Hossa returns, Hawks regain form with 4-1 win over Detroit - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Hossa returns, Hawks regain form with 4-1 win over Detroit

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Blackhawks looked more determined and took advantage of an injury riddled Detroit squad to come away with a 4-1 victory.

Marian Hossa was back after missing five games due to an upper body injury and looked great. Hossa usually returns to form quickly after an injury and Sunday night was no exception. He was noticeable in all phases of the game and was rewarded for his effort.

Hossa picked up a goal and two assists and was a +3. He also registered two takeaways and now leads the NHL with 67.

Chicago's better players had solid games.

Patrick Sharp was more involved and didn't skate on the top line. He recorded seven shots and notched a nice assist on Hossa'a goal. Jonathan Toews had a shorthanded goal and Patrick Kane picked up an assist.

Nick Leddy has been looking more confident and his efforts were rewarded with the opening goal on the power play. That was Leddy's fourth power play tally which leads all Chicago defensemen.

Ben Smith keeps the game simple and has become a very effective player. Smith doesn't hit the score sheet with regularity but he does many things well.

Versus Detroit, Smith set a beautiful screen on Leddy's marker. He then scored a big goal late in the middle frame which gave the Hawks the lead for good. Smith will get his nose dirty and scored by going to the net. He also won seven of 10 faceoffs in what could be considered his best game of the season.

Duncan Keith continues to make a strong bid for his second Norris Trophy as he picked up two more assists. Keith now has 50 helpers on the season which leads all defenders and ranks fourth in the NHL.

Corey Crawford had one of his better games since returning from the Olympic break. Crawford was sharp and would have recorded a shutout if not for a goal which deflected in off Brent Seabrook's skate. The Wings had only 20 shots but quite a few were deflected and Crawford was in position to stop Detroit from mounting a rally.

The Blackhawks will look to build on Sunday night's performance. The effort was more consistent, and because they worked hard they were able to keep the game at a fast pace. The Hawks play without the puck was good as was their passing. Joel Quenneville made his points in a rare Saturday practice and his club responded.

Playing a complete game hasn't happened with regularity. The Blackhawks will look to bring the same type of performance on Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

The Flyers are coming off two consecutive wins versus intrastate rivals Pittsburgh in a home and home series. The Flyers have clawed their way back into the playoff picture but aren't on firm footing.

The Hawks will look to stay on a roll in Philly and then return home on Wednesday to face St. Louis. If they can get hot and win the next two games it will be the first time since December the Blackhawks would record three consecutive wins.

Al's Shots

Brandon Saad only skated 11 shifts and did not return for the final period.

It was reported Saad would not be back due to an upper body injury. It wasn't evident how Saad was hurt and more news should be out soon as to the severity of the injury. In post game comments Quenneville mentioned Saad's injury did not appear serious.

The Red Wings have made the playoffs for 22 straight seasons and that streak could be ending soon. It would take a huge effort for the Wings to qualify for postseason play because they are so banged up.

Detroit has seven players injured and out of their lineup. At the top of the sick bay list are their two best performers, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

I will be back on Wednesday morning and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia.

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