Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hawks Exorcise the Demons, Beat Devils 3-2

Even though the Devils gave the Blackhawks a million chances to win the game on Friday night at the United Center, it wasn't until Brent Seabrook hit a slap shot passed Martin Brodeur in overtime that the Madhouse on Madison could finally explode with joy.

Seabrook's goal in overtime gave him a Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, assist, and a fight in the same game), and Martin Havlat and Kris Versteeg also notched goals to back up Nikolai Khabibulin's 28 saves in the 3-2 win.

Chicago ended a 12-game winless streak against New Jersey by winning the game. Since beating the Devils 5-2 at the United Center on Oct. 10, 1998, Chicago had eight regulation losses, two shootout losses and two ties against New Jersey.

The victory also kept Chicago in fourth place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Vancouver.

"It was huge," Seabrook said. "We needed these points. Vancouver is looking at it the same way."

Vancouver, who notched a 4-1 victory on Friday night, will visit the United Center on Sunday night in a tilt that could either give the Blackhawks a nice four-point and game in hand cushion, or give the Hawks, merely a game in hand and tie the two teams in points.

I'll have a full practice report tomorrow afternoon, and I will also have a game recap on Sunday that will be a little better than usual, because I'll be attending the clash at the UC with the huge playoff implications.

Random Musings:

-Dan Aykroyd dropped the ceremonial first puck, and looked like he would rather be virtually anywhere else other than on United Center ice. Reminds me of a guy who is merely shilling a product, or who is tired of the spotlight. I could see either being the case with Elwood.

-The Devils committed a ton of first period penalties, and it's a shame that only one of those resulted in a Blackhawks goal. Yes, we won in the end, but it would have been nice to build an early 3-1 or 4-1 lead.

-It bothers me that Brian Campbell, who hasn't scored a goal in 35 games, is getting paid $1 million per goal this season. For a guy who is supposed to be a power play catalyst, he certainly seems like a pair of cement shoes rather than a nice pair of Pumas.

-Dustin Byfuglien needs to be locked in a steel cage anytime the Hawks are on the power play. His lack of puckhandling ability is even more painful than Campbell trying a spin move that looks more like a rickety washer than a tornado of scoring. I'll be glad when Walker and Eager come back and this clown can ride the pine.

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