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Blackhawks vs. Penguins final score: Chicago sweeps back-to-back with 3-2 shootout win in Pittsburgh

It was a back-and-forth sort of game, but when the dust settled, the Blackhawks emerged victorious, needing a shootout to claim a victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

*Insert narrative about the Blackhawks not winning in Pittsburgh here*

Heading into Wednesday night's tilt, there was an unusually large (and probably unnecessary) amount of focus on the struggles of the Chicago Blackhawks against the Pittsburgh Penguins, when the two meet in Pittsburgh. While the Hawks were unable to grab their first regulation victory in Pittsburgh since 1997 (again, not sure why we're talking about this), they were able to take two necessary points on the road, claiming a 3-2 victory in the shootout. The win meant a sweep of their back-to-back, after they easily dispatched of the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday.

While this one didn't feature the Blackhawks skating circles around their opponent, it did provide a national television audience with a pretty exciting affair. Chances went both ways, with both goaltenders coming up with some big stops throughout, in order to keep this one close, as well as low scoring.

David Rundblad got the scoring started in the first period off of a wicked shot from the point, his second goal in as many games. It capped off a gorgeous sequence from the Blackhawks, in which the first line possessed the puck beautifully. Rundblad was only credited with one shot on the night, but it felt like he launched it quite a few times in that sequence. He might have his issues in his own end, but I'll be damned if Rundblad doesn't have a pretty shot.

The Hawks escaped the period with the 1-0 edge before Marian Hossa put them up by a pair. Again, it came down to the Hawks' ability to possess the puck. They did it well for much of the night, particularly down around the goalline and the end boards. Some brilliant work by the first line, in particular.

The Penguins were able to even things back up before the middle frame was over. Zach Sill brought the Penguins within one before they were able to tie it up on a Steve Downie goal. It was the type of sequence we're too used to seeing in the defensive zone lately. Duncan Keith prevented Corey Crawford from making the save, while Michal Rozsival just stood (literally not moving at all) on the far post and observed the entire thing transpire.

The third period didn't bring a score for either side, but brought some nice back-and-forth action. The Blackhawks held a slight edge in shots, at 9-8, as well as in the Corsi department, at 18-17. The overtime period was similar, with the Pens holding just a 4-2 shot advantage, and the two sides going 5-5 in Corsi. Marian Hossa had a chance to end it, had he held onto the puck for an extra second, but Marc-Andre Fleury was able to get a pad on it.

It was business as usual in the shootout. David Perron hit one off the post and Corey Crawford was able to stop Sidney Crosby in his tracks. On the other side, both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane kept it simple tonight, flipping shots to the right of Fleury and calling it a night. The Hawks will get a nice little stretch off with the All Star Break. Or, at least half of them will be, as the other half are playing in Columbus this weekend.

Onto the stars!

Three Stars of the Night

3. Patrick Kane

Kane didn't have a point on the night, but boy was he a fun one to watch. Every time he touched the puck, he did virtually whatever he wanted to do with it. At one point late in the game, Brad Richards found the puck on his stick off of an absurd Patrick Kane pass. No one knew how it got there. That's what Patrick Kane does. he scored the game-winner in the shootout, keeping it simple and distracting Fleury just enough to wrist it to his right.

2. Brent Seabrook

His stat line features only an assist on the evening, but Seabrook had a high quality game for the Hawks, particularly in the defensive zone. At one point in the overtime, he lost his stick and was stuck in a 1-on-1, but was able to do the job without it and keep playing going. He was the typical physical presence for the Blackhawks, while also blocking four shots. It wasn't a great game possession-wise, but he had a strong showing in his own end for the Hawks.

1. The Top Line

I don't typically do this sort of thing, but the top line earned the top spot in the stars tonight. They combined for four points on the night, and very well could have had a few more. Brandon Saad, in particular, had a nice jump to his game. Playing in his hometown probably had something to do with that. Saad finished with a CF% of 68, Hossa was at 60 (and one of the two goals), and Jonathan Toews at 56. They possessed the puck extremely well all night and kept up a brilliant forecheck. They didn't rack up goals like crazy, but it was a terrific showing nonetheless.

Randy Holt is a staff writer for Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.