Blackhawks find “antidote” against Antti Niemi

The Blackhawks were in need of a win to help boost their playoff standings. They had to get past ex-teammate Antti Niemi who they were win-less against since he left for the Sharks. Not only did they get a big win but put so much hurt on San Jose in the second Niemi was pulled letting in four goals on 18 shots faced.

The Hawks started the game off looking like it might be another tough loss, but ended up showing how they brought home a Stanley Cup.  San Jose took advantage of an early power play opportunity getting a slap shot past Corey Crawford to start the game with the lead.

Chicago came back with a goal from Viktor Stalberg shooting a wrister past old team member Niemi.  But the Sharks ended the first with the lead 2-1 getting a score from veteran leader Joe Thorton.

Coach Quenneville and the Blackhawks made some great adjustments in the second period trying to get back in the game.  They didn’t get back into the game, they took it over.

Marian Hossa started the barrage converting two power plays into goals within three minutes of each other.  Chicago didn’t let up with a one score lead, they went on to extend it to three.  Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson all contributed to the shelling of Sharks goalie Anti Niemi.

“The five goals really put us in front,” Kane said. “There were a lot of really nice plays. I thought we bounced back pretty good.”  San Jose did find the back of the net getting one goal from Logan Couture before the end of the second making it 6-3.

Neither team gave up in the third but did not convert any shots into goals.  With the win over the Sharks the Hawks move up to the fourth seed in the playoff standings.  “Even when you’re in fourth place, it’s not like you’ve got a lot of room to feel like you accomplished a lot,”Quenneville said. “Every day, you’ve still got to be looking to move ahead and not looking in the rear-view mirror.”

The Hawks will have off Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare for a game against the Stars in Dallas on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast.  With only twelve games left the Hawks need to win the majority of their games to help improve their playoff position.