Blackhawks

Blackhawks

Updated: 11:01 p.m.

Viktor Stalberg said hes just taking advantage of opportunities right now.

Sometimes, when you start scoring a little bit, you get a little more confident out there, the Chicago Blackhawks forward said. And you seem to be wanting the puck a little bit more, too.

Considering his recent streak, he should want the puck all the time.

Stalberg scored two goals and extended his personal point streak to four games as the Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 at the United Center on Monday night. The Blackhawks continue to take advantage of their December schedule, as theyre now 9-1-1 this month.

Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to eight straight games. Dave Bolland had two assists and Patrick Sharp scored his 19th goal of the season.

Corey Crawford made another strong start, stopping 37 of 38 to get his 14th victory this season. The Blackhawks, coming off a four-day break, looked sluggish in the first and third periods. Crawford was there to stymie the Blue Jackets, who lost their fifth straight.

Im just trying to be focused, a little better prepared for games, Crawford said. I felt pretty good today. You dont want to give up too many shots but I thought we were playing well. We kept them to the outside, secured rebounds and kept guys to the side of the net.

But the Blackhawks had a great second period, and the three goals they scored in those 20 minutes were more than enough. Stalberg had both of his in that frame, the first a rebound of his own shot and the other off a pretty pass from Bolland, with Bryan Bickell screening.

 

There seems to be growth in his game, be it stick positioning or protecting the puck, coach Joel Quenneville said of Stalberg. He has a great shot, great speed and scored some big goals tonight.

Stalberg said I try to play the same way and obviously you have to adjust your game a little bit depending on who youre playing with. But I think I try to go hard every time, and use my speed to get other guys going with that.

Stalberg will ride his point streak and wave of confidence as long as he can. Hes on a roll right now. So are the rest of the Blackhawks.

Weve got some momentum here at home, Quenneville said. But I still think theres some growth in our game thats needed, and areas I think we should be looking to improve upon. We shouldnt be satisfied where were at. We should be looking to get better the second part of the year.

Proud papa

John Scott is the latest of the Blackhawks to welcome a new addition, as his wife Danielle gave birth to a girl, Eva Magdelene, on Christmas Eve. Eva weighs 7 pounds, 3 ounces and is 20.5 inches long.