In a game that featured more back-and-forth than a tennis match, the Blackhawks captured the coveted second point on Friday evening against the visiting Boston Bruins.
It wasn’t easy. Right off the bat, the Bruins got chances, including a few from their fourth line, but Antti Niemi stood tall early. For Niemi, it was his second start in three games.
About halfway through the first frame, though, David Krejci got the game’s first off a nice play from Blake Wheeler, who ended up putting a no-look pass in front to Krejci. It was Krejci’s sixth of the year.
It took over a full period, but the Hawks finally got to Tim Thomas, last season’s Vezina winner, when a Hawk dump-in bounced off a Bruin stick in the corner and deflected right to a naked Kris Versteeg in front. It was his 10th.
From there, the teams then took to trading goals until the end of regulation, with the Hawks scoring first in each instance. Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Andrew Ladd each potted one for the home team; they left Sharp and Toews with 10 and Ladd with five.
Sharp’s tally came on a rush by Brent Seabrook, who threw one low at the net. The rebound bounced right to Sharp, who fought it off and into the net.
Toews’ goal came in the final second of the second when Toews went to the front of the net while Troy Brouwer won a battle in the corner. Brouwer found Toews and Toews tapped in his own rebound to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead.
Finally, a Brian Campbell point shot was deflected in front by Ladd past Thomas.
The Hawk lead wouldn’t last, though, as Krejci struck again with less than three minutes left in regulation to tie it.
After an active overtime, Joel Quenneville made the Bruins shoot first in the shootout. Niemi stopped Patrice Bergeron, and nearly killed both of them in the process. It gave Toews a chance to do his thing in the shootout, and he didn’t disappoint. Toews went low to the blocker side, and beat Thomas to make it 1-0. After another Niemi stop, Patrick Kane’s shot and momentum carried Thomas and the the puck into the net for the Hawk victory.
Are You Not Entertained?
– Ben Eager and Ham Sandwich were scratched. Eager’s absence was a bit of a surprise, and here’s hoping he’s not having more concussion issues – especially on the day news of Reggie Flemming’s head trauma spread.
– Jordan Hendry filled in for Sandwich, and Brian Bickell stepped in for Eager. Both were solid. Bickell was reassigned following the game. Obviously, given the Hawks’ practice of calling up and reassigning prospects this season, we can’t read into the reassignment that Eager will play tomorrow.
– Byron Bitz was on the ice for each of the Hawks’ four goals.
– Patrick Kane now has points in his last six games, though his play hasn’t been quite as jaw-dropping since he fell on his own stick Sunday against Tampa Bay. He now has 34 points in 33 games.