The Blackhawks weren't in the spirit of giving in their final game before a three-day Christmas break. To their opponent, that is as they gift-wrapped a 5-2 victory over the Devils for the 22,019 fans on hand at the United Center on Monday night by playing a stifling defense that limited the Devils to 12 shots on goal. Moreover, they were dominant in the faceoff circle with 38 victories in 56 draws in a superb display of puck possession. Throw in an offensive outburst and the Hawks had their third victory in their last four games and now will be able to rest and sip eggnog through their break while holding a 26-7-6 record. "Big win in front of our crowd," said Patrick Sharp, who led the way offensively with two goals. "With the three days off it feels even better. We can kind of put our feet up and relax and enjoy our families." Nick Leddy added a goal and an assist and Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell also scored to provide offensive support for goaltender Antti Raanta. Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook and Brandon Saad each added two assists for the Hawks. "We were in the right places every time," Hossa said. "We didn't give them much. We had lots of puck possession and that was the key. "Everybody's happy. The coaches will have a beautiful Christmas and the same with the players." Stephen Gionta and Michael Ryder scored for the Devils but it wasn't nearly enough as Cory Schneider suffered the loss in goal. "We have a lot of skill on our team," Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "We're able to hang on to pucks and have good patience and make plays. Our forwards did a good job of back checking and the defense had a good gap. Everything we kind of talk about on a day-to-day basis was the way we wanted to play and that showed."
Blackhawks crush Devils 5-2 ahead of Christmas break
Chicago Tribune | Dec 24