by Vince Maranto on 03/21/12 at 11:05 AM ET
The Hawks and Blue Jackets played their 6th and final match up (of the regular seasons…...) in Columbus on Tuesday. 5 - 1, Hawks was the final, as Chicago completed the 6 game sweep. (Hawks outscored the Jackets 31-10) The Hawks have also taken 17 out of the last 20 available points, closing the gap on Detroit & Nashville. Their 90 points puts them 2 behind the Wings & Preds and gives them a little more breathing room from the teams trailing them. The Hawks currently reside in the 6th seed in the West.
It was Crawford - the number 2 Star of the NHL last week, 3 - 0, with a .948 save percentage and a 1.09 goals against average - in the net. Crow, who is 25-16-5 for the season, has appeared to secure the #1 goaltender position…... for now. It was Mason (13-23-3) between the pipes for the Blue Jackets, The lines were the same as they have been lately with Frolik seeing action for the second consecutive game.
The action in the 1st period began with Bollig & Boll dropping the gloves around 2 minutes in. If there was a point to this altercation, it is beyond me.The Hawks then scored 3 times in the next 6 minutes. A centering pass from Bickell went off of Shaw to make it 1 - 0. Then, Sharp with a tough angle shot, beat Mason between body and post, 2 - 0. Seabrook, with the Hawks 6th shot on goal made it 3 - 0. Crawford made some nice saves during the period. A Kane break away nearly made it 5 hole, but the score remained the same.
The Hawks Penalty Kill was tested twice in the 2nd period. 78.6%, good for 26th in the league, are the year long totals. Thankfully the Hawks have been on the upswing as of late, killing off these two penalties and many more over the last 6 or 7 games. One interesting series of events occurred in this frame. The Blue Jackets hit the post, only to have Stalberg take the rebound, and skate all the way down, to ring iron himself. Back to back clangers in a matter of seconds. It was pretty much all Chicago for the period. Columbus managed only 3 shots on goal for the entire period, despite the 2 Power Plays! There was a Hawks Power Play that would carry over into the third.
Sharp converted on the remaining Power Play to start the 3rd period, It was goal number 30, he now leads the team . 4 - 0 Hawks. On another Power Play it went Shaw to Hossa to make it 5 - 0. This was Hossa’s 29th goal and his 900th career point. Then, the boys continued to show the inability to shut any one out by making a costly defensive zone turnover. Rick Nash made them pay the price and the final was 5 - 1.
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