Patrick Kane, Blackhawks extend streak to 22, admit this is ‘amazing’
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org March 3, 2013 1:58PM
red wings 1 (so)
Blackhawks 0 0 1 0 — 2
Detroit 0 0 1 0 — 1
Blackhawks won shootout 1-0
First Period—None. Penalties—Br.Smith, Det (interference), 3:15; Abdelkader, Det (interference), 8:49.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Carcillo, HAWKS (hooking), 14:27.
Third Period—1, Detroit, Tatar 4 (Andersson, Eaves), 2:43. 2, HAWKS, Kane 11 (Stalberg), 17:58 (pp). Penalties—Hjalmarsson, HAWKS (tripping), 4:10; Ericsson, Det (delay of game), 17:35; Kronwall, Det (delay of game), 18:37.
Shootout—HAWKS 1 (Toews NG, Kane G), Detroit 0 (Datsyuk NG, Brunner NG, Zetterberg NG).
Shots on Goal—HAWKS 9-12-9-3—33. Detroit 3-15-13-2—33.
Power-play opportunities—HAWKS 1 of 4; Detroit 0 of 2.
Goalies—HAWKS, Crawford 10-0-3 (33 shots-32 saves). Detroit, Howard 8-7-3 (33-32).
Referees—Wes McCauley, Mike Hasenfratz. Linesmen—Andy McElman, Derek Amell. A—20,066 (20,066). T—2:35.
Updated: March 4, 2013 12:49PM
DETROIT — After Corey Crawford’s umpteenth robbery of the game, with 100 seconds left in overtime in an incredibly tense, wildly entertaining game between two Original Six rivals, his latest victim, the Red Wings’ Johan Franzen, casually leaned over the back of the net and struck up an amiable conversation with the Blackhawks goaltender.
“Nothing much,” Crawford said of the chat. “Just a little talk there.”
There certainly was plenty to talk about. The Hawks continue to be the talk of the league, if not the sporting world.
The come-from-behind, 2-1 shootout victory over the Red Wings — which had a playoff-like atmosphere and a national-TV audience — pushed the Hawks’ NHL-record season-opening points streak to a mind-boggling 22 games. At 19-0-3, the Hawks are two games away from the halfway point of the lockout-shortened season, and they’ve yet to lose during actual hockey action. All three of their “losses” have come in shootouts.
After pulling out one of the more improbable victories of the streak Sunday, it seems the Hawks finally are catching up to the rest of the hockey world. After weeks of downplaying the streak, the wow factor seems to have permeated the Hawks’ dressing room.
“Just amazing what’s going on,” said Patrick Kane, who tied the game with a power-play goal with 2:02 left in the third period and scored the lone shootout goal to win it. “We still haven’t played our best 60 minutes, so I think that’s pretty fun, too, knowing we have that ahead of us. But it’s been a fun ride, and it’s not over yet. We want to keep continuing to win.”
The emotions of the game and the significance of the streak were evident in the celebration after Kane’s power-play goal. It was set up by Viktor Stalberg’s extra effort to sweep a backhand pass from the low slot to Kane in the corner, just as Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey was trying to clear it. Nobody wanted the streak to end, not after the superhuman effort Crawford had in goal, not in Marian Hossa’s 1,000th game, not in Detroit, of all places.
“The whole bench had a little louder cheer than normal when that one went in,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Even Quenneville gushed about the streak — at least by his standards.
“I don’t think we’re satisfied about what we’ve accomplished so far, but we’re definitely excited about where we’re at,” he said.
The Hawks are 12-0-3 in one-goal games, and they’ve won nine in a row overall, seven coming by one goal.
This might have been the most adversity the Hawks have overcome. They dominated play for the first half of the game and held an 18-5 edge in shots midway through the second period. But by the time Tomas Tatar finally beat Crawford 2:43 into the third, the Wings had taken control and had taken the lead in shots with a steady barrage of golden scoring chances. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (32 saves) was matching Crawford (32 saves) spectacular save for spectacular save.
It was the first time the Hawks spent a significant amount of time trailing in the third period. Once again, they responded, aided by a fortunate break. Jonathan Ericsson fired the puck into the stands, setting up what proved to be the game-tying — and streak-extending — power play.
“What a hockey game,” Quenneville said. “Give the guys a lot of credit for the resiliency and perseverance. It was an amazing game.”
And an amazing start to the season. Even the Hawks have to admit that at this point.
“We have a great thing going on here,” Hossa said. “It seems like we just find a way to win hockey games.”