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Hawks get off to flying start against Ducks

Updated: February 19, 2014 9:51AM



The last couple of weeks, the Blackhawks have shown a knack for bouncing back from slow starts. But it’s even better to not have them.

For the first time since the calendar turned, the Hawks came out of the gate red-hot and on the offensive Friday night against the Ducks. Five minutes into the game, the Hawks outshot the Ducks 6-0. Halfway through the first period, Marian Hossa’s short-handed tally gave them their first 1-0 lead since Jan. 3 in New Jersey.

The Hawks had given up the first goal in their previous five games and had only one first-period goal in the first seven games of 2014. Three times, the Hawks fell behind 2-0. That they earned at least a point in six of those seven games is impressive, but it’s obviously not how they’d prefer to play.

“That’s something that we have to find a way to do,” Niklas Hjalmarsson said of starting faster. “It seems like we’re always waking up in the second or third.”

It has only been a recent trend.

“For the first part of the year, it seemed like we had good starts,” coach Joel Quenneville said before the game. “[But] I don’t recall being up for almost the first half of any game over the last six or seven.’’

Up until their recent funk, the Hawks had scored first in 27 of 42 games and were 22-0-5 in those games.

Patrick Sharp said “it’s not the end of the world” if the other guys score first. The Hawks can bounce back. They’d just rather not have to do so.

Contributing: Seth Gruen

Email: mlazerus@suntimes.com

Twitter: @marklazerus



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