for this game

Havlat scores twice in return for Blackhawks

Nov 29, 2007 - 5:46 AM
By Rory Spears PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Martin Havlat wasted little time letting the Tampa Bay Lightning know he was back.

Havlat scored his first goal of the season 43 seconds into the game and added another 12 seconds into the middle period as the Chicago Blackhawks skated to a 5-1 triumph over the Lightning on Wednesday.

Patrick Sharp notched a tally and an assist for the Blackhawks, who have won four straight at home.

"It's nice to come back and chip in," Havlat said. "I had a few chances, so it was great to take advantage of them in my first game back."

"It was great having Marty back," Blackhawks rookie Patrick Kane said. "He really energized us tonight and got us going."

Chicago's leading scorer in 2006-07, Havlat injured his shoulder in the season opener at Minnesota on October 4 and missed the next 22 games. After suffering the injury, it appeared the Czech was headed for season-ending surgery.

However, doctors thought an extensive rehab might save at least half the season for the Blackhawks' speedy right wing. Havlat had been hoping for almost eight weeks that they were right.

"The doctors thought rehab would work," Havlat said. "Surgery would have left me out for the year, so I am glad this is what we did."

For Chicago, it was the first home game in 17 days following a six-game road trip. The Blackhawks could not have asked for a better opponent in the Lightning, who have lost five of the last six meetings between the clubs.

Shortly after the opening faceoff, Havlat took a pass from Jason Williams at the top of the left faceoff circle during a 2-on-1 rush and lifted a backhander over the shoulder goaltender Johan Holmqvist to give Chicago a quick 1-0 lead.

"I didn't expect to score on my first shift back, but I will take it," Havlat said. "It is good for the confidence."

"I think it hit the top of the post and went in," Holmqvist said. "It was a great move by him and a great shot."

Tampa Bay's Nick Tarnasky admitted the quick goal hurt his team.

"It put us behind the eight ball right away," he said. "We played better as the game went on, but it wasn't enough."

Williams also was returning to Chicago's lineup after missing four games with groin strain.

"Having Havlat and Williams back takes pressure off our line," Kane said. "It allows us to do more things."

The Blackhawks made it 2-0 on defenseman Dustin Byfuglien's third goal of the season at 5:31 of the first period. After Holmqvist stopped rookie Patrick Kane's shot from the right faceoff circle during another 2-on-1, Byfuglien banged in the rebound from the left side of the net.

Havlat stretched the advantage to three before the fans returned to their seats following intermission, firing a one-timer over the shoulder of Holmqvist from the top of the left circle after Robert Lang won a faceoff directly back to him.

"Lang did a great job winning that faceoff right back to me," Havlat said.

"Marty is a big-time player," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "The first game back after a long road trip is tough, so his goals tonight were big for us."

Chicago fans still at the concession stands were not the only ones who did not witness Havlat's second tally.

"I didn't see it at all," Holmqvist admitted. "It was so fast."

That goal seemed to take the life out of the Lightning, who entered the contest with a 1-22-2 record when allowing three goals or more.

Sharp gave Chicago a 4-0 cushion early in the third, netting his 12th of the season from alone in the bottom of the left circle at 2:20 after receiving a cross-slot backhand pass from Kane during a power play.

Tarnasky ended Nikolai Khabibulin's shutout bid at 9:52 with a man-advantage tally.

"He's a great goalie, and we needed to get more pucks past him," Tarnasky said.

But rookie Jonathan Toews restored the Blackhawks' four-goal bulge 33 seconds later with his ninth of the season.

Kane set up three tallies and Khabibulin, who helped Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup championship in 2004, made 21 saves and added two assists. The Russian netminder entered with just one in 602 career games.

"I didn't do much," Khabibulin said. "I just touched the puck and Kane did all the work."

Khabibulin admitted he did not get much added enjoyment from beating his former club.

"It's always nice, but you don't get extra points for that," he said. "So we will take the two points and get ready for the next game."

Holmqvist turned aside just seven shots over two periods before being replaced by Marc Denis, who yielded two goals on seven shots in the third.

The loss was the fifth in a row for the Lightning.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 1 1
    CHICAGO 2 1 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 1 (JASON WILLIAMS) 0:43
    CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 3 (PATRICK KANE, PATRICK SHARP) 5:31
    2ND PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 2 (ROBERT LANG) 0:12
    3RD PRD: CHI - (PP) PATRICK SHARP 12 (PATRICK KANE) 2:20
    TAM -

    Nov 28 10:55 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    CHICAGO 5
    3RD PRD: CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 9 (PATRICK KANE, PATRICK SHARP) 10:25

    Lightning vs. BlackhawksNov 28 10:39 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    CHICAGO 4
    3RD PRD: TAM - (PP) NICK TARNASKY 1 (PAUL RANGER, FILIP KUBA) 9:52

    Lightning vs. BlackhawksNov 28 10:38 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    CHICAGO 4
    3RD PRD: CHI - (PP) PATRICK SHARP 12 (PATRICK KANE) 2:20

    Lightning vs. BlackhawksNov 28 10:26 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    CHICAGO 3
    2ND PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 2 (ROBERT LANG) 0:12

    Lightning vs. BlackhawksNov 28 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    CHICAGO 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 1 (JASON WILLIAMS) 0:43
    CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 3 (PATRICK KANE, PATRICK SHARP) 5:31
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 7 7
    CHI 6

    Nov 28 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    CHICAGO 2
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 3 (PATRICK KANE, PATRICK SHARP) 5:31

    Lightning vs. BlackhawksNov 28 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    CHICAGO 1
    1ST PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 1 (JASON WILLIAMS) 0:43

    Lightning vs. BlackhawksNov 28 8:41 PM