Blackhawks

Blackhawks rally past Blues in Game 2 to even series

Blackhawks rally past Blues in Game 2 to even series

ST. LOUIS – Andrew Shaw had just one thought running through his mind as the St. Louis Blues challenged his goal, claiming goaltender interference.

“Just count. Just count, please,” he said.

It did, and thanks to that and a late empty-net goal, the Blackhawks are going back to Chicago tied 1-1 in their first-round series.

Shaw’s power-play goal counted and Artemi Panarin’s empty-net goal proved to be the winner as the Blackhawks beat the Blues 3-2 on Friday night. The two square off again on Sunday afternoon in Chicago.

Duncan Keith, back after serving his six-game suspension, had a goal and an assist. Patrick Kane had two assists and Corey Crawford stopped 29 of 31 shots in the victory. Vladimir Tarasenko and Kevin Shattenkirk scored for the Blues.

On a night when coach’s challenges came into play twice, the Blackhawks were the beneficiaries both times. The first nullified a Blues goal. Tarasenko looked to give the Blues a 2-1 lead with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation. But the Blackhawks challenged for offside and, after a lengthy review, the officials ruled it no goal.

“Someone on the bench said it’s offside and we got it late, and I was screaming like a crazy man, just got [the review] in time,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think the longer [the review] went, we felt better about it.”

About four minutes later the Blues countered with their own coach’s challenge, saying Shaw interfered with goaltender Brian Elliott on his power-play goal. This review wasn’t nearly as long and went against the Blues, giving the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead with 4:19 remaining in regulation.

It was quite the turn of events. The Blues could live with the offside ruling – “I mean the offside is offside. It’s cut and dry,” Ryan Reaves said. But the Blues were frustrated that Shaw’s goal counted.

“We’re going to have to fight,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “When you play the defending Cup champions you’re going to have to fight through a lot of stuff. Calls aren’t going to go your way. It’s always going to seem one-sided… Big deal. Fight through it.”

The Blackhawks had to fight through their goal-less drought through (nearly) the first 40 minutes of this one, too. Then it was Keith, fresh off his suspension and back playing a big role, scoring with just 3.2 seconds remaining in the second period. His goal ended the Blackhawks’ postseason scoreless drought at 109 minutes.

“Well he picked up where we left off last year in the playoffs,” Jonathan Toews said. “We know what he brings. We put him out there in situations and eventually something’s going to happen. He brought that tonight.”

Then came the two coach’s challenges in the third period, including the one that kept Shaw’s goal in place.

“I didn’t know if they were going to look at goalie interference or not but I knew I was crosschecked from behind,” Shaw said. “I was confident it was a goal but obviously there was some doubt there as well.”

The Blackhawks wanted to leave St. Louis with a split. They were an overtime goal away from taking two but they’ll take 1-1 going home. They’ll take both coach’s challenge rulings, too.

“Well we felt we had to win one and we know we were compromised coming in here Game 1 without Duncs. Getting it back after a real tough loss, it was a great response,” Quenneville said. “Take one game at a time. We know it’s going to get tougher as we go along but we like the progression with today’s win.”

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

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AP

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

The Blackhawks announced Monday that they have officially agreed to terms with forward Dominik Kahun, defensemen Lucas Carlsson and Darren Raddysh and goaltender Kevin Lankinen on entry-level contracts.

Kahun ($925,000 cap hit), Lankinen ($925,000) and Raddysh ($730,000) each signed two-year deals that run through the 2019-20 season while Carlsson's is a three-year deal that runs through the 2020-21 campaign and carries a cap hit of $792,500.

So who are these guys? Let's meet them:

Carlsson

Drafted in the fourth round (No. 110 overall) by the Blackhawks in 2016, Carlsson set a career-high with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 44 games this season with Brynäs IF of the Swedish Hockey League. He was tied for fourth among all blue liners with seven goals.

Carlsson, 20, doesn't have major upside, but he's a reliable, well-rounded defenseman and that's what drew the attention of Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley.

