Blackhawks’ usual characters step up in win over Blues
By Adam L. Jahns firstname.lastname@example.org December 3, 2011 11:28PM
Marian Hossa celebrates his short-handed goal in the second period against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. | Dilip Vishwanat~Getty Images
Updated: January 5, 2012 8:35AM
ST. LOUIS — Goalie Ray Emery called the Blackhawks’ performance against the St. Louis Blues a “big character game.” And it’s a good description because the Hawks showed a lot of it in their 5-2 victory.
“It’s the second game in two nights, a big game at home and then coming on the road in a tough building to play in, a tough team to play against that plays that disciplined grinding style of hockey and physical,” Emery said. “Our big players really stepped up and played that tough gritty game that’s tough to play sometimes.”
All the Hawks’ stars got into the mix. Marian Hossa scored twice, including a key short-handed goal, and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp each had a goal and an assist. Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith finished with two assists apiece.
The Hawks gave Brian Elliott, who didn’t allow more than two goals in his first 11 starts, all he could handle. They converted twice on the power play, while their maligned penalty-kill units stopped the Blues four times. Emery stopped 23 of 25 shots.
“We played a solid road game,” Hossa said. “Everybody chipped in. But I think the special teams were key tonight.”
There were still defensive mistakes to correct, such as the one that opened the door for David Perron’s dramatic goal 6:21 into the first period. Perron played for the first time since missing 97 consecutive games with a concussion. But overall, the Hawks were sound against the Blues, who have been on a tear since coach Ken Hitchcock took over.
“We got contributions from everybody,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Everybody fulfilled their role, and their job expectations were met.”
Hossa’s short-handed goal in the second period completely shifted the momentum. After that, Sharp and Hossa scored on the power play, and they killed off two third-period penalties. Michael Frolik added an empty-net goal for the Hawks, who overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1.
“We played a real strong game,” Quenneville said. “Right from the outset, it was competitive.”