Five Things from Blackhawks-Red Wings: Winning another tight one

Five Things from Blackhawks-Red Wings: Winning another tight one

Let's look at Five Things to take away from the Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night:

1. Blackhawks' recent dominance against Detroit continues.

The Red Wings own a 336-269-14-84 record all-time in the regular season against Chicago, but it's the Blackhawks that have had their way with their arch rival in recent years.

With Tuesday's 4-3 overtime win, the Blackhawks improved to 12-1-4 in their last 17 meetings against Detroit. The final meeting of the season will be March 10 at the Joe Louis Arena.

"We were asked today, is there still a rivalry between Detroit and us?" Joel Quenneville said after the game. "I think you could sense it right off the bat, in the building, and the fans, and the chants, and the enthusiasm. ... It was fun playing against these guys. I think the players look forward to it because it’s always a good game and playing the right way against them is something we talk about a lot, that you have to do.

"But I still think there’s still some history there that it’s fun playing these guys. There’s a lot of mutual respect."

2. A productive night for the power play.

The Blackhawks had six power-play opportunities, and cashed in on two of those, most notably the game-winner in overtime thanks to a Duncan Keith slapper from the point.

It's an area the Blackhawks are trying to be more consistent in, and it could serve as a springboard going forward.

"The first one was OK, the second and third one we had a lot of chances," said Brian Campbell, who scored the first of two power-play goals. "We had a couple penalties, so you get 10 seconds on the power play, so it's still an 0-for — I know that makes the PP coach not very happy," he joked. "And obviously [Keith], 4-on-3, we haven't had one in a while but we struggled there early in the season so that was big to get that going."

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3. Brian Campbell back on the scoresheet.

Campbell had a 423-game iron-man streak that ended in December, in large part due to a crowded blue line. Nonetheless, he was still a healthy scratch in two of four games last month, but is starting to get more comfortable as of late.

He scored his fourth goal of the season on the power play in the win, which is now tied for second on the team among defensemen. 

"I think we're starting to roll our lines a lot better," he said. "We're picking up the tempo of the game a little more."

That suits Campbell's style.

4. Third line keeps shining.

The Blackhawks' third line of Ryan Hartman, Tanner Kero and Richard Panik combined for two goals and three assists, continuing their hot stretch. 

While they didn't have great possession numbers — they're certainly improving — the trio is most importantly gaining Joel Quenneville's trust on both ends of the ice.

"They were great tonight," Quenneville said. "You can talk about each one of them and describe their game. They’ve got some physicality in the puck area, they’ve got some separation, counter hits where they’ve got the puck protected. And made some good plays off the rush. They go to the net, they hang around the net. All their goals were like that.

"But they generated a lot of offense and offensive zone time, as well. They’re getting better. That line was outstanding."

5. Blackhawks win another tight one.

The Blackhawks' success in tight games continued with Tuesday's overtime win, improving to 17-6-5 in one-goal games this season. 

What gives?

Keith: "We've played a lot of tight games, and I think that's a good thing. We're finding ways to win some of them. I think we know that there's still room for improvement if we want to be a team that goes all the way. We're not going to get ahead of ourselves. We know there's still half a season here, but we've done good things. We're trying to get better."

Quenneville: "We had a lot of close games. Every game, you look around the league, they’re close games. I think the number of overtime games is a little higher than we’ve seen in the past. Everybody plays comparable. All the teams are pretty even. You look at the standings, you see just about every team .500 or above. I think 28 of the 30 are almost in that same neighborhood. I think teams know how to play to keep themselves in games. And then the score dictates a lot of the way the game is being played. Seems like there’s so much balance in the league, the parity’s as good as it’s ever been, or close as it’s ever been."

Scott Darling starts, Brian Campbell back in vs. Hurricanes

Scott Darling starts, Brian Campbell back in vs. Hurricanes

Scott Darling will get the nod and the Blackhawks will look for their second consecutive victory when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

The Blackhawks made some moves prior to the game, assigning defenseman Gustav Forsling and forward Spencer Abbott to the Rockford IceHogs. Abbott’s stay was a quick one; he was recalled on Wednesday and played vs. the Sabres. While he started on the Blackhawks’ top line, he finished on the fourth. With Forsling, it’s a chance for the young defenseman to get more minutes, more regular playing time with the IceHogs.

