On a day when a lot of hockey fans needed an escape from the tragic events in Boston, the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars helped provide a welcome distraction Monday night.
The Hawks coughed up a 2-0 lead at one point in this one, but three third period goals and a 28-18 shot advantage propelled Chicago to a 5-2 victory over Dallas. The victory is the Hawks’ sixth in a row, and the loss ended the Stars’ five game winning streak.
We’ll have plenty of reaction to the victory, but for now, here are Madhouse Enforcer’s Three Stars:
Third Star: Patrick Kane
Kane easily could have qualified for Goat of the Game after his second period turnover, on which he tried to feather a pass along the boards but ended up giving up a 3-on-1 for Dallas, but it was his play on the Hawks’ game winning goal that lands him this spot.
On that play, Kane used his speed to full advantage, penetrating the Stars’ zone and drawing four different Dallas defenders to him. Seeing this, he dished the puck off to a streaking Andrew Shaw, who fired home the shot past Dallas goalie Richard Bachman to give the Hawks a lead they would never relinquish.
A special mention on that play also has to be given to Bryan Bickell, who crashed the net hard and likely drew some of Bachman’s attention away from Stalberg.
Second Star: Dave Bolland
While Shaw and Viktor Stalberg both could have landed on this list with their excellent offensive nights, Bolland has to be given some kudos for his play Monday. This blog has taken him to task often, but he was a big reason why the Hawks were able to dominate possession so thoroughly against the Stars.
As part of a first period that saw Dallas only direct four shots on net, Bolland won all six of the face-offs that he took in that frame. The rest of the game didn’t change that narrative, as he ended up winning a stellar 15 of 19 draws in the game.
On a night where Jonathan Toews struggled in the circle (winning 8 of 18 draws), it was Bolland who really carried the water, and his surprising performance should be applauded.
First Star: Marian Hossa
There isn’t much that Hossa can do that surprises anyone nowadays, but Monday’s effort was still impressive despite the ho-hum nature of it. Hossa ended up potting the empty net goal at the end of the game, and it was his excellent touch pass to Toews’ stick that ended up leading to the first Chicago goal.