by Vince Maranto on 03/14/12 at 05:26 PM ET
This game had it all. An early lead, fights, goalie changes, a come back, overtime, a shootout…... The Hawks beat the NHL point leading Blues 4 - 3 at the United Center. It started off with Emery (15-9-3) against Halak (24-10-5) with his 1.84 goals against average and .928 save percentage. St. Louis was 9 -1 in their was 10 games and came in with a streak of 47 consecutive Penalty Kills. (53 is the NHL record). A mini Hawks streak was Bollig’s 3 straight games with fighting majors. When it’s Hawks / Blues, you knew that would continue. The lines and D pairings were pretty close to what they have been in the last couple of weeks.
In the 1st period, Brunette put the Hawks up 1 - 0 just three minutes in, going high glove on Halak. The play featured nice passing between him, Hossa and Kane. But, just as quickly, the Blues tied it 1 - 1, on a 45 foot slap shot that I thought Emery should have handled fairly routinely. Mayers and Crombeen dropped the gloves and went the distance. McDonald then increased the Blues lead to 3 - 1, after ANOTHER bad give away from the Hawks in the neutral zone. The Hawks first unsuccessful Power Play (15.7%, 23rd) kept the score the same. Bollig & Reaves fought again (Last game also) putting him at 4 games in a row. All this does is get around the league and make him a prime target for automatic Instigator penalties. The Hawks had a Penalty Kill that would carry over into the next period. Shots on goal 13 - 6 Hawks. Yes, the Blues scored 3 times on 6 shots. Warm up, Crawford.
The 2nd period began with Crawford on the rest of the PK. The period was comprised of very few whistles and even fewer action. The Hawks had 2 more Power Plays that yielded nothing, This put the Blues at 50 straight, 3 away from the record. Stalberg closed the gap to 3 - 2 but having a shot/pass bounce of his leg and dribble in. The Hawks had 11 shots on goal, the Blues 8.
The hawks 4th Power Play of the game, finally came together at the end. Stalberg failed to elevate the puck and shot it into Halak’s outstretched pad. Then on the 5th Power Play A Seabrook blast tied it 3 - 3. Then on a ridiculous 6th PP of the evening, the boys were nack to their old “too many passes” mentality. Overtime.
In the OT a Hossa / Kane 2 on 1 came up empty as well as a last second Keith blast. Shoot out
Kane led it off with some smooth moves to score. That was all that was needed. Crawford entered the game in the second period, and stopped everything his way, including the OT and the shoot out. 2 points, Chicago.
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