The Blackhawks have had some frenzied games lately, contests with a lot of goals and thrilling – perhaps too thrilling – moments.
Well, we wouldn’t categorize Sunday’s game against the Ottawa Senators as one of those games. It was quiet through a good deal of this one, with a Duncan Keith goal finally breaking the ice in the second period. Hey, high scoring, low scoring, busy, quiet, the Blackhawks don’t care as long as it translates into victories. So before we head to Pittsburgh for the first half of a back-to-back with the Penguins, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 3-0 victory over the Senators.
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1. Another shutout for Corey Crawford. He may not have had the best game in Arizona but Crawford rebounded with a shutout, his sixth of the season and 18th of his career, on Sunday night. Of Crawford’s recent shutouts, this one didn’t keep him as busy. But on a night when neither team could get going early, his work was beneficial for the Blackhawks.
2. Andrew Desjardins scores again. This goal wasn’t a game winner, nor did it tie the game or anything like that. If nothing else it sealed what was already looking like a victory for the Blackhawks in the final minute. Doesn’t matter: it’s more supplemental scoring for a team that needs it, and another boost of confidence for Desjardins. Said coach Joel Quenneville, “he’s had a great stretch, three games here for him and his line mates, solid again, pucks following him around like a top player. So we’ve been very pleased for him.”
3. Artem Anisimov heating up. During December, the big center went nine games without a point: no goals, no assists, nothing. Well, he’s finding the touch again. Anisimov now has four goals in his last six games, including his 15th of the season tonight. As Quenneville said, the Blackhawks were looking at Anisimov mainly to give them a second-line center for the next couple of seasons. The offense he’s supplied this year has been a welcome addition.
4. Duncan Keith continues his great play. The post-surgery Keith has been strong for the Blackhawks, and he’s getting more points again lately, too. Keith’s goal on Sunday gives him points in his last three games (two goals, three assists). The Blackhawks always welcome their defensemen contributing on offense, and Keith’s been doing that steadily since returning from surgery in mid-November.
5. The Senators were credited with 60 hits. Yeah, that seems like a lot to us. Seemed like a lot to Quenneville, too. “I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel one of them,” Quenneville said to laughs. “It was a high number. It didn’t feel like we got hit 60 times. Sometimes I feel them but tonight, I don’t know. It was one of those nights.”