Stalberg's third-period goals secure Hawks win

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Stalberg's third-period goals secure Hawks win

The Blackhawks were flirting with their second consecutive loss, something they stressed avoiding after Fridays dismal 3-0 loss in Carolina.

But with two quick tallies, Viktor Stalberg ended any worries about that.

Stalberg scored twice in a span of a minute, 58 seconds and Ray Emery got his second victory of the season in the Blackhawks 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

It was an interesting game for the Blackhawks, who had lost momentum and their one-goal lead by the end of the second period. Worse, the power play came up empty in bizarre ways the Hawks had three disallowed goals and two came on the power play.

But a big third period was the salve for all of that. And Stalberg was big there. His first goal came when Nick Leddy poke-checked a puck past a Jackets defender and to Stalberg, who worked to the front to beat Blue Jackets goalie Allen York. Less than two minutes later, Stalberg was alone on Yorks left side, punching in an Andrew Brunette attempted wraparound.

That was a great play by Stally there. He made a great move, took it to the net. His speed is always effective, coach Joel Quenneville said. We were ordinary in the second period we lost the momentum when they tied it up. We were better in the third.

Stalberg said the Blackhawks just kept pushing.

I think we played all right the first 40 minutes and gave up some goals we dont want to give up, but we found ways to come back, Stalberg said. The biggest thing is taking two points and not losing two in a row. Thats what we stressed."

Dave Bolland scored his second short-handed goal of the season. Marcus Kruger scored his first NHL career goal and Michael Frolik added an empty-netter. Leddy had two assists.

Emery, meanwhile, got stronger as the game continued. He stopped 27 of 29 overall for his second victory in as many starts.

They were buzzing at the start of the game, too. They came with some speed and just fired pucks through legs and stuff, Emery said of the Blue Jackets. I think we did a good job sorting plays out as the game went on and really took control.

Jonathan Toews said Emery has shown that mental focus and when it is his chance, even if it takes a few shots early we want to clear those pucks and make things easy on him. It was a solid game by him.

The Blackhawks are still collecting a good chunk of points, as they sit 6-2-2 through their first 10 games. They werent clicking through 40 minutes on Saturday, but they did save their best for the final 20.

I think we have more swagger this year. Were feeling were going to get out there and get that goal, Stalberg said of third periods. Last year we found ways to give them up. This year were finding ways to get go-ahead goals.

No goal

It was certainly a rarity, if not a first, as there were four disallowed goals in Saturdays game. The Blackhawks had three of them, two on the power play: Patrick Kanes was nullified because his stick was too high, Patrick Sharps was nixed by a high sticking penalty on Bryan Bickell and Bollands was waived off because he kicked it in the net.

Obviously thats something we dont see every day, Stalberg said. (Brunettes) been in the league a long time and he said thats the most hes seen in a long time.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Minnesota Wild tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Road warriors.

The Blackhawks have won six straight games away from the United Center, and are looking to make it a seventh in Minnesota tonight. They've scored the game's first goal in four of those wins, and in the other two, overcame 1-0 deficits to beat Dallas 5-3 and Edmonton 5-1, the latter of which they scored five unanswered goals.

2. Corey Crawford vs. Devan Dubnyk.

Crawford hasn't quite been the same since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Dec. 3, but he turned in probably his best outing since then in the Blackhawks' last meeting against Minnesota on Feb. 8 when he stopped 35 of 38 shots in a 4-3 overtime win. He essentially stole two points, and prevented the Wild from picking up the extra one. Across from him tonight will be Dubnyk, who leads the league in wins (32), goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.934).

3. Jonathan Toews on fire.

After a tough offensive drought earlier in the season that lasted longer than expected, the Blackhawks captain has six goals and 10 assists in his last 12 games, and upped his point total to 37, which now ranks fifth on the team. In the last meeting against Minnesota two weeks ago, Toews had a three-point night and scored the game winner in overtime. 

4. Mikael Granlund among league's most underrated players.

File Granlund under the category of players who don't get enough attention. He has 17 goals and 36 assists in 58 games this season, and his 53 points is tied with Jeff Carter and Artemi Panarin for 13th in the NHL's scoring race. The next highest point total on the Wild is Eric Staal with 45, an eight-point gap between him and Granlund. The 24-year-old forward registered his first career hat trick earlier this month, and also had a 12-game point streak just two weeks ago.

5. Ryan Hartman's closing in on 15 goals.

In Saturday's 3-1 loss to Edmonton, Hartman defended his teammate by fighting an Oilers defenseman that was practically twice his size. He called it a "no-brainer" to stick up for Tanner Kero and did well in the scrap, but it led to an Oilers power play and 10-minute misconduct which didn't do the Blackhawks any favors. He responded in a great way Sunday by scoring the game's first goal that helped his team win 5-1 in Buffalo. The next goal he scores will be No. 15, which would give the Blackhawks six 15-plus goal scorers on the year. They had only four a season ago.

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Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks battle Wild on CSN; UIC hosts Green Bay on CSN+

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks battle Wild on CSN; UIC hosts Green Bay on CSN+

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

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