Blackhawks get scoring, punch from fourth line in win over Ducks
By Adam L. Janhs email@example.com December 16, 2011 11:16PM
Ducks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank slips in front of Michael Frolik on Friday. | Jonathan Daniel~Getty Images
Updated: January 18, 2012 8:12AM
John Scott held up for a split second. Anaheim Ducks defense-man Sheldon Brookbank had stumbled and was defenseless. But when Brookbank regained his footing, Scott continued the pummeling.
Scott’s fight was just one of the highlights Friday in an eventful and productive game for the fourth line in the Blackhawks’ 4-1 victory at the United Center.
Jamal Mayers, who got into a late scrap with Matt Beleskey, scored the first goal with Andrew Brunette and Scott assisting. The Hawks’ stars also chipped in: Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa each had a goal and an assist.
It was the Hawks’ 20th win, their fourth in a row and eighth in the last 10 games. The Hawks pulled even with the Minnesota Wild for the most points in the league at 44.
“The team has been rolling,” said Scott, who was one of the three stars of the game for first time in his career. “We finished them off in three periods. It’s good. I usually don’t get any points or many points. It’s good to help out the team.”
Goalie Ray Emery lost his shutout when Teemu Selanne scored with 1:37 left after a turnover. Emery wasn’t thoroughly tested, but he turned away 24 of 25 shots against the Ducks, whom he backstopped to the playoffs last season.
Emery also assisted on Dave Bolland’s power-play goal in the second period. It was the fourth assist of his NHL career and his first since the 2009-10 season.
“Ray’s very solid; he looks composed,” coach Joel Quenne-ville said. “He’s fighting through screens and finding pucks, and [there’s] not a lot of loose stuff around him.”
But the fourth line really stole the show, bringing the United Center crowd to its feet early and often.
Mayers scored 6:37 into the first period, banging the puck off goalie Jonas Hiller (21 saves) after a nice play by Brunette along the boards. Scott picked up his first point of the season on the play.
“We might not even be secondary [scoring]; we might be third-tier,” said Mayers, who landed a hard check on defenseman Cam Fowler before fighting Beleskey. “If we can chip in now and again, it can certainly be a boost for our team. It’s not necessarily our job, but it feels good when you score.”
Scott gave the entire United Center a boost in the second period when Brookbank became his first willing opponent of the season.
“That was a relief. I kind of got the monkey off my back,” said Scott, who knowingly honored “the code” when Brookbank was vulnerable. “It was fun. I was a little tired, so I didn’t really do too much damage.”
With an assist and a fight, Scott had the Gordie Howe hat trick in mind.
“I almost had a breakaway pass, but it was a little ahead of me,” said Scott, who was awarded the Hawks’ championship belt for his effort.
“I was definitely thinking about it after the second period. But I can’t get greedy. One assist is enough for me.”