Blackhawks

Hawks erupt for five goals in milestone period

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Hawks erupt for five goals in milestone period

Monday, March 14, 2011
Posted: 9:36 p.m. Updated: 11:15 p.m.

By Tracey MyersCSNChicago.com

The Chicago Blackhawks have had some very good second-period performances this season.

On Monday night, they had a great one.

WATCH: Sharp a happy helper

Patrick Kane scored his 100th career goal, Marian Hossa scored twice and Patrick Sharp had a franchise-tying record four assists in the second period as the Blackhawks came back to beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 at the United Center on Monday night.

The Blackhawks scored five goals in the second period, erasing a 2-1 deficit and chasing former teammate Antti Niemi midway through the frame. The Blackhawks snapped a three-game winless streak and jumped back into fourth place in the Western Conference.

Jonathan Toews was also in on the second-period barrage, getting a goal and an assist. He now has 71 points this season, a new career high; his 30 goals are just four shy of the career-best 34 he had in 2008-09.

I thought we gathered ourselves pretty quickly after that start there, said coach Joel Quenneville, whose Blackhawks have now outscored opponents 82-54 in second periods. We did a lot of good things. You measure (great periods) in different ways, but certainly the timing of it you can certainly put it up there as one of the better ones (this season).

Toews said the big second period obviously dictated the outcome of the game so it was good for us. Especially when they made it 5-3 and we came back and got that sixth goal. We were just confident. We knew weve had a couple games where we squandered 2- or 3-goal leads and that wasnt going to happen (tonight).

WATCH: Special game for Hjalmarsson

And it was led by the Blackhawks big guns. Toews, Kane, Sharp and Hossa had just five points combined in the three previous games against the Sharks. On Monday night, they combined for 10 points.

Sharps assist tally marked the fifth time a Blackhawks player has done that in a period. The most recent occurrence was when Jim Pappin did it against Atlanta on March 24, 1973.

What was it, four assists in 15 minutes? Thats pretty crazy coming from him, said Kane, whose goal was set up by a Sharp pass. Hes just playing patient with the puck. He has time and space to make plays so good for him.

WATCH: Kane's 100th goal no big deal?

The Blackhawks dictated everything in the second period. They drew hooking and holding penalties, those catch-up infractions that drive coaches crazy, throughout the game and went 2 for 6 on the power play. Both of those came from Hossa.

For whatever reason in the first period we werent on the same page. We started working as a team (in the second), Hossa said. We were supporting each other and battling.

San Jose coach Todd McLellan said his Sharks did just the opposite.

If I was going to sum up the game, they skated, we glided. They were hard on the boards, we were soft. They were determined at the net, we played I hope around the net, he said.

It was Toews goal, however, that sent Niemi packing. The former Blackhawks goaltender was pulled after allowing four goals on 18 shots in a period and a half.

Hes a good goaltender, we know that, but it was good to get to him, Sharp said. Hes still a good friend, but you dont feel bad for him leaving.

Niklas Hjalmarsson and Viktor Stalberg also scored for the Blackhawks, who have now won five in a row at home. Corey Crawford stopped 33 of 36 for the victory.

The Blackhawks got a big one on Monday and did it convincingly. Theyve been on a roll at home. Theyd like to keep rolling regardless of venue.

We want to go into every single game looking for those two points, Toews said. Were back on track now. Maybe we didnt have the greatest road trip, but its time to get on another swing here.

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

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks visit first-place Lightning

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks visit first-place Lightning

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

1. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos.

There hasn't been a more dynamic duo in the NHL so far this season than Kucherov and Stamkos, who have combined for 68 points (27 goals, 41 assists) through 20 games, and sit first and second in the scoring race.

They've each recorded a point in every game except three — which coincidentally have been the same games — and they've lost all three of those contests. Kucherov has also scored a goal in 15 of 20 games this season. That's absurd when you consider he's scoring on a consistent basis; it's not like they're coming in spurts.

