Huet Gets Big Shutout: Hawks Beat Division Foe, Blues

Jake KarmelCorrespondent IIDecember 17, 2009

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 11: (L-R) Brian Campbell #51, Partick Sharp #19, Patrick Kane #88 and Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate Kanes' first period goal against the Colorado Avalance at the United Center on November 11, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It took the Chicago Blackhawks 32 games to play a division foe, the dreaded St. Louis Blues, for the first time. For Hawks fans, it was worth the wait.

The Hawks are on fire. That's putting it nicely.

The boys from Madison Street got off to a hot start early last night at the United Center. With 14 minutes gone by in the first period, forward Troy Brouwer got the "Madhouse on Madison" jumping early with a goal assisted by Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews from the top right circle that deflected off of a Blues defenseman.

About three minutes later, defenseman Brian Cambell got the "Madhouse" jumping again with a power play goal from the right point that was put past Blues journeyman goaltender Ty Conklin. This was assisted by Kris Versteeg and Patrick Kane.

The Hawks outshot the Blues 21-9 and led 2-0 after 20 minutes.

With about 17 minutes gone by in the second period, Marian Hossa added his fifth goal in 10 games. This gave Toews his second assist on the night and Kane his third.

Kane had three assists on the night.

For the Blues, Conklin didn't have a bad game. He made 32 saves against the young, fiery Hawks team. The Hawks definitely kept him busy all night.

"They're a good team, no question about it," St. Louis forward David Backes said to ESPN Chicago. "They play fast, they play together, and they support the puck. When you play a team like that with the effort they put in, you need to match it up."

To put Hawks fans minds at ease, Coach Q said after the game that the lower body injury that defenseman Cam Barker left with wasn't serious, and Barker should be ready to go for their next game on Friday versus Boston.

The back-to-back shutouts from backup Anti Niemi last Sunday and from Huet last night were the first by two Chicago goalies since March of 1983 when Tony Esposito and Murray Bannerman did it.

The Hawks haven't allowed a goal since their 2-1 loss against Buffalo last Friday night. Clarke MacArthur was the last to put a puck past a Hawks goaltender when he did it at 18:39 of the second period during that game.

This was bound to be a very physical game. Eleven roughing penalties were called against both teams along with three misconduct penalties. An array of other penalties like hooking, slashing, and tripping were also called throughout the game.

Currently, the Hawks (21-8-3) stand atop the central division alone. The Nashville Predators (20-11-3) trail by two points.

The Hawks also stand in second place in the conference—two points behind the leading Los Angeles Kings.