CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
The Chicago Blackhawks captured two points with a 5-2 win over Dallas Monday night and increased their point total to 70, an NHL high. It was the Hawks sixth consecutive victory as Dallas lost for the first time in six games.
The Hawks let the Stars back in the contest when they evened the score at two, early in the third frame. The Stars hope for an upset was quickly dashed with an Andrew Shaw goal 1:24 later. For the most part, Dallas didn’t look like a playoff club and took some careless penalties. Maybe more credit should be given to the Blackhawks who are making most teams look bad lately.
The one sore point is the Chicago power play which hasn’t been generating enough scoring chances and went 0-4 on Monday night. Fortunately the penalty killing unit has been on fire with a 26 out of 27 success rate. The penalty killing unit ranks fifth in the NHL and has been very solid for the entire season. That along with fine overall team defense has made up for the shoddy power play. Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa have been extra good, actually most everything is going well except for the power play.
Joel Quenneville is trying many different combinations and setups to get the power play to click but nothing has worked. Despite being loaded with scoring talent, even without the injured Patrick Sharp, the Blackhawks power play ranks 21st in the NHL.
Many times close games boil down to special teams, and Quenneville will be hoping power play woes won’t cause a playoff series loss. The Hawks are playing so well in other areas, they may be able to make a long playoff run despite a poor power play. There is another factor that may come into play in the postseason if the power play stays powerless.
Teams will be looking to play as rough as possible when facing the Blackhawks. Many times, more physical play is tolerated by referees during the postseason. To take it one step further, probably no other sports tweaks their rules during the playoffs more than the NHL.
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