Once again, the Blackhawks defenders had quite an impact on tonight’s game. Chicago came out strong with two goals including Joakim Nordstrom getting his first NHL goal with the assist from a fellow Swed, Niklas Hjalmarsson. Toews had the second goal with the assists coming from Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Keith had a strong night offensively, although not scoring any goals he had two assists and the first two goals were the result of a second chance opportunity from his shots on net.
Unfortunately at the end of the first, the Islanders had two quick goals, one coming from Josh Bailey during a delayed penalty and less than a minute later with about five seconds left in the period Kyle Okposo tied it up on the power play. Giving up back to back goals is dangerously close to becoming a trend for the Blackhawks.
Luckily it didn’t seem to phase the Hawks too much coming into the second period. They came out focused and Handzus scored the go-ahead goal with a strong wrist shot on net about six and a half minutes in with assists from Keith and Ben Smith. The game ended with strong shots on goal from both sides, especially in the last minute when the Islanders pulled their goalie to add the extra man on offense, however with a little bit of luck and some strong defensive plays on Chicago’s end, New York was unable to capitalize and the Hawks secured the victory.
Chicago doesn’t have much time to rest and reflect on this game considering they will be right back on home ice Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo will be looking for their first win of the season and will likely come out strong since they have nothing to lose. They are hungry for a win and will be aggressive and focused. Ryan Miller should be the opposing goaltender and is a pillar for the Sabres team.
The rest of October will be tough for the Hawks playing every game either back to back or with only one day off in between. Hopefully fatigue will not become an issue and the Hawks continue to find success and opportunities to improve upon their weaknesses in all aspects of their game.