Blackhawks

Stalberg's third-period goals secure Hawks win

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Stalberg's third-period goals secure Hawks win

The Blackhawks were flirting with their second consecutive loss, something they stressed avoiding after Fridays dismal 3-0 loss in Carolina.

But with two quick tallies, Viktor Stalberg ended any worries about that.

Stalberg scored twice in a span of a minute, 58 seconds and Ray Emery got his second victory of the season in the Blackhawks 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

It was an interesting game for the Blackhawks, who had lost momentum and their one-goal lead by the end of the second period. Worse, the power play came up empty in bizarre ways the Hawks had three disallowed goals and two came on the power play.

But a big third period was the salve for all of that. And Stalberg was big there. His first goal came when Nick Leddy poke-checked a puck past a Jackets defender and to Stalberg, who worked to the front to beat Blue Jackets goalie Allen York. Less than two minutes later, Stalberg was alone on Yorks left side, punching in an Andrew Brunette attempted wraparound.

That was a great play by Stally there. He made a great move, took it to the net. His speed is always effective, coach Joel Quenneville said. We were ordinary in the second period we lost the momentum when they tied it up. We were better in the third.

Stalberg said the Blackhawks just kept pushing.

I think we played all right the first 40 minutes and gave up some goals we dont want to give up, but we found ways to come back, Stalberg said. The biggest thing is taking two points and not losing two in a row. Thats what we stressed."

Dave Bolland scored his second short-handed goal of the season. Marcus Kruger scored his first NHL career goal and Michael Frolik added an empty-netter. Leddy had two assists.

Emery, meanwhile, got stronger as the game continued. He stopped 27 of 29 overall for his second victory in as many starts.

They were buzzing at the start of the game, too. They came with some speed and just fired pucks through legs and stuff, Emery said of the Blue Jackets. I think we did a good job sorting plays out as the game went on and really took control.

Jonathan Toews said Emery has shown that mental focus and when it is his chance, even if it takes a few shots early we want to clear those pucks and make things easy on him. It was a solid game by him.

The Blackhawks are still collecting a good chunk of points, as they sit 6-2-2 through their first 10 games. They werent clicking through 40 minutes on Saturday, but they did save their best for the final 20.

I think we have more swagger this year. Were feeling were going to get out there and get that goal, Stalberg said of third periods. Last year we found ways to give them up. This year were finding ways to get go-ahead goals.

No goal

It was certainly a rarity, if not a first, as there were four disallowed goals in Saturdays game. The Blackhawks had three of them, two on the power play: Patrick Kanes was nullified because his stick was too high, Patrick Sharps was nixed by a high sticking penalty on Bryan Bickell and Bollands was waived off because he kicked it in the net.

Obviously thats something we dont see every day, Stalberg said. (Brunettes) been in the league a long time and he said thats the most hes seen in a long time.

Four takeaways: Blackhawks can't solve rookie Cal Petersen in shootout loss

Four takeaways: Blackhawks can't solve rookie Cal Petersen in shootout loss

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 2-1 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center on Friday:

1. Blackhawks can't solve Cal Petersen

With Jonathan Quick (knee), Jack Campbell (knee) and Peter Budaj (sick) out, the Kings trotted out former Notre Dame standout Petersen to make his first career NHL start between the pipes. And he didn't disappoint.

The 24-year-old stopped 34 of 35 shots (.971 save percentage) in 65 minutes of play and denied Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the shootout to earn his first victory in the big leagues.

"He was good, yeah," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "The third period was more like it. If we’d had 60 minutes [like that] maybe we break him down eventually. He did well, he did a good job. I thought we had a little more traffic, got some more pucks to the net. That was better. But you can’t help but think if we’d have had that push earlier, then we’d get paid off for it."

2. Line changes serve as third-period spark

After failing to generate many scoring chances in the first two periods, Jeremy Colliton spruced up his top-six by putting Brandon Saad with Kane and Toews and Nick Schmaltz with Alex DeBrincat and Artem Anisimov. They saw the benefits almost immediately.

Saad scored 2:39 into the final frame after burying a feed at the doorstep by Toews for his third goal in six games, tying the game at 1-1.

'We showed some resiliency battling in the third," Saad said. "It was definitely a slow start. We've got to play a full 60 minutes to win hockey games, but I think it shows some character how we can battle back in the third. And then overtime we had some chances and some puck possession, and when it comes down to a shootout it can be anyone's game. But the message for us is to play a full 60, because when we play well you can see that we have opportunities and a better chance to win the hockey game."

3. Power play comes up empty

Special teams was the deciding factor in the Blackhawks' last two games. They gave up two power-play goals in 66 seconds against Carolina on Monday and then beat St. Louis 1-0 on Wednesday thanks to a power-play goal of their own.

The Blackhawks had three power-play opportunities against the Kings, and all three of them came in the second period. They recorded a combined six shots on goal during them, but reverted back to some old habits by waiting for the open shot and lacking net-front presence.

"You get three in the second, it would be nice to get one," Kane said. "Even if you're not getting anything on it, it's nice to get momentum off of it. I thought we did a decent job of getting momentum, getting some chances and some looks. Sometimes you've just got to converge on the net and hopefully get those rebounds and try to find a way to get one a little bit dirtier."

The Blackhawks also allowed a breakaway chance towards the end of the third power play, but Corey Crawford saved the day. Tyler Toffoli scored 19 seconds after the Blackhawks' first power play to make it 1-0 Kings.

4. Meet your newest Blackhawk

The Blackhawks had a visitor at morning skate in Carter Holmes, an 11-year-old from Wisconsin, who is battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma. As part of the Make-A-Wish Experience, Holmes became a Blackhawk for a day and practiced with the team, including his favorite player Patrick Kane.

"I might have to change my number," Kane joked about Holmes, who wears No. 88 because of Kane. "I think he was a little bit better than me out there today."

It was the first time Holmes skated since being diagnosed on June 30, four days after his team took first place at a tournament. Holmes feared that he would never be able to play hockey again, but that won't be the close. He's expected to re-join his teammates soon, even if it may take a while to get back into game shape.

"It's pretty special," Kane said of Holmes, who will drop the ceremonial first puck on Sunday for "Hockey Fights Cancer" Night at the United Center. "Sometimes you're just playing hockey and worried about the business aspect of it, but days like today you can take a step back and realize there's more important things out there."

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Updates on the start Jeremy Colliton era

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Updates on the start Jeremy Colliton era

SportsTalk Live is on location at the United Center for Blackhawks Authentic Fan Night. Charlie Roumeliotis, Jay Cohen and Jimmy Greenfield join Chuck Garfien on the panel.

0:00- Pat Boyle stops by to talk about the start of the Jeremy Colliton era and to preview the huge Sunday Night showdown between the Bears and Vikings.

19:00- Adam Burish joins the panel to preview the Blackhawks and Kings and to talk about how the Hawks players are reacting to a 33-year old head coach.

Listen to the full epiosde here or via the embedded player below: 

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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