“That’s got a lot to do with it,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We want him playing, and playing more minutes and get confidence and then get more minutes in power-play and penalty-killing situations and more consistency to his game. I thought he started off alright but I still think that this is probably a good process for him getting more exposure in the game and it keeps seven guys here. We can bring him up at any time.”

Dennis Rasmussen said the experience should be good for Forsling.

“I talked to him yesterday and he’s still positive about it that he can go there and play a lot and get confidence and hopefully come back and play here,” he said.

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Brian Campbell will draw back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch on Thursday. Vinnie Hinostroza, who ended Thursday’s game on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, will start there against Carolina.

The Blackhawks came back to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in overtime. They maintain a one-point lead in the Western Conference over the Minnesota Wild, who beat the San Jose Sharks late Thursday.

The Hurricanes, who beat the Blackhawks 3-2 a week ago in Raleigh, N.C., are coming off a 4-2 victory in St. Louis. Carolina has struggled on the road this season, going 6-10-6.

Broadcast information

Time: 7:30 p.m.

TV: CSN

Live stream: CSNChicago.com

Blackhawks forward lines

Vinnie Hinostroza-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Richard Panik

Andrew Desjardins-Dennis Rasmussen-Jordin Tootoo

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Goaltender

Scott Darling

Injuries

Marcus Kruger

Hurricanes forward lines (via Hurricanes website) 

Jeff Skinner-Victor Rask-Ty Rattie

Sebastian Aho-Teuvo Teravainen-Lee Stempniak

Brock McGinn-Jordan Staal-Derek Ryan

Joakim Nordstrom-Jay McClement-Viktor Stalberg

Defensive pairs

Jaccob Slavin-Brett Pesce

Ron Hainsey-Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin-Ryan Murphy

Goaltender

Cam Ward

Injuries/illness

Bryan Bickell (multiple sclerosis)

Marian Hossa in, Brian Campbell likely out vs. Sabres

Marian Hossa in, Brian Campbell likely out vs. Sabres

Marian Hossa will return but Brian Campbell will likely be a healthy scratch for the second time in four games when the Blackhawks face the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

Hossa practiced with the Blackhawks on Wednesday and is ready to go. As for Campbell, coach Joel Quenneville said with eight defensemen, tough decisions sometimes have to be made.

“With eight defensemen around, you can say it’s a luxury over the course of 82 games. Sometimes we look at the back-to-backs but in this situation, when we have eight defensemen, performance is probably the most important point on making a decision. When you have eight guys you’re not really disappointed in, we’re making decisions that are close.”

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Spencer Abbott, who was recalled on Tuesday night, will start on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Hossa. The Blackhawks will be looking to get back to winning, something they haven’t done at the United Center since Dec. 18.

“Going into the break, we slowed down with our effectiveness at home. That was one of our strengths in the past, finding a way to get in games where we’re getting points, and then finding a way to get the extra point,” Quenneville said. “Being at home, let’s take advantage of it, whether it’s the last change, the crowd, the building, the enthusiasm, and let’s recapture some of the pace we had prior to that stretch.”

Broadcast information

Time: 7:30 p.m.

TV: CSN

Live stream: CSNChicago.com

Blackhawks forward lines

Spencer Abbott-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman-Tanner KeroRichard Panik

Andrew Desjardins-Dennis Rasmussen-Vinnie Hinostroza

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

Injuries

Marcus Kruger (upper body)

Sabres forward lines (via Buffalo News)

Marcus Foligno-Jack Eichel-Kyle Okposo

Evander Kane-Sam Reinhart-Justin Bailey

Derek Grant-Ryan O’Reilly-Brian Gionta

Nicolas Deslauriers-Zemgus Girgensons-Matt Moulson

Defensive pairs

Josh Gorges-Rasmus Ristolainen

Zach Bogosian-Cody Franson

Justin Falk-Taylor Fedun

Goaltender

Anders Nilsson

Injuries

Tyler Ennis (groin), Johan Larsson (wrist), Cody Franson (undisclosed), Robin Lehner (hip), Zach Bogosian (sprained MCL), Dmitry Kulikov (back), William Carrier (flu)