Relying on their high-powered offense has gotten the Blackhawks pretty far this season.
But Wednesday night against the Ottawa Senators, the Hawks used a different formula for a 2-0 victory.
Goaltender Cristobal Huet, with a little help from his penalty-killing teammates, spear-headed the Hawks' second straight victory with 23 saves before a crowd of 21,614 at the United Center. The triumph improved the Hawks to 13-6-7 overall and 9-1-4 at home. In their last four games, the Hawks have earned seven of a possible eight points.
Huet started his sixth consecutive game with Nikolai Khabibulin still recovering from a lower-body injury and came up big against the Senators to earn his first shutout of the season and 18th of his career.
"It was a tight game and we didn't give them much," Huet said. "We should really give credit to our (penalty killing). That was the difference in the game."
The Hawks blanked the Senators on all six of their power-play chances, including 1 minute 4 seconds of a two-man advantage in the first period.
"We did a lot of good things," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Their power play is very dangerous [and] we got through some serious kills there. Huet had a spectacular night. Five significant, high-quality saves and a couple of them on the penalty kill."
Huet got all the offense he needed when the Hawks took a 1-0 lead on Patrick Kane's power-play goal just more than five minutes into the game.
The winger controlled the puck, skated to the slot and sent a shot on goal that hit an Ottawa player's stick in front and fluttered past Senators goalie Martin Gerber. The goal was Kane's 13th and extended his points streak to five games (two goals, five assists). Patrick Sharp earned the assist on the score and also extended his points streak to five (four goals, two assists).
Huet then took over with several sparkling saves, including flashing his left pad to stop Ottawa's Mike Fisher from in close with the Senators on a two-man advantage at 13:18. Huet later stoned Shean Donovan from the slot, again with his left pad, and in the second denied Dany Heatley from in front of the net.
"It was tremendous to see him come out and play as well as he did," Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said of Huet. "We need that out of him. He gave us the opportunity to win and made some huge stops at key parts of the game."
The Hawks' penalty-killing unit came to the rescue of Kane, who was called for high-sticking three times in the first two periods, including a double-minor when his stick cut Ottawa's Nick Foligno in a collision along the boards.
Troy Brouwer added an empty-net goal in the waning seconds for the final margin.