The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Dallas Stars, 5-3, on Saturday night in Dallas. After the Hawks struggled through a 4-5 record over the last nine games, they rallied to create a third-period comeback in a game they looked to have given away (again).
Some late game heroics from Corey Crawford, a critical diving play from Ryan Hartman, and a smart play from Trevor van Riemsdyk gave the Hawks a victory that one may label as “much needed.”
After squeaking out a win over Arizona on Thursday night, the Hawks needed to prove they could “finish a game” in the third period. Two of the three losses in their losing streak saw the Hawks surrender multiple goals in the third period in a matter of seconds, and we wondered if Chicago would EVER find a way to close a game strong.
Even in Saturday’s contest, Chicago found themselves trailing in the third period once again. But this time, the Hawks found a way to close the game strong, and notch a “much needed” victory. Here’s how:
The Hawks found themselves in a bit of trouble in the first period, as both Marcus Krueger and Richard Panik earned two minute minors putting the Blackhawks in a one man disadvantage near the middle of the first period. Chicago was able to kill off both penalties and evade any early deficits. Both teams entered the first intermission scoreless.
After dueling chances in the first period, the Stars did not take long to strike in the second period. Radek Faska took advantage of a dump-in from teammate Devin Shore, and launched a shot past Corey Crawford from just off the goal line to give Dallas the lead. With all of the conversation about the newest rule involving goalie pants may have come into play as the puck found a way to sneak past Crawford as he was hugging the right post. Apparently the goal resulted in everyone getting free tacos, so we weren’t too upset about it:
Immediately less mad about that goal knowing free tacos involved https://t.co/PIHnKCuwL5— Second City Hockey (@2ndCityHockey) February 5, 2017
Ryan Hartman and Tanner Kero combined to tie the game a few minutes later, as Kero found Hartman on a rush to the net that resulted in the tying goal for Chicago. The goal was Hartman’s 12th of the season, and gave Chicago some much needed momentum. Following the goal, Jordin Tootoo dropped Antoine Roussel in a fight that would earn both players five minute penalties.
The Hawks took advantage of the momentum, as Gustav Forsling launched a shot off Patrick Sharp’s stick that bounced past Kari Lehtonen to give Chicago a one goal lead. For Forsling, it was his second career goal and second of the season.
After scoring 8 seconds into the second period, the Stars found a way to tally the equalizer 40 seconds into the third period as Jamie Benn broke free to rifle a backhand over Corey Crawford’s glove. Benn was set up by a great pass from Cody Eakin, who managed to thread the puck through two Chicago defensemen to set up the tally.
The Stars found paydirt again, as Tyler Segin managed to get deep into the Hawks’ zone on the forecheck to set up a wrap-around goal. It did look like Crawford may have moved too early to open up a big chance for Segin, but the Stars nonetheless would take the lead.
Just 35 seconds later, Patrick Kane would score off a nice pass from Artem Anisimov to tie the game. Kane was denied earlier in the game by Stars’ goaltender Kari Lehtonen on a breakaway, but Kane found an open net after a great move in front of the goal-crease. The goal was Kane’s 17th of the season.
Despite the new pad rules (and an early goal potentially being a direct result of those rules), Corey Crawford stood tall late in the period. There were at least three instances where Dallas had a great scoring chance, but Crow found a way to fight off each attempt to keep the game tied.
Following a clutch penalty kill from the Blackhawks’ special teams, Trevor van Riemsdyk tapped in a Lehtonen rebound after Artem Anisimov rushed the Dallas zone to give the Hawks the lead. Lehtonen ended up losing track of the puck, and TVR made good use of his awareness to notch the GWG. Toews would grab an empty netter late to seal the deal, and Chicago would ride off with the victory. The Hawks outshot the Stars 36-34 in the contest, and climbed two points closer to the top spot in the Central division.
SCH 3 Stars
1) Trevor van Riemsdyk, Blackhawks (GWG, 2 SOG)
2) Artem Anisimov, Blackhawks (2 Assists, 2 SOG)
3) Corey Crawford, Blackhawks (31 saves)
The Hawks continue their road trip to St. Paul to face the division leading Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.