Since Jan. 19, the Chicago Blackhawks took hockey fans not just in the Windy City but in all parts of the world on an extraordinary ride following the lockout.
On Friday, that ride that saw the Blackhawks go 24 games to begin the season without a regulation loss and a franchise best 11-game winning streak, came to an end with a 6-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
Dating back to last March, the Blackhawks had actually gone 30 consecutive regular season games without a regulation defeat, making it the second longest streak of its kind in NHL history. The 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers’ record of 35 games without a regulation loss remains intact.
“We’re not happy we didn’t get two points but we’re certainly proud of the start we had,” defenseman Duncan Keith told the Chicago Tribune.
“It wasn’t easy playing that many games in a short period of time and doing what we did. We’re proud of it but it will be nice to move on now and look forward to Sunday’s game.”
The Blackhawks are now on a modest one-game losing skid, although they still lead the league with a 21-1-3 record and 45 points.
Behind the Blackhawks in the Western Conference standings are the Anaheim Ducks, winners tonight against Calgary.
The Blackhawks lead the Ducks – currently with an impressive 17-3-3 record – by eight points.
“We should be very proud of what we accomplished,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Daily Herald.
“It was a great accomplishment from start to finish. We found some different ways to win night in and night out. Everybody contributed to something that hadn’t been done.”
It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.
Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.
(You can see that goal in the video above.)
Again, there were three fast goals overall, with Boston getting two of them. Here’s the Red Wings goal, which narrowly survived a review:
Things didn’t really slow down that much after that, as Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 for the Bruins.
Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.
When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.
The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.
You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
As cool as it was at the time for many, Patrice Bergeron‘s fight against Blake Wheeler is … honestly, a good reminder why players like Bergeron rarely drop the gloves.
Multiple outlets including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty report that Bergeron will miss Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (which you can watch on NBC).
We don’t know a ton about the injury aside from the fact that the multiple Selke-winner is considered day-to-day.
People don’t seem overly concerned about this issue, but you have to wonder if Bergeron made a bad choice, especially considering his history of concussion issues.
You can watch the bout that may or may not have left him injured in the video above.