Adam Burish got things started early for the Blackhawks and Chicago managed to hold off the Ducks for a 3-2 win. The victory comes in the first game back from the all-star break and the opener of an eight game road trip.
After losing three of four going into the break, the Hawks really needed a good start going into the second half. A major difference in this one was the presence of Duncan Keith. Keith didn't play his best game; he was out of position and took some unnecessary risks on some plays that I saw, but he made a beautiful play on the game winning goal.
It was a 2-1 Hawks lead in the second when Keith took a penalty. As he came out of the box, the Hawks were just breaking out after a huge save by Khabibulin and Patrick Sharp fired a cross ice pass to Keith who looked to be in great position for a shot. The Ducks' goaltender Jonas Hiller thought the shot was coming, but Keith dropped it to Toews for the one-timer and the captain connected.
The Ducks added a shorthanded goal late in the second to make it 3-2, but Khabibulin was too much in the third period. Actually, he was fantasic the entire game, stopping 36 shots. Anaheim actually carried the play most of the time with big hits and 11 more shots than Chicago. However, Burish, Kane, and Toews buried their chances and Bulin did the rest.
I know I have said this before, but this was the goalie the Hawks thought they were getting a few years ago. Sure, there wasn't much defense in front of him back then, but last night, unlike a few years ago, Khabibulin was able to carry his team to a big win. The road trip, which will be the longest for an NHL team this year, continues tonight against the L.A. Kings.