To put all that into perspective, he reached the 17-goal mark in his 36th game last year and still finished second in the league with 40 goals. He hit the 17-goal mark in 16 fewer games this season. How many can he realistically finish with? 60?

2. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

Tampa Bay knows how dangerous Chicago's dynamic duo can be as well, as evidenced in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. The Blackhawks' superstars know how to get up for a big game.

In 13 career regular-season games against the Lightning, Kane has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists). Toews has 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 14 games.

They're both producing at or above a point-per-game pace, and they're going to need more of that against this powerhouse Lightning team.

3. Something's gotta give.

Tampa Bay's offensive prowess is off the charts up and down the lineup. It has four lines that can come at you at waves, and a strong, active blue line led by potential Norris Trophy finalist Viktor Hedman and Calder Trophy candidate Mikhail Sergachev.

Although Chicago allows the fourth-most shots per game (34.0), it actually hasn't been bad at preventing goals — a large reason for that is Corey Crawford. 

The Lightning rank first in goals per game (3.95) and first in power play percentage (28.0) while the Blackhawks rank sixth in goals against per game (2.65) and four in penalty kill percentage (84.9).

Who's going to crack first?

Artem Anisimov keeps his vow, dons a mustache and raises his productivity in November

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USA TODAY

Artem Anisimov keeps his vow, dons a mustache and raises his productivity in November

Artem Anisimov wasn’t happy with his October.

The Blackhawks center struggled the first month of the season. Maybe it was adjusting to new line mates after being with the same two for two seasons. Maybe it was just a slow start. Maybe it was more than that. Regardless, Anisimov was frustrated. So as October turned to November, Anisimov told Patrick Sharp that he was going to get back on track.

“He’s scoring lots of goals and he said he was going to in the month of November,” Sharp recalled. “So he’s backing it up.”

Anisimov is doing that, recording five goals in his last three games including a hat trick against his former team, the New York Rangers, on Wednesday. Since November’s start, Anisimov has seven goals.

“My start of the season was not great,” Anisimov said. “But I keep working hard and be focused and say, ‘OK, November. I’m going to step up in November and forward.’”

When told of Anisimov’s prediction to Sharp, coach Joel Quenneville said, “well, now he set a precedent. We’ll have to look for it every month now.

“Quite a standard he was looking to achieve and got off to a great start here,” Quenneville said. “When Arty’s at the net he makes good plays, takes it to the net, draws some traffic to him and opens up other lanes behind him. I still think he has a purpose defensively, which he can add to that line.”

Anisimov’s resurgence coincides with the Blackhawks doing the same thing; after an up-and-down start, both are finding their rhythm again. For the Blackhawks it could be finding some line chemistry. For Anisimov it might be the same thing; he and Kane have been back together since Nov. 12, and those two and Nick Schmaltz have combined for a dynamic second line.

Or is it that mustache that Anisimov’s growing for Movember?

“I thought when you were saying what you were saying (about Anisimov’s vow), he made that statement when he got Kaner back on his line. But I think it was right when he shaved his beard into a mustache. That’s when he took off,” Jonathan Toews said with a laugh. “So that’s the biggest correlation right there.”

OK, teaming up with Kane again probably looms larger. The two have had great chemistry dating back to the 2015-16 season, when they first teamed with Artemi Panarin. Kane’s puck possession helps free Anisimov up to do his work at the net, and he’s been capitalizing there.

“He’s had a great month. He’s just one of those guys who gets to the front of the net and finds ways to be productive,” Kane said. “Maybe seven or eight games ago people were talking about how he was struggling and now he’s having a great start to the season. It shows how a few games can change that but he’s been great for us, not only scoring a lot of goals but a lot of big goals to get some wins.”

Still, hockey players are a superstitious lot. Players have ribbed Anisimov about the mustache — “I asked him to serve me a sparkling water on the airplane because he looks like a waiter in France or something,” Sharp said. But considering Anisimov’s mustache and the points sprouted at the same time, they’re now imploring Anisimov to keep it.

“Yep,” Anisimov said with a grin. “That’s true.”