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.

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Great night for the rookies

Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Great night for the rookies

DENVER – Well, that was a wild one, wasn’t it?

We’ll spare you the gory-to-glorious details (most of which are in the game story, anyway). So instead, let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 6-4 victory over Colorado.

1. Great night for the rookies. The Blackhawks’ newest players were their most prolific players on Tuesday night. Vinnie Hinostroza had two goals. Tanner Kero did too, and added an assist. Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist. All of these experiences are great learning curves for the Blackhawks’ youth, and coach Joel Quenneville likes how they’re progressing, not just with scoring but with their overall games. “That’s the part that’ll make them better players and us a better team is playing the right way defensively, being responsible, putting the puck in good areas and going hard to the net.”

2. Top line still too quiet. Line changes were made but the results remained the same, especially for the Blackhawks’ top trio. Ryan Hartman and Richard Panik were up there with Jonathan Toews in this one, but still nada. The three had a combined three shots for the game. Many of you have asked if Toews is still dealing with that back injury. On Tuesday morning he said, “no, it’s been really good, actually.” Still, there’s something up with a top line that, regardless of combination, just can’t get anything going.

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3. Terrible second period. The Blackhawks came out of the first in great shape and with a 2-1 lead. But things got messy in the second period. Be it the inability to clear or get the puck deep in the Avs’ zone, the Blackhawks made mistakes. The Avs capitalized, scoring three goals in the second including two in a 63-second span. Outside of Tanner Kero’s goal, the Blackhawks had a forgettable second period. The Avalanche outscored them 3-1 and outshot them 8-4 in the second.

4. Faceoffs lost. The Blackhawks did not do well in this department, winning just 23 percent of their faceoffs. It didn’t cost them the game but they certainly need better nights than they got on Tuesday.

5. Corey Crawford gets through it. Crawford was stellar prior to his appendectomy but hasn’t been at that level since. Quenneville said he considered pulling Crawford during this one but decided to keep him in. Quenneville’s still happy with his goaltending – again, the Blackhawks aren’t where they are right now without it this season. But he said Crawford could be better than he was on Tuesday.