Blackhawks

Blackhawks fall, make playoffs after Stars lose

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Blackhawks fall, make playoffs after Stars lose

Sunday, April 10, 2011
Posted: 2:01 p.m. Updated: 7:35 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The looks on some of the Chicago Blackhawks faces were telling: frustrated, bewildered, stunned. They had their playoff destiny in their own hands and in their own building.

But they squandered their chance. Now they need someone else to give them a second one.

Michael Frolik, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith scored, but the Detroit Red Wings played the spoiler role well in their 4-3 victory at the United Center on Sunday afternoon.

The Blackhawks, who needed one point to clinch a playoff spot, finished with the eighth seed thanks to the Minnesota Wild's 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars Sunday night.

Its so frustrating that its come down to this. Im pretty much speechless, said Jonathan Toews. The fact that were completely at another teams mercy right now, I cant believe it.

Coach Joel Quenneville, who along with many Blackhawks players will be watching that Wild-Stars game, said I should call the (New York) Rangers. The Rangers needed Tampa Bay to beat Carolina on Saturday to get to the playoffs; the Lightning did.

Were certainly not where we want to be, he said. Its a rotten spot to be in, fingers crossed, rooting for your season.

Patrick Sharp echoed those sentiments.

Its a horrible feeling to be sitting here. Youre helpless, he said. But well watch that game and see what happens.

The Blackhawks got the lead they wanted when Frolik scored about five minutes into the second period. But just one minute, 38 seconds later a bad Viktor Stalberg pass went right to Tomas Holmstrom, who scored. Sixty-two seconds later, Pavel Datsyuk gave the Wings a 2-1 edge.

That was tough, said Patrick Kane. We score and then we gave up one a shift or two right after and then another. Its tough when you do that. We had chances in the third and chances to tie it up. It just didnt go our way, I guess.

Detroit took two-goal leads twice, with the Blackhawks narrowing them down to one each time. Seabrooks laser shot made it 3-2 about four minutes into the third before Daniel Cleary put the Wings up 4-2. Keiths backhand rebound made it 4-3.

The Blackhawks got three power plays, including one in the final three minutes of regulation. But they couldnt find the tying goal.

On power plays, sometimes you need to keep it simple and get pucks to the net and get a greasy goal, Keith said. The puck was bouncing out there, and especially when its bouncing on the ice you have to keep it simple.

Now the Blackhawks play the toughest waiting game of all. The Red Wings spoiled their Cup banner-raising ceremony in the home opener. They may have demolished the Blackhawks Cup defense chances in the home finale.

I dont know how many times we seemed to address the same question: You wanted to avoid the situation where you were playing game 82 to get in, Quenneville said. We didnt get that luxury. Now we have to root for game 83.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Patrick Kane hits milestone, but Blackhawks get blown out by Islanders

Patrick Kane hits milestone, but Blackhawks get blown out by Islanders

Probably not the way the Blackhawks wanted to start their second half of the season.

After a five-day break, the Blackhawks suffered a brutal 7-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday night at the United Center. This coming after a 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on home ice last Sunday.

"It was a game we had to win," Quenneville said after Saturday's loss. "Disappointing in a lot of ways."

The Blackhawks needed both goaltenders to get through 60 minutes. Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass combined for 39 saves on 46 shots.

On the offensive side of things, Patrick Kane hit a milestone.

The 29-year-old had two goals and an assist and recorded his 800th career point, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to reach 800 points.

The Blackhawks are now 22-18-6 on the season with 50 points and rank last in the Central Division, five points behind the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild.

The Blackhawks' schedule doesn't get any easier when the Tampa Bay Lightning — the league-leader in points — come to town on Monday.

See what Quenneville and Kane had to say about Saturday's loss in the video above.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks return to action against Islanders

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks return to action against Islanders

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the New York Islanders tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Erik Gustafsson's season debut.

The Blackhawks recalled one of their top defensive prospects on Jan. 9 but haven't been able to get him some game action yet. All signs point to that changing tonight.

He skated on a pairing with Brent Seabrook during Friday's practice, and was even placed on the second power play unit during special teams drills. Joel Quenneville was excited about the possibility of finally getting Gustafsson into the lineup.

"Good option, good opportunity," Quenneville said. "We’re not for sure but certainly he’s been around, he’s eager to go. I look forward to seeing what he can do."

2. Anthony Duclair's promotion.

He hasn't been in Chicago for very long but Duclair is quickly working his way up the lineup. The newly-acquired Blackhawk registered an assist in his team debut last Friday in a 2-1 victory over Winnipeg, and was put on a power play unit as well.

On Friday, Duclair was promoted to the top line with Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews and continued getting reps on the second power-play unit. Let's see if the 22-year-old can take advantage of that opportunity in a top-six role.

3. Mathew Barzal.

Three rookies will be named finalists for the Calder Trophy at the end of the season. Barzal is a lock to be one of them.

He not only leads all rookies with 48 points, but he ranks 15th in the entire league in the scoring race and is the only first-year player averaging at least a point per game. 

The 20-year-old center has been sensational and he already has two five-point games in his young professional career. To put that into perspective, Patrick Kane recorded his first NHL five-point effort two weeks ago against the Ottawa Senators.