CHICAGO – A couple of hours after taking a slap shot below the belt, Brent Seabrook sat in the victorious Blackhawks dressing room and put it simply: “Whatever it takes, I guess.”
The Hawks continued to throw themselves in front of pucks, dive headfirst into net-front scrums and scrap and claw their way to keep their streak of games without a regulation loss alive.
On Sunday afternoon at the United Center, the Hawks extended that run to 15 contests with a 3-2 victory over the Kings.
Seabrook and Jonathan Toews each had a goal and an assist, and Patrick Sharp also scored as the Hawks improved to 12-0-3 and moved within one of the Ducks’ NHL record of 16 games to start the 2006-07 season without a regulation defeat.
Duncan Keith added two assists and goaltender Ray Emery improved to 5-0-0 on the season with a 25-save effort.
“It hurts to look at your teammate and see how much pain they’re in when they take a shot like that, but it motivates you and gets everyone into the right frame of mind of what we need to do to win,” Toews said of the shot Seabrook took late in the first period. “When you’ve got a teammate like that laying himself on the line, it inspires your teammates.”
Seabrook left the ice for the rest of the period but returned to help the Hawks keep rolling. In the second, fellow defenseman Johnny Oduya took a stick to the face while diving to make a save on a Jeff Carter chance in the slot. Oduya also went to the dressing room but returned in the third period to help stave off a Kings rally as the defending Stanley Cup champions scored twice to trim the Hawks’ lead to a goal.
“We were blocking shots, getting in the way of things [and] Ray was making stops,” Seabrook said. “They’re the defending champs for a reason.”