The Chicago Blackhawks weren’t just facing a good hockey team in the Pittsburgh Penguins. They were also battling the elements of snow and wind in Saturday’s Stadium Series game at Soldier Field.
The Blackhawks, thanks to a pair of goals and an assist from captain Jonathan Toews, plowed their way to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Penguins, in what could be a preview of a possible Stanley Cup Final match-up later in the spring.
- Let’s start with the aforementioned Jonathan Toews. What a dangle he put on Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik to give the Blackhawks a two-goal lead in the second period. He then slid the puck through the legs of Marc-Andre Fleury, just sweeping over the goal line with the snow piling up.
- The Blackhawks jump two points ahead of the St. Louis Blues for top spot in the Central Division. The Blues, however, have now three games in hand.
- Sidney Crosby was held off the score sheet, as was Chris Kunitz.
- Marian Hossa left the game early in the second period with an upper-body injury, suffered in the first period on a heavy body check along the end boards. He did not return.
- How about that weather? The snow fell hard at times, and made it difficult for players to control the puck. Those tasked with shoveling the snow had a busy night, with massive accumulations along the end boards.
- Attendance for tonight, according to the Blackhawks’ Twitter account: 62,921 fans, most likely cold and covered in snow. But it looked fun.
- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s statement on Saturday’s Stadium Series game: “The skill and perseverance of our players, combined with the enthusiasm and energy of the greatest fans in sports, created a memorable culmination for the 2014 Coors Light Stadium Series. We thank the City of Chicago and Soldier Field for the rousing welcome; we thank the Blackhawks – in particular, Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough – for hosting and Penguins for participating; and we celebrate the fact that more than 60,000 people were able to have so much fun at a hockey game on such a cold and snowy night.”