Blackhawks

Game 82: Status quo for Blackhawks-'Wings rivalry

428557.jpg

Game 82: Status quo for Blackhawks-'Wings rivalry

Friday, April 8, 2011
Posted: 1:42 p.m.

By Tracey MyersCSNChicago.com
DETROIT Its rare when the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings need more incentive when they face each other. The matchup already demands a fairly bright spotlight, given their history, the divisional rivalry and the quality hockey that usually comes with the games.

But just for grins sake, lets throw in all the playoff implications, shall we?

The Blackhawks will be feeling the enormity of those when the puck drops at the United Center on Sunday morning. They need one point to guarantee a playoff spot and eliminate any chance the Dallas Stars had to catch them. Two points would be even better, and with help from others, the Blackhawks could finish higher in the standings.

Weve played a lot of big games this year, especially the last little stretch. So theres nothing new for us (Sunday), said Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, who will be vying for his 34th victory this season. Its a lot better to be deciding your own fate than worrying about someone else. The Wings are not going to give us anything. We expect a hard game.

WATCH: Milbury previews NBC's Game of the Week - Blackhawks vs. Red Wings

It doesnt hurt that the Blackhawks have played the Red Wings very well this season. Their 4-1-0 against Detroit, and their 4-2 victory there on Friday was one of their best outings. But considering how angry the Red Wings were with Fridays loss, theyll probably come in determined.

We expect a dangerous team, with a lot of incentive on their side and ours. There is a lot of meaning in that game, coach Joel Quenneville said. We havent had an easy (game) all year and I dont expect it for one more.

Well, that and Detroit has its own reasons for finishing strong. Despite losing on Friday, the Red Wings are one point behind the second-place Sharks, who also lost on Friday. The Wings will be without Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg but both are said to be a go for the postseason. Zetterberg was seen sporting a large brace on his left knee in Detroit on Friday.

Its just about having one more game and weve got to get ourselves ready, get the brain in gear and get playing, Mike Babcock told reporters on Friday. The good thing about the playoffs is its only long for two teams. For us, we can be done in a heck of a hurry. And the sense of urgency that weve got to have and the change in our mindset that weve got to have obviously is very apparent in just watching this game (Friday) night.

Its Game 82, and its status quo for the Blackhawks-Red Wings rivalry. Its going to be fierce. Its going to be competitive. And its going to be for marbles bigger than just one game.

We have to get points, Quenneville said. We have to control our destiny.

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

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

2-21_senators_matchup_nhl_chi_blank.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?