ESCAPING THE STAR PITS: Blackhawks 3, Stars 2 (OT)

I had to start over on this recap, because as of the second period this really felt like a night in which the Hawks were snakebitten.  Kari Lehtonen was turning back everything the Hawks threw at him; after 2 periods the Hawks shots-on-goal advantage was roughly 378 to 4.  Then, with just over 4 minutes left in the 2nd and the Hawks on the power play, Trevor Daley helped the Hawks creep back into the game by redirecting a Patrick Sharp pass into his own net. Even after that, the game felt horribly frustrating, with tons of great chances for the Hawks, until Toews managed to slam a wrister home with 5:53 left in the 3rd, on another power play.  That knotted things up until the game winner, which also came on the power play.  So, despite the handwringing, the power play was responsible for all the goals for the Hawks tonight, 3-for-7 for the game.  This was a great come-from-behind win for the Hawks.  Let's get to the judging:

THE GOOD: Patrick Kane. He was all over the ice tonight.  Great passing and fantastic stickhandling, and 2 assists on the night.

Duncan Keith.  He made a bunch of great plays, and basically saved the game at the end of the 2nd period, when the puck squirted out behind Crawford and was on its way into the goal.  Keith had the presence of mind to stop the puck as time expired.  Game.  Changer.

Patrick Sharp.  He also had 2 assists tonight, and every time I found myself saying "WHAT PUCK MOVEMENT!" he was on the ice and in the play.

Kari Lehtonen.  He was incredible tonight, absorbing what felt like hundreds of Chicago shots.  All three Chicago goals were on the power play, and the first was very, very flukey, an own-goal by Daley.

THE BAD: Bryan Bickell.  A beautiful wrist shot is great, but when it is consistently fired from 30 feet out and always at least 2 feet wide, it's not so good.

Michael Rozsival. He gave up a poor turnover that led to Dallas's second goal, and generally seemed a bit slower tonight than he was in the last couple of games.  Pick it up, son.

THE UGLY: The Dallas Stars.  They are old. Nice mullet, Jag-r.  As it turns out, Jagr left the game in the 3rd and he is being evaluated.  Shockingly, a 40-year-old player got hurt.

Bottom line: this Hawks team is damn fun to watch, even when they're down.  The Stars, despite their advanced ages, showed some explosiveness but in the end the Hawks were just too much for them. 

Final note: during the game it was announced that the Stars and Jamie Benn agreed to a 5-year extension, adding some more talent and youth to their roster.  I'm guessing when the Stars come to the UC in March we're in for another close game.

Next up: The Hawks head to Brolumbus to take on the BJs.  Something something suck something.


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