As the Chicago Blackhawks faced a 7-3 defeat on Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, many were questioning how would the Hawks respond. But, just as they have throughout the season when facing a large defeat, the Hawks have come back even stronger and winning two straight games.
Tuesday night was the most recent victory against the Nashville Predators and after playing five games in one week, the Hawks finally have a few days off before returning home to face the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.
The Hawks also welcomed back forward Brian Bickell who returned to the lineup for the first time in months after sustaining a lower-body injury. Although Bickell did not contribute to the stat sheet, the fact that someone of Bickell’s size is back in the lineup on the third line makes the Hawks very tough to beat.
The scoring began Tuesday night early at the 1:31 mark of the first period, with a rocket of a shot from the point from defenseman and potential Norris Trophy candidate, Duncan Keith. Keith who finished with a goal and an assist, received a great pass from forward Marian Hossa and set up Keith perfectly with a shot all by himself from the top of the point.
The Predators tied the game up only a couple minutes later, but the Hawks would respond late in the first period. Forward Patrick Kane received a pass from forward Patrick Sharp right on the backside of his stick and lifted the puck above Predator goalie and former Hawk Carter Hutton’s shoulder. Kane’s goal was magnificent and set the tone for the rest of the game. Kane’s goal also put him in second place in the league in points.
The Hawks added another goal in the middle of the second period on the power play after defenseman Nick Leddy rebounded a shot in to make the score 3-1. Leddy’s goal was initially ruled a “no goal” but was reviewed and then made officially a goal.
This Hawks victory proves more then ever that this team is continuing to push and does not look like they are stopping anytime soon. More importantly, any time the Hawks lose a tough game, they are able to bounce back and win.
With these next few days to relax, the Hawks are able to reflect a bit on the past week of tough games. But at the same time, the Hawks need to continue to focus on the games ahead and continue to win.
Rookie goalie Antti Raanta has looked fantastic in net while Corey Crawford tries to come back from injury. With Raanta playing well in net and improving each game, the Hawks have found a very solid option with Raanta.
The Blackhawks return home on Friday night to face the Vancouver Canucks from the United Center. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. (Central) and can be seen on TSN and CSN-Chicago.
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