by Vince Maranto on 12/09/11 at 04:05 PM ET
It was kind of weird playing the same Eastern Conference opponent twice in 7 days. This time, the Hawks traveled to New York to face off against the Islanders. Entering the contest, a couple of things stood out. Toews was on top of the leader board in the NHL in goals. Kane, who recently rejoined the Hawks Captain on the first line, was in the top spot in assists. (Again, I like when they are both on the first line together. Finding the other winger seems to be the challenge) For New York, Matt Moulson, the NHL player of the week has been on fire lately. He had at least 1 goal in 5 straight games, including a 4 goal effort against the Stars. In this game, Montoya, 5-3-2, (the Chicago area native) was matched up against Ray Emery (4-1-2). Emery has played well in both his starts and relief appearances the last couple of weeks. Crawford, let’s say, has not fared so well. This is exactly why a solid, experienced back up is a must for a team.
In the 1st period, Dave Bolland got sandwiched in the first 30 seconds of the game and was slow to get up. He did return, but has had a hard time this season recovering from one ailment only to have another one heaped on him. But, as they say, that’s hockey in the NHL. Stalberg started on the first line at the beginning, but was soon sent back down to the 4th, with Carcillo moving up to line one. The Hawks had a Penalty Kill situation (Yay, 29th place @ 75%, no longer in last—small victories) and came up successful. Later in the period, on a Blackhawks Power Play, Hossa became the 85th player to reach the 400 goal plateau! It was a weird centering/passing/bank it in of the goalie from behind the goal line, play. In his own words between the periods, “Not a pretty one.”
I should also mention the Sammy Lepisto was back in the line up after a month or so. He was in the 3rd defensive match up with Montador. Coach Q has been trying to find that 3rd “D” tandem all season. He’s been mixing and matching Montador, Lepisto, Scott, and O’Donnel all season.
Inn the 2nd, Sharp on a rocket, one time, slapper from Hossa made it 2-0 Hawks. Later on in the period, the Hawks had another successful P.K. (Is 28th in sight?) not letting New York get anything set up. Later in the period, it went P.P, 4 on 4, Penalty Kill but no one scored. Then with some real slooy play with less than 2 minutes left (Starting and ending periods, boys) it was a 2-1 game. At the end of the period penalties resulted in a 5 on 3 Islander advantage that would carry over into the third.
In the 3rd, with over a minute of 5 on 3, the Islanders did not even register a shot on goal. Weak passing from both teams ensued for a while. Then, Emery, while being triple screened, let in a redirect 2-2. Another P.P. and P.K. yielded nothing. The game would go into OT with New York leading the shots on goal 33-26.
In the OT, Hossa, rather than trying to force a pass, took a shot on goal (this NEEDS to be done more). Sharp got the rebound, HAWKS WIN!!! New York, by the way, dropped to 0-6 in overtime games.
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