Emery stays hot while Blackhawks dominate Ducks


Emery stays hot while Blackhawks dominate Ducks

The Blackhawks know the Anaheim Ducks will usually come with the physical, gritty game. And on Friday night, the Blackhawks physical, gritty guys came with that game and added a few points, to boot.

Jamal Mayers and John Scott chipped in points and chippiness, and Ray Emery won his fourth consecutive start in the Blackhawks 4-1 victory over the Ducks. The Blackhawks have now won four in a row and six of their last seven, as they are now tied atop the Western Conference with the idle Minnesota Wild.

Patrick Sharp had a goal and an assist, as he extended his point streak to a career-high eight games. Marian Hossa also had a goal and an assist and Dave Bolland scored a power-play goal.

The Blackhawks have been looking for more balanced scoring contributions, and they got it on Friday. The fourth line was noticeable early, as Mayers scored his third goal of the season with Andrew Brunette and Scott assisting.

I think obviously its a bonus if we score, so you always want to get into the forecheck and create some momentum, Mayers said. Brunos so good down low, he made a nice play and I just tried to take it to the net.

Emery said the Blackhawks scoring first was key.

Jammer made a great play and I think that Anaheims had some troubles lately, Emery said of his former team. So getting one early on them and maybe having them doubt themselves a bit is huge.

They were physical, too. Mayers had a fight late and Scott, who was put in the starting lineup instead of Ben Smith, easily won his bout with Ducks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank.

I was thinking (about the Gordie Howe hat trick); I almost had a breakaway pass there, it was just a little ahead of me, Scott said. I was definitely thinking about it after the second period, but I cant get greedy. One assist is good enough for me.

Emery also got an assist, the fourth of his career. The goaltender was on top of his game again on Friday, stopping 24 of 25 shots to improve to 8-1-2 this season. Teemu Selanne snuffed out Emerys shutout bid with just 1:47 remaining in regulation.

Rays very solid, looks composed, said coach Joel Quenneville, who collected his 599th victory on Friday. He was fighting through screens and finding pucks, and there was not a lot of loose stuff around him as well. Its been clean around his net.

The Blackhawks are on a roll right now. Some nights its been the top line. Other nights its been solely goaltender. On Friday they got a balanced night from everyone. From top to bottom everyone contributed, be it with points or punches.

Obviously we know how we have to play, Mayers said. Weve had just over 30 games to get used to each other. Weve got enough skill in this room to score goals. We have to shore up defensively and if we commit to that, well be fine.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals


Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident:

Cue Chelsea Dagger: Blackhawks blow out Capitals to snap eight-game losing streak


Cue Chelsea Dagger: Blackhawks blow out Capitals to snap eight-game losing streak

Win one game.

That was Joel Quenneville’s message during the Blackhawks’ eight-game losing streak, which finally came to an end on Saturday night.

How about a 7-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on home ice for a streak-breaker? Now that’s more like it.

Prior to Saturday, the Blackhawks hadn’t recorded a win in February — or a win at the United Center since Jan. 12. 

Though the Blackhawks will likely miss the playoffs for the first time since Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were rookies, a blowout win over the leaders of the Metropolitan Division Capitals had to have felt great.

"It’s a nice way to get over the hump," Toews said. "Sometimes you might just win a 2-1 game or just kind of grind it out, but it was nice for us to fill the net the way we did tonight."

Added Joel Quenneville, "Certainly feels 100 times better than coming in and trying to explain how we had a lead and were unable to sustain it. The complete 60 minutes, three periods the right way, more consistency in our game, way more pace than we’ve seen recently, composure with the puck, shooting around the net. It was fun but that’s one. Let’s see how we respond to this because there’s a lot of hockey left."

The Blackhawks are 25-26-8 with 58 points, and are 11 points out the final wild card spot, currently held by the Minnesota Wild.

Among the highlights:

— Seven different Blackhawks scored: Toews, Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Brandon Saad, Artem Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman

— The Blackhawks are 74-6-4 in the regular season in which Kane and Toews both record a goal — and 41-0-0 in their last 41 games, according to NBC Sports Chicago stats guru Chris Kamka.

— Kane registered career assist No. 500, becoming the sixth Blackhawk with 500 or more. Kane is also the seventh U.S.-born player with 300-plus goals and 500-plus assists, joining Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Pat LaFontaine, Joe Mullen and Phil Housley, according to Kamka.

"You think about the amount of great Americans that have played the game, how many players actually play hockey in the United States... Growing up all I wanted to do was play hockey," Kane said. "That means a lot, especially when you talk about American-born players."

— DeBrincat's 22nd goal of the season has him tied for the rookie-lead with Tampa Bay Lightning's Yanni Gourde. DeBrincat and Kane also lead the Blackhawks with 22 goals.