Mrazek, Mantha help Red Wings down Blackhawks

2 Comments

You kind of get the feeling that teams heading onto their mandatory week off would like to start forgoing that last game before the break.

The Winnipeg Jets lost 4-1 in the game they failed to show up to on Saturday. On Friday, the Columbus Blue Jackets got trounced 5-2 in the game before they got a break.

And on Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks seemed checked out in a 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, a team who played 24 hours earlier and lost handily 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hell, even Jeff Glass couldn’t save the Blackhawks, who got outworked from what seemed like the opening puck drop.

Dylan Larkin gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead just over four minutes into the first period.

Andreas Athanasiou showed his speed as he worked past Blackhawks’ defenders down low, before sliding a pass out to Larkin, who was perched in the slot.

Larkin made no mistake, given the opportunity, as he notched his seventh of the season.

Mike Green showed why he was named an NHL all-star this past week for the Red Wings second goal, which doubled their advantage just over two minutes later.

Gustav Nyquist gained the Blackhawks’ zone and dropped a pass to Anthony Mantha, who took one look to Green and fed him a cross-ice pass that Green one-timed past and outstretched Glass.

It was Green’s 25th point of the season, and couple with his all-star nod, Green, who is set to become a free agent in the offseason, keeps building a case for himself to be traded to a contender when the deadline comes around.

Mantha grabbed his second point of the game in the third period as he joined the rush off the bench.

Mantha let Henrik Zetterberg know he was flying into the zone starting from the time he jumped onto the ice, and Zetterberg dropped the puck to Mantha, allowing for a nice wrist shot that beat Glass high for a 3-0 lead.

Tyler Bertuzzi, the nephew of Todd who came into the game without his first-career NHL goal, checked that item off his to-do list later in the period.

Bertuzzi parked himself in front of Glass’s doorstep and whacked home a rebound after Nick Jensen‘s shot from the slot was saved.

Meanwhile, Petr Mrazek kept things tidy in the crease for the Red Wings, stopping all 27 shots he faced.

The Blackhawks didn’t test him all that much, but Mrazek, who has struggled this season, turned aside 12 third-period shots en route to the win.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

The Buzzer: Jeff Glass continues his remarkable story

Getty Images
3 Comments

Players of the Night:

Jeff Glass, Chicago Blackhawks: Sure, his shutout bid was stopped by Patrik Laine in the third period, but he made a game-saving stop on Laine latter in the frame that help the Blackhawks to the win. Glass was on a different level on Friday. What a story he’s become.

Jay Beagle, Washington Capitals: Beagle scored with two seconds left in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and help the Caps to a last-second win.

Al Montoya, Edmonton Oilers: Alvaro stopped all 19 shots he faced after coming in to relieve Cam Talbot. The Oilers rallied in his presence, winning 4-2 after going down 2-0 in the first 3:17 of the g ame.

Highlights of the Night:

This is Jeff Glass doing what a lot of goalies can’t: stopping Patrik Laine’s one-timer.

Ovechkin reclaimed the league-lead in NHL goal scoring, from where he does it best:

Jordan Stall’s 200th NHL goal came on a beautiful set up:

Who needs/wants overtime? Jay Beagle doesn’t:

Factoids of the Night:

Some Beagle facts:

MISC:

Scores:

Canucks 5, Blue Jackets 2

Flames 4, Panthers 2

Capitals 4, Hurricanes 3

Blackhawks 2, Jets 1

Oilers 4, Coyotes 2

Glass, Blackhawks outlast Rangers on Rivalry Night

8 Comments

The legend of Jeff Glass continued to grow on Wednesday night.

The 32-year-old rookie NHL goalie turned aside 23-of-25 shots for his second win in his third start, a 5-2 win for the Chicago Blackhawks over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Glass’ story is a great one.

The Calgary native finally made his NHL debut on Dec. 29 after spending his professional career in the American Hockey League and Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, including a cozy stint in Siberia.

Glass, a 2004 third-round pick by the Ottawa Senators and a famed member of Team Canada’s legendary world junior team, made 42 saves in a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers and made another 35 in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Flames two nights later.

It’s a big win for Chicago, who leap-frogged the Colorado Avalanche out of the basement in the Central Division. The Blackhawks hadn’t fared well on their current six-game road trip, coming into Wednesday’s game with a 1-3-1 record.

