The Chicago Blackhawks topped the St. Louis Blues, 6-4, in a Saturday night thriller at Scottrade Center. Vinnie Hinostroza scored the game-winner late in the third period to cap an exciting back-and-forth contest that saw Chicago trail on four different occasions.
If you’re looking for an example of the Blackhawks’ resiliency, this was a very good one.
The Blues led 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and 4-3 in this game, yet found themselves on the losing end thanks to a relentless effort by the Hawks. They just kept battling even as St. Louis kept scoring, and finally earned a win in spite of their goaltender. Scott Darling (like Corey Crawford) has been crucial to several recent wins, so it was time his teammates returned the favor by making up one of his shakier performances.
Hinostroza finished off the scoring with an incredible backhand goal just off the heels of a failed power play. The puck came to the rookie off a rebound, and he managed to kick it to his stick with the net wide open. From there, he made no mistake in backhanding the puck into the net for his second game-winning goal of the season. Hinostroza hasn’t scored much yet, but his timing has been superb.
The other goals were scored by Dennis Rasmussen, Patrick Kane, Brian Campbell, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Artemi Panarin. Kane’s in particular was long due as the winger had been held goalless for nine straight games. He ended that drought on a breakaway in the second period:
Kane now has nine goals and 21 assists in 33 games this season.
One player who didn’t have a stellar game was Darling. He only saved 23 of 27 shot attempts (85.2 percent), and a couple of those goals were pretty soft. One of them came on a wild bounce off a broken stick on the ice, so that one was hardly his fault, but he’ll want to put a four-goal game behind him quickly. It’s possible rookie Lars Johansson gets to make his NHL debut Sunday if the Hawks don’t want to use Darling two nights in a row.
It’s also worth noting that center Artem Anisimov did not play after the first period. The team says he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Things kept seesawing until Hinostroza’s game-winning goal in the third period. It was a fantastic play that required quick hands (and feet) to steady the puck and get a shot on net. There could’ve been like a dozen other turning points in this game, but the Blackhawks deserve credit for keep pushing through their mistakes to finally take the lead and get the win.
SCH 3 Stars
1. Artemi Panarin, Blackhawks (1 goal, 2 assists, 4 shots on goal)
2. Patrik Berglund, Blues (2 goals, 3 shots on goal)
3. Vinnie Hinostroza, Blackhawks (1 goal, 2 shots on goal)
Play of the game
Vinnie Hinostroza with the game-winner. pic.twitter.com/17IgcyxH60— Satchel Price (@SatchelPrice) December 18, 2016
Vinnie in the clutch!
The Blackhawks head home to take on the San Jose Sharks on Sunday evening in the second leg of a back-to-back. After that, the team has just one game (Tuesday vs. Ottawa) over the next four days.