“When he’s on the ice, he makes things happen," Kelley told Scott Powers of The Athletic last summer. "I think what impressed the Sweden under-20 coach was Lucas’ ability to challenge in all three zones. He’s an active defensively. Offensively, he challenges. He keeps plays alive.”

Kahun

The 22-year-old forward spent the last four seasons with EHC München of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany's top professional hockey league, where he established career highs in assists (29), points (41) and tied a personal best with 12 goals, leading Munchen to their third straight championship in 2018 after recording four goals and 10 assists in 17 playoff contests.

He raised eyebrows at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, where he compiled five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games and won 55.4 percent of his faceoffs (41 of 74), helping Germany capture a silver medal.

“He has made an enormous step this year, has become much more stable and mature," German national team coach Marco Sturm said after the Olympics. "I am sure that he would grab it in the NHL,” Sturm told the Hamburger Morgenpost.

Most recently, Kahun had a goal and two assists in seven games for Germany during the IIHF Men's World Championship. He's 5-foot-11, 176 pounds whose known to be a solid two-way player and can play center but may need some time to adjust to the smaller ice surface and NHL style of speed and physicality.

Lankinen 

Lankinen is 23 years old and coming off a season in which he was in the discussion for the Urpo Ylönen trophy, annually awarded to the top goaltender of the Finnish Elite League, after registering a league-best 1.33 goals against average and .946 save percentage in 15 games with HIFK.

He missed a large portion of the season because of an injury, but it didn't stop him from turning in a strong postseason, guiding his team to a bronze medal after posting a 1.99 GAA and .936 save percentage in 13 playoff games. The year before that, he led the league with seven shutouts in 42 games, backstopping his team to a silver medal.

This is a low-risk, medium-sized reward signing for the Blackhawks, who could use some more young goaltending depth in the pipeline, especially given how this season unfolded with the big club.

Raddysh

The Blackhawks signed Raddysh to a one-year AHL contract last June, and he turned it into an NHL one after a strong season with the Rockford IceHogs.

Raddysh, 22, accumulated 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 66 regular-season games with the IceHogs, and has appeared in each of the team's playoff games en route to the Western Conference Final.

Last season Raddysh was named the OHL's top defenseman after scoring 16 goals and 65 assists for 81 points in 62 games for the Erie Otters, where he was teammates with current Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat. He's the Otters' all-time leader in assists (143) and points (184) among defensemen.

Raddysh might be nothing more than a depth defenseman, but his development is worth monitoring because the offensive production is there and that's something the Blackhawks lacked this past season from their back end.

Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa: 'I will not play hockey anymore'

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AP

Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa: 'I will not play hockey anymore'

Days after putting his Gold Coast condo on the market, Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa revealed to a Slovakian newspaper that he is moving back to his hometown country and doesn't plan on returning to the NHL.

"I will not play hockey anymore," said Hossa, who missed the entire 2017-18 campaign due to a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat it. "I have a valid contract with Chicago for the next three years, but I have only one health and it does not allow me to return."

Because he has three years left on a deal that carries a $5.275 million cap hit, Hossa is not expected to sign his retirement papers until the contract is completed or else it would result in salary cap consequences.

The news is not surprising, but it officially allows the Blackhawks to move on without him in the fold roster-wise and toy around with some options this summer.

The first is stashing his contract on long-term injured reserve, as they did last season when they utilized the in-season preference.

The second, which Hossa wondered could happen, is finding a trade partner that would absorb the remainder of his contract, usually done by lower payroll teams aiming to reach the cap floor.

And it wouldn't be difficult trying to find a buyer, considering Hossa's actual salary is $1 million per year over the next three seasons. Hossa, of course, has a no movement clause but it's likely he would waive it given his status at this point.

The good news for Chicago is, the three-time Stanley Cup winner didn't rule out joining the Blackhawks organization in some capacity after his contract expires in 2020-21, whether it's in a front office role or as a team ambassador.

In 19 NHL seasons, Hossa accumulated 525 goals and 609 assists for 1,134 points in 1,309 regular-season games, and added 149 points (52 goals, 97 assists) in 205 postseason contests. He's one of 45 players in league history to net at least 500 goals in his career.