarrassed pretty easily."

After losing four straight in the series, Chicago swept the Bruins in 2009-10, including a 5-2 win at Boston on Jan. 7, 2010.

Though Hossa has been held without a point in six straight games against Boston, he has 11 goals and nine assists his last 16 contests overall.

Patrick Kane, who had two assists Monday, has two goals and three assists in five career games against the Bruins while captain Jonathan Toews has four with an assist versus Boston during that same span.

"They are a great team," Boston forward Patrice Bergeron said. "They have a lot of talent. "It's going to be a tough one, we'll make sure we're ready."

Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand each scored on the power play Sunday as the Bruins won for the third time in four games.

"We're focused on where we are and not where we're going to be," said Bruins forward Mark Recchi, who has two goals and two assists his last three games versus Chicago. "We're pretty confident we're not going to slip past third (in the East). We just want to be playing our best hockey full speed ahead."

Horton has three goals in three games, but has been held without a point his last four against the Blackhawks.

All-Star Tim Thomas, who made 27 saves against the Flyers, has allowed two goals on 83 shots during his personal three-game winning streak. He is 4-1-1 lifetime versus Chicago, but posted a 5.04 goals-against average in losing his last two starts against the Blackhawks.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Could Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher be an option for Blackhawks?

Could Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher be an option for Blackhawks?

The calendar is quickly approaching August and a majority of the NHL's top free agents have already signed new deals or found new homes. But there's one marquee player who has suddenly shaken loose, and will surely draw heavy interest across the league.

That would be 22-year-old defenseman Will Butcher, who informed the Colorado Avalanche that he will hit the open market and become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 15.

Butcher, a 2013 fifth-round draft pick, was named the recipient of the 2017 Hobey Baker Award, annually given to college hockey's top player, after scoring seven goals and 30 assists in 43 games during his senior campaign while helping Denver University capture its first national title since 2005. It's the second straight year NCAA's top player has elected not to sign with the club that drafted him, with Jimmy Vesey doing the same last year when he signed with the New York Rangers instead of the Nashville Predators.

So could Butcher be a real option for the Blackhawks? There's certainly a reason for both sides to be intrigued by a potential match. 

With Brian Campbell, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya no longer in the picture, the Blackhawks could use a young, NHL-ready blue liner with top-four potential and Butcher provides just that.

He's a 5-foot-10, 186-pound puck-moving defenseman with high offensive upside but also plays a solid two-way game and is responsible in his own end. He carries a left-handed shot, quarterbacked Denver's No. 1 power play unit and possesses strong leadership skills after serving as the team's captain for two years.

While he is certainly no sure thing, Butcher would be as close to pro ready as any prospect in Chicago's system and could factor into the cards as soon as this season. It also doesn't hurt that he shared the same blue line at Denver as Blackhawks prospect Blake Hillman, who drew great reviews from Joel Quenneville at prospect camp.

The good news for the cap-crunched Blackhawks is that the maximum allowable salary for an entry-level contract is $925,000, so that eliminates the possibility of getting into a bidding war with other teams. Signing and performance bonuses can still be included, but that's the least of their worries if they can land a player of Butcher's caliber.

His decision will really come down to best fit and opportunity to play and win, and the Blackhawks can offer all of the above.

Niklas Hjalmarsson says goodbye to Chicago in emotional Instagram post

Niklas Hjalmarsson says goodbye to Chicago in emotional Instagram post

Niklas Hjalmarsson has called Chicago home ever since he was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2005. But now it's time for a new chapter.

After being traded to the Arizona Coyotes in June, the former Blackhawks defenseman officially said goodbye to the city he spent a decade in and helped bring three Stanley Cups to with an emotional Instagram post that perfectly sums up his time here:

One marriage. Two kids. Three rings. 

Hjalmarsson will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Blackhawks fans.