by Vince Maranto on 03/22/12 at 03:15 PM ET
The Hawks 8-1-1 record over the last 10 games is the best in the West right now. Two more points were added to the team total on Wednesday, when the Hawks beat the Canucks, in Overtime at the United Center. It was the type of physical game that you have come to expect whenever these two teams meet. Unfortunately, for Chicago, Mayers was out sick for the contest. He was replaced by the “haven’t done a thing since being acquired via trade” Morrison, who centered the 4th line. It was Crawford again (26-16-5) against Bobby Lou, as the kids say, (27-14-7). Both goaltenders players exceptionally well in the game, keeping the score knotted at 1 - 1. As a side note, Bickell / Bolland / Shaw, the Hawks 3rd (checking) line entered the game having 13 points in the last 3 contests, and scoring the first goal in each of the last 3 also.
Just 27 seconds into the 1st period, Hansen put Vancouver on top 1 - 0—the Canucks lead the NHL in first period goals with 72. Not the start the usual sell out crowd at the U.C. was looking for. A couple minutes later, the Hawks went on the Penalty Kill. They are at 78.8%, in 26th place for the season. However as of late, 1 for 13 in the last 9 games (93%), giving some hope to the dismal performance so far. The PK was a success, as well as the next one which occurred a few minutes later. Bollig (who seems to be willing to replace Carcillo in the STUPID penalty department) got a unnecessary 2 minute roughing penalty, with a shot to the face, after the whistle. Later, Kane to Hossa was thwarted by Luongo. Sharp also failed to connect on an open left side. Another PK went un-scored upon and the period ended 1 - 0 Vancouver. Hawks out shot the visitors 12 - 6.
In the 2 nd period, Bolland hit the cross bar early and you started to feel like this one wasn’t meant to be. Just as I was writing “missed opportunities” in my note pad, Kane put one in to tie it at 1 - 1. It was his 20th of the season, a feat he has accomplished in all 5 of his NHL seasons. Then, the Power Play parade, began for the Hawks. (16.1 %, tied for 21st). The first one was combined with another, for an 18second 5 on 3. No score. Then another PP yielded a Shaw post hit, but that’s all. Along with that PP were coincidental 4 +10’s to Burrows & Keith, for an all player scrap, which started after a Crawford save. Another TERRIBLE PP performance was added to end the period. The Hawks out shot the Canucks 23 to 9 up to this point.
It was announced during the 3rd period that Kruger would not return (upper body) to the game. To show how physical this game was, even Kane had 2 hits in this period!! Crawford had some big saves, as the 3rd was mostly dominated by Vancouver.The Canucks who had only those 9 shots on goal through the first 2 frames, had 11 this period at the halfway mark. It ended tied however, as the Hawks fought them off.
In the OT, we saw exciting 4 on 4 action. Oduya shot the puck off of Shaw (this kid seems to be in the right spot a lot) and the game was over. Hawks win.
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