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Blackhawks vs. Senators final score 2017: Richard Panik lifts Chicago past Ottawa for 3rd straight win

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Scott Darling makes 33 saves in surprise start.

Chicago Blackhawks v Ottawa Senators Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

Richard Panik scored a power-play goal with 3 minutes, 1 second remaining and Scott Darling made 33 saves in a spot start to lift the Chicago Blackhwaks to a 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday at Canadian Tire Centre.

Chicago (45-20-5) won their third consecutive game and moved three points clear of second-place Minnesota in the Central Division. Minnesota fell 3-1 to Carolina on Thursday.

After two scoreless periods, Duncan Keith with a snipe from the right circle at 8:04 of the third period. Senators goaltender Mike Condon made the initial stop, but the puck rolled into the net after bouncing off a defender’s skate as rookie Nick Schmaltz pressured the net. The goal was reviewed by the league, but was called a good goal.

Kyle Turris evened the game with a power-play goal at 11:23 off a one-timer feed from Erik Karlsson to make it 1-1. With the Hawks pushing the tempo, Panik answered with a goal on the man advantage to avoid overtime.

Darling made the start due to Corey Crawford being ill. The Lemont, Ill. native made 33 saves to improve his record to 17-5-2 this season. At the other end, Condon was also filling in for a starter - Craig Anderson (lower-body, day-to-day). Condon stopped 26 of 28 shots for the Senators.

John Hayden had one shot on goal in 8:44 of ice time in his NHL debut. The Hawks 2013 third-round pick, who signed a two-year deal earlier this week, was thrust into the lineup due to Artem Anisimov’s injury. With Anisimov out for three to four weeks, Schmaltz moved down to center the second line while Hayden manned the left wing role on the top line. The 21-year-old Schmaltz struggled at the faceoff circle, winning just 22 percent (2 for 7) of his draws.

SCH 3 stars

  1. Panik (1 PPG)
  2. Turris (1 PPG)
  3. Darling (33 saves)

What’s next?

The Blackhawks wrap up their three-game Canadian road trip Saturday when they visit Toronto.