Blackhawks Stay Hot in February

The Chicago Blackhawks continued their hot streak on Sunday with a 4-2 win over the visiting St. Louis Blues. The Hawks are 9-1-0 in their last 10 days, with their lone lose to Edmonton as they came off the mandatory bye. Scott Darling got the win, filling in for Corey Crawford who was ill.

Jonathan Toews remained hot scoring just four minutes into the game, his 16 of the year. Patrick Kane tallied a power play goal in the first to give the Hawks an early 2-0 lead. Magnus Paajarvi, of the Blues, cut the lead in half in the closing minutes of the period for his fourth of the season.

In the second period Alex Pietrangelo scored on the power play to tie it up. It remained that way until late in the third when Artem Anisimov scored the game winner. It was his 22nd on the year and his seventh game winner, which leads the team. Tanner Kero got the insurance, empty net goal, with just three seconds on the clock to seal the victory. Kero’s goal was set up with a great block by forward Ryan Hartman, whose role continues to grow as the season goes on.

With the win Chicago is just one point behind the division leading Minnesota Wild with 20 games left to play. However Minnesota has played three fewer games so they would seemingly have the edge still.

Besides Crawford, Niklas Hjlmarsson also missed the game. Hjlmarsson left Thursday night’s game against Arizona with an upper-body injury and is day to day. Kane was the #1 star of the game with a goal and assist on the game winner, Toews was the #2 star with his goal and an assist on Kane’s goal and Darling was the third star with 30 saves.

The Hawks next take the ice on Wednesday vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The New Guy…… Tomas Jurco made his Hawks debut after being acquired from the Detroit RedWings on Friday. Jurco played 12:44 and started the games with Marcus Kruger and Marian Hossa on the third line. He had two shots on goal and one hit.

Wheeling & Dealing…….. On Sunday the LA Kings, who are chasing the Blues for the eighth seed acquired goalie Ben Bishop from Tampa Bay. The trade is interesting since Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick just returned from an injury on Saturday, that has cost him all but one game this season.

The team the Hawks are chasing, the Wild, also made a move on Sunday. They acquired center Martin Hanzel from Arizona in exchange for several draft picks. You have to think this move is an effort to counter-act Toews who has eights points in his last two games against the Wild.

Great to hear….. Bryan Bickell has returned to action for the first time since his MS diagnose He played 10 minutes for the Carolina Hurricanes AHL affiliate. The former Hawk, tallied an assist in the game. Hopefully we will see him skating again in the NHL before too long.



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