Hawks give Quenneville total team effort in win over Panthers
ADAM L. JAHNS ON THE BLACKHAWKS March 23, 2011 10:30PM
BLACKHAWKS 4, PANTHERS 0
Florida 0 0 0 — 0
BLACKHAWKS 0 1 3 — 4
First Period—None. Penalties—Weaver, Fla (hooking), :48; Hossa, HAWKS (holding stick), 15:06.
Second Period—1, HAWKS, Seabrook 5 (Keith, Toews), 14:41 (pp). Penalties—Skille, Fla (tripping), 1:02; Kulikov, Fla (tripping), 7:40; Florida bench, served by Bergfors (too many men), 14:09.
Third Period—2, HAWKS, Stalberg 12 (Toews, Kane), :46. 3, HAWKS, Kane 25 (Keith, Seabrook), 12:04. 4, HAWKS, Kopecky 14 (Frolik, Hossa), 17:05. Penalties—Kruger, HAWKS (holding), 18:42.
Shots on Goal—Florida 8-5-10—23. HAWKS 12-12-7—31. Power-play opportunities—Florida 0 of 2; HAWKS 1 of 4.
Goalies—Florida, Vokoun 21-27-5 (31 shots-27 saves). HAWKS, Crawford 29-14-5 (23-23).
Referees—Tom Kowal, Steve Kozari. Linesmen—Ryan Galloway, Brad Kovachik.
A—21,713 (19,717). T—2:24.
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Brent Seabrook was positioned in the left circle on the first power-play unit, waiting to one-time a pass straight at Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun.
It was the previous home of Patrick Sharp, a spot from which he fired away with the man advantage and a spot that helped him become the Hawks’ leading goal-scorer.
But with Sharp out with a knee injury, it was one of his many jobs the Hawks had to fill.
On Wednesday, Seabrook and Viktor Stalberg did what was needed in those spots to help spark a 4-0 victory against the Panthers at the United Center.
Seabrook one-timed a power-play goal past Vokoun late in the second period to break a scoreless tie, and Stalberg made it a two-goal lead by converting a nice pass from Jonathan Toews 46 seconds into the third.
Patrick Kane and Tomas Kopecky also scored, and Toews and Duncan Keith each finished with two assists for the Hawks, who jumped back into fifth place in the West.
‘‘We need to have contributions every night from different guys,’’ said Seabrook, who also had an assist. ‘‘When guys go out with injuries or whatever, we’ve all got to step up and pull a little more.’’
With Sharp and Dave Bolland (concussion) out, coach Joel Quenneville stressed all week that he wanted a check-first approach, much like the style of play the Hawks used when they were without the services of Marian Hossa and Kane in December.
And Quenneville got that defensive effort against the Panthers. Until the Hawks pulled away in the third period, it was another tight game, much like their victory Sunday against the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Hawks, who got defenseman Brian Campbell back from his left foot injury, controlled most of the tempo. That was especially true in the second period, when the Panthers mustered only two shots in the first 15 minutes and five overall.
‘‘We don’t have to be fancy,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘We don’t have to be over-creative. . . . Let’s be smart, and let’s be hard to play against.’’
Goalie Corey Crawford bolstered his Calder Trophy chances by winning his 29th game and earned his fourth shutout with a 23-save effort.
‘‘We didn’t try to force anything against a team that is pretty much looking for that,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘We played a tight game. We were waiting for them to push the offense, and then we capitalized on that.’’
Vokoun finished with 27 saves. He kept the game tight for the Panthers for the first 40 minutes, but the Hawks broke the game open when Stalberg, Kane and Kopecky scored in the third.
‘‘We wanted to play our game, play hard and just stick to the system,’’ Seabrook said. ‘‘If the puck’s not going in, you can’t change it. You’ve got to keep going the same way.’’
The Hawks fielded a new-look lineup because of their injuries up front. Marcus Kruger, who officially was recalled from Sweden before the game, centered the third line with Bryan Bickell and Troy Brou-wer. Stalberg was a factor with Toews and Kane on the top line, and center Jake Dowell was bumped to wing on the fourth line.
‘‘We’ve proven we can do it without some of our main guys,’’ general manager Stan Bowman said. ‘‘The reality is, you have no choice but to. The other teams aren’t going to give you a break just because you have some guys out of the lineup. We’ve got to find a way, and I’m very confident in our group.’’