The Central has been a notoriously tough division to claw back in, so points are as precious as gold in the second half of the season for the Blackhawks, who don’t have a lot of wiggle room left.

The Blackhawks began on the right foot, with Vinnie Hinostroza putting home a feed from Jonathan Toews for a 1-0 lead late in the first period, but it was shortlived.

The Rangers would find their first equalizer of the night before the period was out.

Nick Holden ripped a point shot past Glass two minutes after Hinostroza’s opener. The Rangers did well to cycle the puck down low, and a deft touch by Paul Carey to get it on the stick of Holden gave the latter enough time to pick his spot, low and to the block side on Glass.

Chicago regained the lead through a weird goal in the second period.

Patrick Kane sprung Nick Schmaltz on a partial break, and his initial shot was saved by Lundqvist. But Marc Staal was shoved from behind and into subsequently into the net by Ryan Hartman, hitting the lose puck behind Lundqvist into the goal as he flew into the back of it.

The goal was reviewed and it counted, restoring a 2-1 lead.

As they did in the second frame, New York found an equalizer.

With Brent Seabrook serving two or less for cross-checking, and after Glass fired the puck over the boards for a delay of game call, Mika Zibanejad wired home a one-timer on the ensuing 5-on-3 to tie the game 2-2.

Chicago’s other Patrick — Patrick Sharp — broke the deadlock 2:24 into the third period, firing home a beautiful wrist shot high and over Lundqvist’s glove hand for a 3-2 lead.

Chicago added two empty-netters, one by Jonathan Toews and another by Kane.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Jeff Glass lived his long-awaited dream on Friday

Twitter
3 Comments

Jeff Glass couldn’t wipe the smile off his face after his NHL debut as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

And that’s pretty understandable given where he’s been.

Glass burst onto the scene in the lead up to the 2005 World Junior Championships. He was named Canada’s starting goaltender for that tournament and didn’t disappoint.

Glass did exactly what he was tasked to do, winning all five of the games he played in, including the gold medal game and restored his country back to the summit of junior hockey for the first time since 1997.

The team was full of what would become NHL greats Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Shea Weber and Ryan Getzlaf all suited up for Canada that year on a team that has the unofficial moniker of Canada’s best ever sent to the world junior tournament.

He was roommates during the tournament with Blackhawks teammate Brent Seabrook.

But while many of his teammates headed directly to the NHL and onto several Stanley Cups and a myriad of other accolades, Glass took a route that took him to the opposites ends of the earth.

“There were a few bleak moments where I didn’t believe it could happen,” Glass told Sportsnet after Friday’s game in Edmonton, just a few hours north of his childhood home in Calgary.

He once played in Siberia, where he told Sportsnet it snowed for 45 days straight. He toiled in the AHL, the ECHL and the KHL for years since being drafted 89th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2005. He was most recently with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League, and after an injury to Corey Crawford, was recalled on Wednesday after Crawford was put on injured reserve.

Glass’ journey is a tale of hard work, sticking to it, and waiting for his time to come — all cliches we often take for granted in the sports world. Glass is living proof and a testament that dreams are never dead, just sometimes delayed.

At 32 years old (and 40 days), Glass, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Glass (32 years, 40 days) became the second-oldest goaltender since 1967 to earn a win in his NHL debut.

He stopped 42 shots in a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers, a game he found out he was starting in at 2 a.m. that morning when the team touched down in Edmonton.

And now he holds saves over arguably the best player in the world, including this welcome-to-the-NHL moment in the first period. He was named, fittingly and deservedly, the game’s first star.

His parents, his wife, and his two-month-old daughter were able to get to the game he never thought would come.

“It’ something I’ve always dreamed of,” Glass said after the game.

It’s a journey, Glass said, that he wouldn’t trade for the world.

“Not for a second, I would not,” he said. “The experience I had overseas was great. On the ice, off the ice, I matured as a person. It really taught me a lot about what’s important to me and what I valued. Where I wanted to be. After spending so much time over there I really wanted to give this one more shot. To prove to myself if I could do it. If there was still something there.”

There was.

And when the Blackhawks take on his hometown Calgary Flames on Sunday, it’s a pretty safe bet that Glass will make start No. 2.

There’s no question that he’s earned it.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck