'Smart' Blackhawks get some revenge in Vancouver


'Smart' Blackhawks get some revenge in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, British Columbia The Blackhawks goal against Vancouver was pretty simple: stay disciplined, stay smart and keep the Canucks power play off the ice.

Done, done and done.

Five different Blackhawks scored goals, and the Blackhawks tallied power play goals instead of giving them up in their 5-1 victory over the Canucks at Rogers Arena. It was a pretty dominating performance by the Blackhawks, who after allowing the Canucks five power-play goals 10 days ago, didnt give the Canucks one advantage on Wednesday.

We talked about it in the morning skate. Thats the key against this team, said Marian Hossa, who had three assists. For some reason we got into penalty trouble and it cost us the game at home. Tonight we were more disciplined.

Andrew Brunette and Patrick Kane scored power-play goals, and Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Steve Montador also scored for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford was strong again, stopping 28 of 29 shots en route to his ninth victory of the season.

But its what they didnt give up that was just as important as what they produced.

We werent disciplined with the way we played (last time) and tonight that was the focus coming in, Brunette said. Vancouver came at us pretty good early, we hung in there and took the game over.

Yes they did.

The Canucks came out stronger in the first period and by early in the second period the Blackhawks were down 1-0 early in the second period on Jannik Hansens goal. But by the end of the period and thanks to that surging power play, the Blackhawks would have a lead they wouldnt relinquish.

And in a matchup thats usually full of venom and vinegar, this one was pretty quiet. The Blackhawks just hummed along, playing a simple and solid road game to start this lengthy trip.

I think we just played much smarter and, maybe not relaxed, but a patient game, said Toews, who also had an assist. They got a lot of shots from the point, and for the most part when we did get into trouble we were being smart and not making it worse than it was.

The Blackhawks are clicking right now. They needed a smart, disciplined game, not only to start this road trip but especially against this team and in this building. And they got it.

Sometimes when youre in this building you just have to find a way to weather the storm, Toews said. Theyre a fast-moving team. We played smart and just found a way to make it work.


Dave Bolland started on the fourth line Wednesday but was back at his usual checking-line center spot a few shifts into the game. Bolland played a little over 14 minutes, recording three takeaways.

Montador now has three goals in his last two games. Montador was a plus-1 on Wednesday night and is now plus-9 on the season.

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

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?