Olympics recap, Day 2: Kane gets two points for U.S.
|Patrick Kane netted two assists for the Americans against Slovakia (Getty Images).|
Day two of the Olympic tournament slate had six Blackhawks scheduled to see game action, including a head-to-head matchup with Patrick Kane and Team USA against Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus' Slovakian squad. The American group won in stunning fashion, 7-1, thanks to six second-period goals. Slovakian netminder Jaroslav Halak was chased from the net in the middle frame, and the U.S. squad dominated possession, winning 69 percent of faceoffs and out-shooting Slovakia 33-23.
Though Norway held Canada off the scoreboard longer than most thought they would, the Canadians broke through for two goals in the second period on their way to a 3-1 victory. Los Angeles' Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist and Boston's Patrice Bergeron added two helpers for Canada, while Kontinental Hockey League netminder Lars Haugen made 35 saves for Norway.
Patrick Kane (USA): The Blackhawks' star winger was as effective as could be expected from the now two-time Olympian, assisting on a pair of goals on a line with Vancouver's Ryan Kesler and Los Angeles' Dustin Brown. The line bookended the United States' scoring in the second period; Kane's primary assist on what turned out to be Kesler's game-winner got the lead back just 1:02 after Slovakia had tied the game at 1, and his secondary helper on Brown's tally gave the Americans the 7-1 edge. Kane finished the affair with a plus-two rating and two shots on goal in 15:38 of ice time.
Marian Hossa (SVK): It was a rough outing for the Slovakian squad that had dark-horse aspirations coming into the games, but not much of the fault for the lopsided loss could be laid at Hossa's feet. The Slovakian team's alternate captain saw time on both special teams units and led his team's forwards with 18:59 of ice time. The Trencin native also assisted on Slovakia's only goal of the contest, with a setup pass to Detroit's Tomas Tatar. He finished with a minus-one rating and one shot on goal.
Michal Handzus (SVK): Skating on the top line with Blackhawks teammate Hossa and Tatar, it was an up-and-down game for Handzus. The veteran center, who also wore an 'A' for his home country, won just 31 percent of his faceoffs (6 of 19), but was also one of just eight Slovakian skaters to finish with a non-negative plus/minus rating. While he saw 17:41 of action at even strength and on the PK, he also left the game briefly following a hit by Kesler, though returned shortly after.
Duncan Keith (CAN): Paired with mainly Nashville's Shea Weber - and occasionally Doughty - Keith was used as one of Canada's top defensemen in their win over Norway. Keith played on Canada's power-play and penalty kill units, skating for a total of 16:39. Keith's assist on Weber's blast from the circle broke Canada's scoreless tie, and the Blackhawks' top blueliner finished with a plus-one rating with one shot on net.
Patrick Sharp (CAN): In his Olympic debut, Sharp, paired with Jonathan Toews and New York Ranger Rick Nash, was held scoreless, although both he and Toews were denied goals on deflections that hit the goal post. The Thunder Bay, Ont., native saw 14:21 of ice time, racking up a plus-one rating and a minor penalty for hooking.
Jonathan Toews (CAN): The Blackhawks' captain, wearing a 'A' for Canada, was held scoreless in Thursday's contest, but was ruthless at the dot, going 10-4 on faceoffs. Toews recorded an even plus/minus rating in 16:15 of game action.
Other Day 2 notes: Russia overcame an early scare against Slovenia, but scored three of their game's final four goals to win, 5-2. Meanwhile, Finland got goals from six different skaters in an 8-4 victory over Austria; NY Islanders forward Michael Grabner recorded a hat trick for Austria, but Minnesota's Mikael Granlund netted three points (2G, 1A) and Boston's Tuukka Rask stopped 16 of 20 shots on net in the victory.
Day 3 Schedule (Fri. Feb. 14)
Czech Republic vs. Latvia - 2 a.m. CT
Michal Rozsival (CZE)
Norway vs. Finland - 11 a.m. CT
No Blackhawks skaters