Three points from Patrick Kane as well as a 40-save performance from Corey Crawford allowed Chicago to earn the two points they needed to pull ahead of the Minnesota Wild. The Wild fell 4-2 against the Washington Capitals Tuesday night, allowing the Blackhawks to move into the top position of the Central Division with 93 points.
Despite pulling off the victory, the Blackhawks lost a core member in the game, with Artem Anisimov leaving the game after a hit against the boards from Alexander Radulov. The Chicago center needed help getting off of the ice, and did not return to the bench for the remainder of the game. The good news, coach Joel Quenneville announced prior to the game that the injury is not an serious as it was expected to be, and Anisimov will be day-to-day.
The Blackhawks held a three goal lead through the first 48 minutes of play, until the Canadiens fought looking for the comeback late in the third period.
Here’s what happened:
The first period started off fairly slow and quiet, with just one shot on goal from each team through the first six minutes. Former Hawk Andrew Shaw headed to the box for tripping just over seven minutes into the opening frame. The Canadiens were able to kill off the power play, keeping the score at zeros all around.
Around the 12 minute mark in the first, Artem Anisimov skated the puck into the Canadiens’ zone, getting the puck to Patrick Kane and allowing him to work his magic. Kane put the puck past Carey Price’s blocker side, scoring his 31st goal of the season to put Chicago on the board first. With an assist on Kane’s tally Tuesday night, Anisimov reached a career high 45 points.
Over five minutes into the middle frame, Tanner Kero was whistled for tripping, giving Montreal the man-advantage. The Canadiens had two shots on goal during the power play, but were able to kill it off and hold their one goal lead.
Around the halfway mark of the second, a massive Johnny Oduya shot from way back at the point made it’s way over Price to put the Hawks ahead by two. Oduya’s goal marked his first tally since returning as a Blackhawk. Oduya now has his second goal and ninth point of the season.
A hooking penalty from Kane with just six minutes remaining in the second period gave the Habs their second power play of the game. With 47 seconds remaining in the power play, a one-timer from Shea Weber hit off of Corey Crawford’s mask, knocking the Chicago goaltender off his feet. Crawford looked a little razzled but remained in the game. How he did this, I’m not quite sure, because we all know Shea Weber doesn’t exactly have the weakest shot in the league.
Just 47 seconds into the final period, an incredible no-look pass from Nick Schmaltz to Artemi Panarin in front of the net allowed the Bread Man to put the puck past Price for the 3-0 lead. Schmaltz showed his versatility on that player, after shifting to center the second line in Anisimov’s absence.
With under eight minutes remaining in regulation, Paul Byron elevated the puck up over Corey Crawford’s glove to put Montreal on the board. The Habs weren’t finished there, as Weber pulled Montreal within one with a one-timer from the point.
An empty-netter from Captain Jonathan Toews with over a minute remaining sealed the deal for the Hawks, as they earned the 4-2 win on the road.
SCH 3 stars
- Corey Crawford, Blackhawks (40 saves)
- Patrick Kane, Blackhawks (1 goal, 2 assists)
- Shea Weber, Canadiens (1 goal, 5 shots on goal)
The Blackhawks will continue their Canadian road trip as they visit the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre Thursday night,