Hossa, Hawks beat Wild, extend streak to 23

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Fans chanted “Hossa, Hossa, Hossa,” Bryan Bickell dislodged the glass with a celebratory leap and the Blackhawks saluted the crowd at center ice of the United Center. Yes, it was just another typical night for the most dominating team in the NHL.The Hawks extended the longest streak to start a season in league history to 23 games and set a franchise record with their 10th consecutive win as they downed the Wild 5-3 on Tuesday night in front of 21,836. The Hawks also ran their string of games with at least one point dating to last season to 29—second-longest in league history.

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Marian Hossa (81) and goalie Corey Crawford (50) celebrate over the Wild. (Brian Cassella/Tribune photo / March 5, 2013)

“This is a great time right now,” said Marian Hossa, who had a goal on the night the organization honored him for recently playing in his 1000th career game. “Everybody’s enjoying coming … to the games, everybody’s hungry, we have a strong lineup and everybody’s playing well.”

Bryan Bickell had two goals, Brandon Saad a goal and two assists while Hossa and Patrick Kane also scored as the Hawks improved to 20-0-3. One game short of the halfway mark of the season, the Hawks have accumulated 43 of a possible 46 points.

Jonathan Toews added two assists as the Hawks raced to a big lead and then hung on as goaltender Corey Crawford improved to 11-0-3 on the season.

Devin Setoguchi scored to put the Wild in front early before the Hawks’ offense ignited for four goals before the first intermission to chase starting goalie Niklas Backstrom in favor of Darcy Kuemper.

“We started off slow and we had that early goal against (but) we showed the character of this team that it doesn’t matter,” said Bickell, who after scoring his second goal jumped against the glass in jubilation. “We just go to the next shift like it was the start of the game and start over again.”

The Wild rallied in the third on goals by Ryan Suter and Kyle Brodziak to cut the Hawks’ lead to 4-3, but Kane sealed the deal midway through the period with his team-leading 12th goal.

“There are going to be moments when it kind of goes the other way and you saw that when Minnesota came back at us and kind of put us on our heels and scored … to make it a two-goal game and then made it a one-goal game,” Toews said. “Sometimes it’s going to go up and down but for the most part we just had that constant pressure where we’ve been tough to play against for three periods.”

The Hawks brass, including Team President John McDonough, honored Hossa for playing in his 1000th career NHL game Sunday against the Red Wings in Detroit with a pregame ceremony. The crowd chanted the veteran’s name and then the Hawks took care of business.

“Definitely, it was a special night for me and my family,” Hossa said. “It was a nice, warm welcome by the fans.”

By Chris Kuc, Chicago Tribune reporter


Twitter @ChrisKuc

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC


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