Blackhawks

Cubs' anemic offense can't solve Zito

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Cubs' anemic offense can't solve Zito

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Zito pitched 8 1-3 scoreless innings for his 150th career win and Joaquin Arias snapped an 18 at-bat hitless stretch with an RBI single that led the San Francisco Giants to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.Angel Pagan scored the game's first run after doubling to set a Giants record by extending his home hitting streak to 27 games. San Francisco went on to its 12th win in 17 games and moved a season-high six games over .500.Travis Wood (0-2) was the tough-luck loser for the Cubs, allowing just one run and three hits in seven innings as Chicago fell for the 15th time in 18 games. The Cubs have also lost 10 straight road games for their longest skid away from Wrigley Field since dropping 10 in a row in September 2000.Zito (5-2) was rarely threatened by the struggling Cubs, allowing just four hits and two walks before leaving to a standing ovation after a one-walk to Darwin Barney in the ninth. Sergio Romo finished for his second save.The Cubs got only one runner as far as second base against Zito when Ian Stewart and Reed Johnson hit one-out singles in the fifth. But Zito escaped that jam with a strikeout-double play with Stewart easily being thrown out at third by Hector Sanchez.

After struggling for most of his first five seasons of a 126 million, seven-year contract with the Giants, Zito has been extremely dependable so far this season starting with a shutout his first start at Colorado. He has won four of his past five starts and has lowered his ERA to 2.98 to help make up for the slow start by two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum.Zito, often the target of boos in San Francisco, got a standing ovation when he walked off the mound after the eighth inning and then a big cheer when he batted to lead off the bottom of the inning. The fans booed manager Bruce Bochy's decision to replace Zito with Romo after 96 pitches.The Giants managed just one baserunner in the first four innings against Wood with Ryan Theriot being hit by a pitch with one out in the fourth. Theriot was erased when Melky Cabrera hit into a double play.San Francisco finally got a hit when Pagan drove a ball over left fielder Alfonso Soriano's head for a one-out double in the fifth. That hit broke the Giants' home hitting streak record of 26 games set by Mike Donlin in 1905-06, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Wood then struck out Sanchez before Arias followed with a single to shallow right for his first hit since last Monday.Third-base coach Tim Flannery aggressively waved Pagan home and he slid in safely ahead of Johnson's one-hop throw that catcher Koyie Hill could not handle to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.The Giants added a run in the eighth when Gregor Blanco scored from first on Cabrera's hit-and-run single to left. Soriano threw to second on the play and Blanco never stopped running to score.NOTES: The Cubs fell to 2-11 this season against lefty starters. ... The Giants go for the four-game sweep Monday when Ryan Vogelsong (3-2) takes on Jeff Samardzija (5-3).
Box scoreCopyright2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

3 Takeaways: Joel Quenneville returns to United Center, Patrick Kane honored for 1,000th point

3 Takeaways: Joel Quenneville returns to United Center, Patrick Kane honored for 1,000th point

The Blackhawks lost 4-3 to the Florida Panthers, but welcomed former head coach Joel Quenneville back to Chicago and honored Patrick Kane for capturing his 1,000th NHL point. Here are three takeaways:

Welcome back, "Q"

Quenneville returned to the United Center for the first time since being fired on Nov. 6, 2018. "Coach Q", now the head coach of the Panthers (third place in the Atlantic Division), received a thunderous ovation during a video tribute from the Hawks organization in the first period. 

 

"I think that ovation was incredible," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "I think all of us that played for him were all smiles. His ovation might have been bigger than Kaner's, I don't know. Close call. But obviously, the fans showing him lots of respect and love... pretty cool to see."

"Q" guided the Blackhawks through three Stanley Cup championships (2010, 2013, 2015) and helped end a 49-year cup drought in Chicago in 2010. Quenneville returned to face the red-hot Hawks, who had won five-straight games, with his red-hot Panthers, who had also won five straight prior to Tuesday.

"You got to give them a little credit," Quenneville said of Jeremy Colliton's Blackhawks before the game. "They're playing fast, they've got some speed in their lineup. They're quick in all lines. They can score, they're dangerous. 

"I think we've got to be respectful for what their rush game can bring and I think that it was kind of reminiscent when I talk about our team a lot. I say we can always score goals. 

"It's 'try to keep it out of our net' is a priority and we've been scoring a lot of goals and we want to make sure we can get better without the puck, and I think that's been a work in progress for us but it's [a] comparable time in our team's development right now. But we're seeing progress and I think tonight that's going to be a good test of how well we defend."

#PK1K

The Blackhawks held a ceremony before the game to honor Kane for recording his 1,000th NHL point off an assist in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. The ceremony included a video of the superstar winger as a small child saying: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the greatest show on earth.”

Kane is the 90th player in NHL history to reach the milestone and the youngest US-born player (31 years, 61 days) to record 1,000 points in the show.

On Tuesday, Kane scored with 1:15 remaining in regulation to bring the Blackhawks within one of the Panthers, extending his point streak to 11 games (five goals, 11 assists), but it wouldn't be enough.

Streak snapped

The Hawks' five-game winning streak ended and they remain three points out of a wild card spot. Their next game won't be until Feb. 1 in Arizona with the All-Star break and bye week. 

A horrid second period is what did the Hawks in on Tuesday. Chicago gave up four second-period goals, including a hat trick from Frank Vatrano. 

The Blackhawks did see contributions from Kirby Dach, who scored off a backhand over Sergei Bobrovsky's shoulder. Dach, who turned 19 on Tuesday, ended a 13-game goal drought, making it 3-1 in the second period. Drake Caggiula scored off a redirect on a third-period power play to make it 4-2. Caggiula has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games after returning from a concussion on Jan. 9.

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Sports Talk Live Podcast: Joel Quenneville returns to the United Center

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Joel Quenneville returns to the United Center

David Haugh, Charlie Roumeliotis, and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel.

0:00 - Joel Quenneville returns to the United Center. The guys look back at his 3 Cups in Chicago and discuss his place among the greatest Chicago coaches of all-time.

9:00 - The Blackhawks have won 5 straight and are 3 points out of a wild card spot. Are the playoffs in their future?

12:00 - Patrick Kane has reached 1,000 points. Will he end up at the Blackhawks all-time leading scorer? Could he end up being the greatest Blackhawk ever?

18:00 - Jonathan Toews joins Kap to talk about Joel Quenneville's return, Kane's 1,000th point and the team's winning streak?

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

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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