Two Points: Hawks 6, Sharks 5 (SO)
Funny how a slump changes your perspective. Two months ago, I'd have been pissed that the Hawks blew 2 goal leads twice in this game to allow San Jose to force overtime. But after the last few weeks, I'm just glad they were able to get two points against one of the top teams in the Western Conference, regardless of how they got them.
Andrew Ladd: 2 goals tonight for Ladd, who seemed snakebit the last several weeks. The Ladd/Bolland/Havlat line was the best on the ice tonight, and let's hope they can keep this form.
Penalties: Or the lack of. The San Jose Sharks have the 3rd best power play in the NHL this year, and the Hawks are 18th in penalty kill. That sounds like a recipe for disaster, but the Hawks played it smart and took only 2 penalties all game.
Jonathan Toews: Mr. Serious scored his 30th goal of the season tonight, by virtue of fighting for position in front of the net and having the puck hit deflect off his skate and into the net. Not one for the highlight reel, but it counts just the same. Toews also sewed up the win by going 5-hole on Nabokov in the shootout.
Marty Havlat: Marvelous Marty scored another goal tonight, and was a big reason his line was able to generate so much offense. He also had another amazing sequence in which he did two full circles of the offensive zone before letting go a shot from the point.
Nikolai Khabibulin: Khabi didn't look particularly sharp during this game. Granted, two of the Sharks' goals came off fluky deflections, but is there some kind of rule that says Khabi can't stop a one-on-one breakaway during regulation?
Duncan Keith's pass back to his defensive partner Brent Seabrook wasn't particularly ugly in and of itself, but when you factor in that Seabrook had broken his stick 25 seconds before that and couldn't handle the puck, the result could have been a disaster. Luckily, the Sharks were on a change, so Keith was able to turn on the jets and receive his own pass, 75 feet from where he made it.
Next up: New Jersey visits the UC on Friday, followed by a HUGE HOCKEENIGHT matchup with the Canucks on Sunday.