The Chicago Blackhawks might need some good fortune to keep winning with Duncan Keith on the mend, and they got it in a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. Eight power plays helped the Hawks dominate possession early and take a lead that the Keith-less defense wouldn't relinquish.
Brent Seabrook and Patrick Kane led the way with three points apiece in the win. Each player scored a power play goal and had two assists. Artem Anisimov also scored his third goal of the season and Corey Crawford got his first assist of the year in addition to his third victory.
Anisimov opened the scoring early in the first period at even strength with an impressive power move to the goal. When you talk about the value of a 6'4 center with some offensive skill, it's plays like this:
Anisimov scores his 3rd goal of the season to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead pic.twitter.com/hpPAOmMhUu— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 23, 2015
Unfortunately, the Hawks' old habit of giving up goals quickly after scoring resurfaced as Vincent Trocheck tied the game 34 seconds later. That's not something I missed.
The Panthers then handed Chicago power play after power play in the second period. Florida was called for five separate two-minute penalties in all. Seabrook scored on one, and after the Hawks started the third period with the man advantage, Kane scored another.
Overall, the Blackhawks were 2-of-8 on power play chances for the game, although one of those doesn't really count since it came with seconds left in regulation. The Panthers were 1-of-3, with 44-year-old Jaromir Jagr scoring midway through the third period to make it a one-goal game. Crawford fought off the remaining chances (and stopped 16-of-18 total) to secure the win.
ONE, TWO, TREE THOUGHTS
Seabs steps up
You need guys to produce when you lose a Duncan Keith and this is why Seabrook got the 'A' during the offseason. He's a spectacular player in his own right and delivered a three-point game Thursday with his usual partner in crime (at least in spirit) sidelined. Over the past four-plus seasons, Seabrook has had exactly one game with more than two points -- a three-pointer against the Minnesota Wild on Dec. 16, 2014. So it's not often that you see Seabs going off for offensive production like this. He's being foisted into a huge role, though. He's needed on the power play more than ever and played over 24 minutes, a season high. Seabrook scoring like this won't happen often but it's sweet when it does.
TVR is trusted, it seems
The Blackhawks need guys to play Keith's minutes and Trevor van Riemsdyk might be one of the top players to benefit. He played a career-high 21:42 on Thursday night and the coaching staff continues to show confidence in him. For comparison, Viktor Svedberg played just 14:52, Trevor Daley played 14:32 and David Rundblad played 13:38. Even Niklas Hjalmarsson played fewer minutes, coming in just below 20. Most of TVR's playing time came at even strength or on the penalty kill, too, which tells you something about how the team feels he plays defensively. At this point, it might be fair to consider van Riemsdyk the No. 3 defenseman behind Seabrook and Hjalmarsson while Keith is out.
Panarin stays tied for rookie points lead
The best way to stay in the mix for the Calder Trophy is to keep racking up points and Artemi Panarin is doing just that. The 23-year-old winger added his eighth point of the season Thursday night on an assist to keep up with Arizona Coyotes center Max Domi, who also has eight points. Panarin only has two goals while another Coyotes rookie, Anthony Duclair, leads all first-year players with five. However, he's in the mix with Arizona's dynamic duo, Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin, which says something. It'll be fun to see just how much Panarin can produce in his first year with the Blackhawks -- and beyond.