Hawks rebound nicely with road win over Wild
BY ADAM L. JAHNS email@example.com
Hawks goalie Marty Turco deflects a shot in the first period.
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- It was a good response from a team decimated by injuries after a horrid loss to a lesser opponent.
The Blackhawks went out and earned what players and coaches like to call ''a good road win'' Saturday against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.
Troy Brouwer and Duncan Keith each had a goal and an assist, and Marty Turco bounced back from being yanked after the first period Friday against the Edmonton Oilers to make 25 saves in the Hawks' 3-1 victory.
''It was a great response,'' coach Joel Quenneville said. ''It was very businesslike. There was a real purpose to our game tonight. We got contributions from everybody, and we were hard to play against. You usually get rewarded when you do that.''
The victory didn't come without some lapses. But it was much better than what transpired in the Hawks' 7-4 home loss Friday to the Edmonton Oilers.
Quenneville has been talking about using a check-first approach to spark the Hawks' inconsistent puck-possession game all season. It was better Saturday, as the Hawks limited the Wild's chances and outshot them 32-26.
''We checked well,'' Quenneville said. ''We had a lot of puck-possession time in the offensive zone. There was a purpose when we did have the puck, and we supported the puck well. We had cleaner exits out of our own zone.''
Contributions such as Brouwer's multipoint night are what the Hawks will need with Dave Bolland and Marian Hossa out with undisclosed upper-body injuries and defenseman Brian Campbell still recovering from a sprained right knee. It was his first goal of the season.
''It wasn't so much a little monkey, it was a big gorilla on my back,'' said Brouwer, who started on the fourth line but was elevated to the first with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews after a big hit in the first period. ''I'm considered somewhat of a goal-scorer, and I have to do that to be successful in this league.''
Niklas Backstrom (29 saves) made goals hard to come by early on, but Brouwer broke through with 30.2 seconds left in the second period. Keith, who has seven points in the last three games, then scored his first goal of the season 3:26 into the third.
The Wild pulled to 2-1 on Marek Zidlicky's goal with 5:54 left, but Jake Dowell sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 35.3 seconds left. It was Dowell's third goal in as many games.
Turco, meanwhile, rebounded after allowing four goals on 12 first-period shots Friday. He said teams can rally when short key players such as Hossa, Bolland and Campbell.
''Sometimes it helps not having a full lineup in there, knowing you have to be more of a team,'' Turco said. ''Everyone has an important role. ... Everyone was solid.''
Quenneville liked what he saw.
''The approach was excellent right from the morning meeting to before the game, on the bench, on the ice,'' he said. ''There was lots of talk, lots of enthusiasm. Maybe that underdog spirit or that underdog look ... sometimes you can overcome a lot when you really dig in and have a purpose.''