Hawks tweaking penalty kill going into Game 3
BY BEN MEYER-ABBOTT firstname.lastname@example.org April 16, 2012 7:40PM
Updated: May 18, 2012 9:53AM
The penalty kill has been a problem for the Hawks all season.
But even after conceding two power-play goals on four opportunities in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Coyotes, they aren’t looking to make major changes.
‘‘Any time you give up two goals on the penalty kill, you’re not going to be happy,’’ penalty killer Jamal Mayers said after practice Monday. ‘‘But we’re not going to overreact. . . . It’s not like we’re getting seamed back-door for empty-netters. We just need to make a few adjustments.’’
Coach Joel Quenneville said he specifically would like to see his players close down the Coyotes on outside shots and box out on traffic in front of goalie Corey Crawford.
‘‘They’re pretty quick and shifty at the blue line to get shots through,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘We’ve got to focus on that, on staying in front of it. We’ve done a great job of getting in front of those guys, [ Oliver Ekman-Larsson ] and [Keith] Yandle, who are so quick at faking and going the other way.’’
The Hawks allowed two goals on the Coyotes’ six power-play opportunities in the first two games of the series. They had the fourth-worst penalty kill (77.7 percent) during the regular season.
Bollig having a blast
After not scoring in 18 regular-season games after his call-up in late February, fourth-line forward Brandon Bollig got his first NHL goal on a deceptively heavy slap shot in Game 2 against the Coyotes.
‘‘It didn’t happen in the regular season, and the fact it did happen here in the playoffs and the time that it did to tie the game up [in the second period] was an amazing feeling,’’ Bollig said. ‘‘They got the puck for me. They’re going to put together a nice plaque.’’
Forwards Martin Hanzal and Lauri Korpikoski and goalie Mike Smith missed practice Monday at the Coyotes’ practice facility in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Asked for updates on all three, coach Dave Tippett told reporters he wasn’t talking about injuries.
‘‘Our health is just fine,’’ Tippett said. ‘‘We have everybody under evaluation, and that’s where we’re at. That’s not a concern of ours.’’
The Hawks recalled forwards Jeremy Morin and Brandon Pirri, defensemen Joe Lavin and Ryan Stanton and goalie Carter Hutton from Rockford.
They also recalled forward Brandon Saad from the Ontario Hockey League.