Blackhawks start Circus Trip with OT win over Oilers


Blackhawks start Circus Trip with OT win over Oilers

EDMONTON, Alberta – Marian Hossa has had his share of breakaway opportunities this season, including one in the first period on Wednesday night.

He failed to convert on that one. He didn’t fail to capitalize in overtime.

Hossa scored the winner with 1:08 remaining in 3-on-3 and Patrick Kane ran his point streak to 14 games as the Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 at Rexall Place. The Blackhawks have now won three in a row, including their last two games on the road.

Teuvo Teravainen left the second period with an upper-body injury. Coach Joel Quenneville said Teravainen’s injury is not serious, and the forward is listed as day-to-day. Asked if Teravainen could play vs. Calgary on Friday, Quenneville said, “we’ll see.”

Corey Crawford stopped 34 of 37 shots, including a dazzling save on Taylor Hall in overtime. Kane had two assists; he now has points in 14 games, tying a career best set from Nov. 30-Dec. 28, 2013. Artemi Panarin scored his seventh goal of the season while Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw each added their second of the season.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Hossa now has points in three consecutive games and two goals in as many games. The veteran said he’s felt good through most of the season, even when the points weren’t coming. Still, he feels better now that they are.

“It definitely helps when you’re getting offensively on the sheet, definitely gives you more confidence,” Hossa said. “I had lots of great chances I felt good, my legs were going and I wasn’t getting the points. But it’s definitely nicer when you help the team offensively.”

The Blackhawks squandered two leads in regulation; they were up 2-0 and then 3-2, with Edmonton erasing all of those. And it looked like the Oilers would get the second point when Taylor Hall fired about 30 seconds into overtime. But Crawford reached out to make the glove save. There was a momentary question as to whether Crawford’s glove may have crossed the line but replays clearly showed it didn’t.

“Great save,” Quenneville said. “Sometimes the second opportunity can be better. Great push, great anticipation by Crow. Got us an extra point.”

Indeed that kept the Blackhawks alive, with Hossa’s snap shot sealing it about 40 seconds after that stop.

“On the first breakaway I tired to make room for myself to go blocker side. [Edmonton goalie Anders Nilsson] got a piece of it. My goal was to try to take off a little bit, get a little cushion,” Hossa said of the overtime breakaway. “I saw a little opening… this time I hit it.”

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Crawford figured it was only a matter of time before Hossa startedgetting rewarded.

“Every skill player, every guy goes through a short period where the puck’s just not going in. No one’s worried about that in this room,” he said. “Those guys are still creating scoring chances and moving the puck and creating a lot on the ice. Really, it’s no worries when you’re able to make plays and do stuff out there. It’s a different story if nothing’s happening.”

The Blackhawks didn’t play their best hockey on Wednesday – the Oilers were the better team through a good deal of this one. But Crawford gave them a massive save at a critical time. And when given a second breakaway chance, Hossa didn’t miss. 

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule


Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

Uncap those markers and start circling your calendars, Blackhawks fans. The 2018-19 season is officially out.

The Blackhawks will kick off their 91st campaign in franchise history with a road contest against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The home opener is set for Oct. 7, with an Original Six matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m.

The Blackhawks have 14 back-to-back games, and the longest road trip of the season is three, which takes place five times over the course of the season; the longest homestand is four games, from Dec. 12-18.

The biggest highlight of the season will be the Original Six Winter Classic Showdown between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1 at Notre Dame Stadium. It will be the sixth outdoor appearance for Chicago, and fourth in the Winter Classic.

The Blackhawks will also square off with the defending champion Washington Capitals on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., and welcome them to Chicago on Jan. 20, set for NBC's Game of the Week at 11:30 a.m.

Here's a look at the full schedule:

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said that the team expects goalie Corey Crawford to be back next season around training camp. Bowman also mentioned that Crawford might speak about his status himself during the Blackhawks Convention.

“What I said at the end of the year was still the case now, which is we expect Corey to be back,” Bowman said in a Thursday afternoon conference call. “We don’t have any reason to think that’s not going to happen.”

According to Bowman, Blackhawks players, including Crawford, already have their eyes set on next season.

“At this point in the summer, all the players are preparing for next season,” Bowman said. “Corey’s in that same preparation mode.”

Crawford is nursing what has been labeled an upper-body injury by the team. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was put on the shelf for the rest of the season back in late December, and he has not seen the ice since he skated in a February practice.

“Nothing has changed,” Bowman said. “We expect him to be back and ready to go in training camp.”

The Blackhawks have chosen to keep any groundbreaking news with Crawford under wraps, which the organization has done with other player injuries in the past. Bowman spoke about his vagueness in this situation.

“We’ve never gone into specifics about injuries,” Bowman said. “I realize this probably gets more attention because he’s our starting goalie and he won the Stanley Cup.”

Fans will have to take a wait-and-see approach, because it is unlikely that there will be a significant update regarding Crawford’s health before the season gets closer to its start.

Last season, Crawford only appeared in 28 games, posting a record of 16-9 with 782 saves before going down for the rest of the year.