Share “Blackhawks cool off Ducks with 4-2 victory”

Blackhawks cool off Ducks with 4-2 victory

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 17, 2014 at 11:22 pm •  Published: January 17, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks knew their Friday night game with the Anaheim Ducks was a marquee matchup, and they came out ready.

Marian Hossa scored two goals, and Kris Versteeg and Bryan Bickell also tallied to lead Chicago past Anaheim 4-2 to end the Ducks' eight-game winning streak and hand them only their second loss in the past 20 games.

Despite scuffling along at 1-1-3 in its past five games, defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago entered the game with the NHL's second-best point total.

And through most of the showdown against league-leading Anaheim, the Blackhawks were a step quicker and more determined physically.

"We knew we'd be facing the hottest team in the league," Hossa said. "We knew we had to stop them somehow.

"We got scored on the last few minutes, but we still got the two points, which is important."

With Chicago cruising 3-0, Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf scored on a wrist shot to cap an odd-man break with 6:13 left in the third to end Corey Crawford's shutout bid.

Then Kyle Palmieri connected on a 40-foot shot 53 seconds later to make it close before Hossa scored into an empty net with 7.6 seconds left.

Crawford made 19 saves to help the Blackhawks end a five-game losing streak against Anaheim — including three straight in Chicago — and beat the Ducks for the first time since December 2011.

And Chicago made its statement.

"Everybody comes into this building and playing us as the defending Stanley Cup champion, everybody's got their game high," Hossa said. "Now we're playing the team in first, and everybody in the dressing room can feel the intensity.

"Everybody prepared really well. We always have trouble playing this team. That's why the win is big."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville liked what he saw for most of the game.

"We had a good purpose, it seemed, every shift," Quenneville said. "All of a sudden it's 3-2 and anything can happen at the end.

"But we got out of this one, but for the most part, the other 54 minutes, we played the right way."

Anaheim's run of 18 wins in 19 games began with a 3-2 shootout victory at Chicago on Dec. 6. It was the longest span of one-loss play since the 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens won a record 20 of 21.

"I think we were ready, but we were really tentative," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We were sitting around and watching them as though we were watching the Stanley Cup champions rather than playing.

"Maybe with all the pressure we've gotten in the last two days, some guys maybe weren't ready for this," he added. "It's a learning experience. To be on top there's a commitment you have to make or you don't stay they very long."

Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller was sharp and made 31 saves, but his 14-game winning streak ended. That run tied him for second-longest in NHL history with four other goalies.

Hiller hadn't lost since a shootout defeat to Los Angeles on Dec. 3.

Continue reading this story on the...