by Vince Maranto on 03/03/12 at 04:45 PM ET
The Hawks picked up a much needed 2 road points against the Senators in Ottawa. Talk about 2 evenly matched teams. They both had the exact same amount of goals, goals against, and number of wins headed into the contest. Ray Emery - again, his job to lose (12-8-2) was matched up against Lehner (3-0-0) who has a 1.33 GAA and a .954 save percentage AND something the entire Hawks team still does not have, a shutout.
The lines (still without Toews, Hjalmarsson, & Montador) looked like this; 1) Brunette, Kane, Hossa. 2) Sharp, Kruger, Stalberg - YIKES!!. 3) Bickell, Bolland, Shaw. 4) Bollig, Mayers, Hayes. The D match ups were, Seabrook / Keith, Oduya / Leddy, Olsen / Lepisto.
Overall, it was a very exciting and well played game by both teams. The Hawks were aggressive the entire game, which I haven’t seen in a while. This even included when they had the lead and on the Penalty Kill. These are two things I have complained about several times in the past. The shots on goal and defense, not to mention goaltending, all played a part. I wouldn’t say that Emery “stole” this game, but it was definitely a “Goalie Win”. The Hawks did a really good job of getting bodies to the net, also.
Early in the 1st period, the Hawks had some good chances. There was a miss by Brunette (one of at least 4 in the game for # 15!!), Hossa ringing the post, & a Kane break away. There were great saves by both goalies, a very exciting first 10 minutes. A Hawks Power Play ( 1 for 42 in the last 15 games…) 15.7%, tied for 22nd, yielded nothing. Then with 4:25 left, Michalek put the Sens ahead 1 - 0. The Hawks however out shot Ottawa 17 - 9, and you were hoping that things would catch up later in the game. The Senators were 21-7-4 after scoring that always important, first goal.
In the 2nd period, A Sharp break away led to a Penalty Shot. Sharp, 0 for 4 in PS, lifetime, made it 0 for 5. Same score. On a delayed penalty, however, Sharp the 6th attacker dished to Bickell, 1 - 1. Kane later fed Hossa beautifully, but no goal. Halfway through the period, on a Power Play, Hossa did find the back of the net. 2 - 1 Hawks. Emery had a couple more nice saves as the period progressed. The Hawks again out shot their opponents, 17 - 7.
In the 3rd period, the Hawks (24-1-2, after 2 periods) had to go on on the Penalty Kill, early. A DUMB penalty by Stalberg while going to the bench made that possible. Here is where I really liked their aggressiveness, attacking the puck. No score change. The play was back and forth, with Kane AGAIN feeding Brunette who couldn’t complete. His first 4 shots were all listed as scoring chances. Emery then kept the in the lead with big saves. The Hawks ran the clock all the way down to 30 seconds before Lehner could be pulled, thanks to an icing call. It went down to the last second, but the Hawks prevailed, 2 - 1.
Hawks go to the Joe, Sunday afternoon.
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