Blackhawks Tie League Record, Rivalry Night in Pittsburgh

By Debbie B.

On Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks (13-0-3) tied an NHL record for at least a point in the first 16 games of their season with a 4-3 SO win over the Vancouver Canucks (8-3-4). They join the 2006-2007 Anhaheim Ducks for this distinction but it came at price as the team’s forward Marian Hossa went down after a controversial hit by the Cancucks’ Jannick Hansen.

A hearing by the league has been scheduled to review it on Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, there’s a battle going on in Pennsylvania with the Pittsburgh Penguins (11-5-0) hosting the Philadelphia Flyers (7-9-1). This heated rivalry will have the Flyers trying to avenge their 3-1 season-opening loss.

Chicago defeats Vancouver 4-3 SO

Blackhawks Forward Marian Hossa

The Blackhawks continued their win streak but they got off to a slow start against the Canucks on Tuesday. The visiting team jumped on the board first with a first period goal but in the second period,  Chicago had warmed up and took a 3-1 lead by the break.

Two of the period’s scores came from Hossa (one from Patrick Sharp) who went down at the top of the third period after a hit by Hansen as he went for a puck.

The forward laid flat on the ice for a few moments but got up and hit the bench while Hansen entered the penalty box.

Blackhawks coach Joe Queeneville said more will be known later but on Tuesday evening he said of Hossa via ESPN, “It was a major concern, so hopefully he is OK. I think everybody saw it. Everybody can have their own opinion. So we’ll let the people who do that stuff do their job.”

As for the rest of the game, the Canucks stormed back in the third period to tie it up but thanks to Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw scores in the tiebreaker, the Blackhawks won again.

Through their 16 games, Chicago is No. 2 in the league for goals per game (3.93) and goals allowed per game (1.94). They have a +21 goal differential and five of its players have 10 points or higher: Kane (22), Jonathan Toews (15), Hossa (14), Sharp (14) and Duncan Keith (10).

And all of this has come in six home games.

The Blackhawks next game is on Friday against the San Jose Sharks. They have 13 to 5 odds to see their first regulation loss with this game.

Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia

Penguins Center Sidney Crosby

Playing on the road has been a challenge in this short season for Philadelphia as they’ve lost three of these four games to begin the season. This prompted captain Claude Giroux to incite some change for the team.

He immediately took matters in his own hands on Monday in its 7-0 win against the New York Islanders. He scored right away and later added a second one.

Teammates Danny Briere and Matt Read both added three points each with Jakub Voracek having a career-high four points (assists).

For Pittsburgh, they are off to a better start and sit tied with the New Jersey Devils for the Atlantic Division lead. On Sunday, the Penguins scored for an eighth straight game, at least one power-play goal; they have won three consecutive games.

With the return of center Sidney Crosby, he has been the difference maker for the team. He’s had seven points in these three wins (including an assist for Paul Martin’s late winning score). From his 24 points, Crosby is No. 2 behind Buffalo Sabre’s Thomas Vanek.

But he doesn’t always play well against Philadelphia.

Over 57 career games (postseason too), he’s scored 89 points but for this series, he has zero scores and a minus-4 rating from the last three games.

In his last overall seven starts, Marc-Andre Fleury is 6-1-0 (2.01 goals-against average) but didn’t do well in the playoffs against Philadelphia. However in last month’s game , he did stop 26 for 27 shots.

Looks for Philadelphia’s road woes to continue with a Pittsburgh win on Wednesday (-170, 5.5 o/u).