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Bondra Produces in Blackhawk Debut

By Todd McClamroch in News on Dec 13, 2006 2:07PM

Peter Bondra saw his first minutes with the Blackhawks and helped propel them to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Bondra, a sixteen-year veteran of the NHL, signed with the Blackhawks on Sunday and was suited up for Tuesday night's game. Chicagoist was excited to see his contract was based on performance. Bondra earns $500,000 for showing up but can earn an additional $1 million in performance-based incentives if he produces for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks, 29th in the NHL for converting on power plays were hoping the acquisition of Bondra would help the team net a few advantage goals. Going into the third period, the Blackhawks were down 0-1 and having troubles finding a weakness in St. Louis netminder Marek Schwarz who was playing in his first NHL game.

Then on a 5-3 advantage, Bondra was able to sneak one past Schwarz to equalize the game at 1-1. The goal was Bondra's 499 career goal. The Bondra goal returned one Blues skater to the ice but left the Hawks with a 5-4 power play advantage and Radim Vrbata scored just 30 seconds later. Jeffrey Hamilton kept the action going scoring a third goal in two minutes and two seconds to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead, a goal that would eventually be the game winner as the Hawks carried through to win 3-2.

The win brings the Hawks back to .500 with a 12-12-5 record. As the Blackhawks continue to improve their chances of advancing a few spots and earning the eighth play-off spot are looking better.

The Hawks return to Chicago to host the Detroit Redwings on Thursday night at the United Center.