Blackhawks

Hossa, Hawks get revenge against Coyotes

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Hossa, Hawks get revenge against Coyotes

Updated: 12:55 a.m.

GLENDALE, Ariz. Marian Hossa has been adamant in telling everyone he is just fine coming off that concussion.

Hes been cleared since Nov. 15. Hed been skating hard to get cleared, and continued that after he was. Still, the truest test of readiness is game action. Well, after two contests, this much is clear: Hossa wasnt kidding. Hes just fine.

Hossa had his second consecutive two-goal game and Dave Bolland had two goals and an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 6-4 at Jobing.com Arena on Sunday night. The Blackhawks got four points on this back-to-back road trip, scoring 11 goals in two games.

Patrick Kane had two assists as did Michal Rozsival, who made his Blackhawks debut. Patrick Sharp and Viktor Stalberg tallied their first goals of the season.

Hossa downplayed tonights game against the Coyotes, the first time hes faced Phoenix since forward Raffi Torres ended his season in Game 3 last April. For him, he said, it was just another game I came into the game, no hard feelings and just prepared like I always do, he said. But theres no doubt that, in these first two games, Hossa is playing some vintage Hossa hockey.

Its always nice to get a great start, but hes taking it to another level in the first two games, captain Jonathan Toews said on Hossa. Hell say the same thing: he just wants to keep playing well. But to get that confidence early on is a huge thing.

Said Bolland, hes playing the same Hossa game hes always played. You see how he uses his size, stick and vision. Hes one of the best in the league.

Hossas happy with his first two games, but he said theres still work to be done.

The legs are going, but the hands and head are still adjusting to the fast game. But thats probably the same for everyone who hasnt played much at this point, said Hossa, who added points dont always equal a great outing. Sometimes I play much better and dont get any points and I feel great about my game. Sometimes I dont feel great about it and get a couple of goals.

Still, unlike Saturdays opener in Los Angles, this game got a little interesting. The Coyotes stormed back early in the third period, when their drive and the Blackhawks sloppiness led to two quick Coyotes goals and cut the Hawks lead to 5-4. But one Blackhawks timeout and 22 seconds after Shane Doan scored to make it 5-4, Bolland knocked the game-winner up and over Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith.

Q made a great call there to bring us to the bench and calm us down. It stopped their momentum, also, Bolland said of the time out. We bounced back quick.

Recovering seems to be the theme of the Blackhawks in this early season, be it an individual players great recovery from a horrible concussion or the teams recovery from an opposing goal. The Blackhawks are proving their depth is working. And Hossa is proving that, when he said he was fine, he meant it.

Pucks are going in for him, and that lines been affective in a lot of ways, Quenneville said of Hossa. Hes a big part of our team. Its nice to see him rebound and get off to a good start.

It's official: Blackhawks-Bruins to play at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019 Winter Classic

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USA TODAY

It's official: Blackhawks-Bruins to play at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019 Winter Classic

It’s official: The Blackhawks are headed back outdoors.

The NHL announced that the 2019 Winter Classic will be held at Notre Dame Stadium, featuring the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1.

"The Blackhawks and Bruins, two of our most historic franchises, will be meeting outdoors for the first time at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Notre Dame Stadium, with its capacity approaching 80,000, will provide an ideal setting for this ground-breaking event and will host the largest live audience ever to witness a game by either of these teams."

"The Chicago Blackhawks are honored to be participating in this marquee event at an iconic venue like Notre Dame Stadium," Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough said in a statement. "The University of Notre Dame has strong alumni roots in both Chicago and Boston, and, with an established rivalry between the Blackhawks and Bruins, fans will be treated to an exciting game in a unique atmosphere. We appreciate the invitation to the game and look forward to what will be a great day for both franchises and the National Hockey League."

It's the sixth time the Blackhawks will be playing outdoors, and their league-leading fourth Winter Classic. The Blackhawks are 1-4-0 in outdoor games, and are winless in three Winter Classic games.

Chicago's only outdoor win came against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2014 Stadium Series Classic, a 5-1 victory at Soldier Field.

Are Blackhawks starting to find their early season form again?

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USA TODAY

Are Blackhawks starting to find their early season form again?

The goals came in bunches for the Blackhawks in their Oct. 5 season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins. For the Blackhawks, it was a nice memory, albeit one that seems far away given they went from scoring at will through their first two games to not being able to buy a goal for a sizeable stretch.

As for the Penguins, well, you figure their memoires of that game means they’ll be more than a little ticked off when the Blackhawks arrive on Saturday night.

“We’ve been on the wrong side of a few losses like that,” Patrick Sharp said. “You certainly remember them more than other losses.”

This is kind of/sort of about the Penguins, who in the first meeting were clearly tired not only from two Stanley Cup runs but also from their season opener/banner raising the prior night. But it’s more about the Blackhawks who, after a lengthy scoring drought, are starting to get their offense going again (15 goals in their last three games).

And while they’d like to shore up their defense – they blew a 4-1 lead vs. New Jersey and just about did it again vs. the New York Rangers – overall they’re trending in the right direction. And just as they face the team against whom they played their best game of the season.

“I’m sure [the Penguins] will be excited about playing us and making things better. They’re playing well, winning some games. For [us], we’re looking for more consistency in our game with the puck and we’re generating some offense,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I still think it has some ways to improve. That was one night, whether it was the quality of the plays we made or [what], we seemed like we had the puck a lot and did some good things with it. We haven’t seen much of that lately so I think that maybe we can recapture a little bit of that with the puck as well.”

In the past three games the Blackhawks haven’t just reignited their offense, they’ve regained their confidence. Their lines are finding some chemistry. As frustrating as their scoring drought was, they’re hoping it’s behind them.

“At some point in the season I feel like every team goes through it, either in the beginning, the middle or toward the end. You just don’t want to have it right at the end of the season,” Ryan Hartman said. “You can look at it in in a positive way. Hopefully we got that part over with and now we’re just coming in confident and hopefully we put the puck in the net.”

The Blackhawks got off to a hot goal-scoring start against the Penguins by doing the right things: shooting, pouncing on rebounds, getting traffic in front of the net and capitalizing. As they head into their 20th game of the season, the Blackhawks are finally getting back to what worked so well in Game 1.

“Things dried up for a bit but I think we have a good rotation going here with the lines; the chemistry’s starting to fill in a little bit. Some guys are stepping up. [Artem] Anisimov had a big night and Brinsky’s [Alex DeBrincat] playing great. It’s good to see those guys step up. It makes you want to be that next guy who’s called up to step up in the next game,” Patrick Kane said. “It’s good to see some goals go into the net. More important, it’s good to see some wins. But we’re playing the right way and hopefully this will trend in the right direction for us.”