Blackhawks' (Lack Of) Penalty Kill Costs Them Game to Dallas

Andy MillerCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 05: (L-R) Brenden Morrow #10, Brad Richards #91 and Loui Eriksson #21 of the Dallas Stars celebrate Morrows' 1st period goal as Duncan Kieth #2 and Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks skate away at the United Center on January 5, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks could really learn from that old acronym, K.I.S.S.—Keep It Simple, Stupid. 

What's so simple about why the Blackhawks can't string together wins right now? Their penalty killing unit is the laughingstock of the National Hockey League. And Wednesday night just solidified that the Blackhawks lack the right combination to kill penalties.

The Chicago Blackhawks welcomed in the Dallas Stars after arriving back from their two-game road trip to California. The Madhouse on Madison was rocking, as usual, at the beginning of the game. However, the United Center's 125th consecutive sellout crowd was silenced just 2:40 into the game, as their team gave up yet another power play goal. 

Not five minutes later, Dallas struck on the man-advantage again and seemed to be in control. 

Midway through the second frame, Fernando Pisani brought some life back to the UC with a wrist shot from the blue line that hit Kari Lehtonen's glove and trickled in. Shortly thereafter, Tomas Kopecky drew the Hawks even at two apiece and the Blackhawks owned the momentum shift heading into the locker room as the second period drew to a close. 

Patrick Sharp then drew a tripping call about halfway through the period. It felt as if the Blackhawks still held an advantage as far as owning momentum went. They just needed to kill off this one penalty. 

And once again, they failed. Dallas went three for three on the man-advantage, cementing their 4-2 win over the Blackhawks (the fourth goal was an empty netter). 

The Blackhawks on the man advantage: zero for four.

While the Blackhawks had a few golden opportunities to draw back even in the third period, they can chalk this loss up to their lack of being able to kill penalties. 


Three Stars

1. Mike Ribeiro 

Ribeiro was excellent on the power play against the Blackhawks. He had two goals, including the game winner.

2. Fernando Pisani

If it weren't for Pisani's wrist shot goal from the blue line, the Blackhawks wouldn't have taken back the home advantage. Unfortunately for Pisani's efforts, there was no reward in the form of points in the standings, where it matters. 

3. Brenden Morrow

Morrow looked like he could have been the one to own the number one star position with how he played in the first period. He had the second power play goal, as well as assisting on Ribeiro's first goal. But after the first period, Morrow disappeared from the score sheet. 


Hawk Thoughts

  • The Chicago Blackhawks can get back to their winning ways by doing one simple thing: clean up the PK. This team was one of the best in the league last year at killing penalties, a huge reason they have rings on their fingers this year. 
  • Coach Joel Quenneville may have been too quick to pull Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks had a power play for the last two minutes of the game. You're only down by one goal. You already have one more skater on the ice then they do. I would've waited to pull Crawford until at least 1:15 remaining. 
  • Viktor Stalberg was robbed by iron. On a breakaway, Stalberg was tripped, resulting in a penalty shot. It appeared that Stalberg had beaten Lehtonen to the glove side, only to watch the rubber hit the post, the crossbar and then the other post. Pat Foley referred to it as the "hat trick of iron." I'd refer to it as bad luck. 


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