CSN Chicago Blackhawks pre/postgame analyst Steve Konroyd gives his three keys to a Blackhawks' victory in Saturday's game against the Lightning.
1. Stay out of the penalty box:
The Blackhawks took six minor penalties in their last game and it almost cost them. Washington was able to score on three of them, and it gave the Capitals a lot of confidence and momentum. A trademark of Joel Quenneville’s team since he’s been in Chicago is discipline. Yes, the Blackhawks had one of the best penalty killing units in the league last year, but they also took the third fewest penalties, having to kill off less than three penalties per game. Do not take needless penalties.
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2. Watch out for the Stamkos–St. Louis Show
Steven Stamkos is an elite goal scorer in this league. Coming into this season he has scored 185 goals in the last four years, 33 more goals than any other player. And guess what? Martin St. Louis has assisted on almost half of them. They are especially dangerous on the power play, and the last time these two teams met in November of 2011, Stamkos had a hat trick for a Tampa Bay win.
3. Keep the Power Play Humming:
The power play went 1 for 4 against the Capitals on Tuesday night, and it gave the team some momentum when Brent Seabrook scored late in the 2nd period. That “shoot first” mentality instead of looking for the pretty play has to be on the top of the Hawks' minds. I’ve watched a lot of games so far in this young season, and the team that wins the special teams match usually wins the game.