Chicago dominated the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, winning 8-2 in the first of back to back games. The power play scored on four out of five attempts, Richard Panik broke his scoring drought, a host of Blackhawks continued their point streaks, and Anton Forsberg continued his solid play in net.
What started as a relatively back and forth affair quickly turned into a host of Ottawa (14-18-9) scoring chances, as the Senators would pepper Anton Forsberg with eight shots on goal in thirteen scoring chances. Forsberg stood tall, and Chicago (21-15-6) found the lead late in the period after Richard Panik rifled one past Craig Anderson. The goal was Panik’s first since October 21st, and Chicago headed to the dressing rooms with a 1-0 lead.
PANIK! At the Canadian Tire Centre. #Blackhawks lead 1-0 at the end of the first period. pic.twitter.com/amNDO4NhuY— Brad Repplinger (@TCRBrad) January 10, 2018
The second period was LOADED with action, as the Hawks opened up their lead when Patrick Sharp fired home a shot that Anderson missed. Sharp’s goal was his third goal in four games after going scoreless in his last twelve appearances. Nick Schmaltz followed that up with a power play goal, extending his point streak to four games and giving Chicago a 3-0 lead. Jonathan Toews tallied ANOTHER goal just a minute and a half later, and the Hawks were rolling with a 4-0 lead. The Senators pulled Craig Anderson after the goal, and Mike Condon came in to replace the “Hamburglar” after a 22 of 26 save night.
Ottawa’s switch at the goaltender position gave them a bit of much needed momentum, as the Senators jumped on the board after Mark Stone (their leading scorer) found pay dirt at the halfway point in the period. Derick Brassard scored for the Senators six minutes later, and suddenly Chicago’s lead was cut to just two. Enter the power play, as the Hawks would notch back to back power play goals to build their lead back up to four. Nick Schmaltz and Jan Rutta were the goal scorers, with Patrick Kane and Anton Forsberg(!?) assisting on the plays.
Chicago continued to pressure Ottawa in the third, as Jonathan Toews scored his second goal of the game in the first five minutes of the final stanza off a GREAT pass from Vinnie Hinostroza. Patrick Kane would jump in on the action with a power play goal midway through the period. The goal marked his fifth point of the night, and all but confirmed Chicago’s dominating victory.
The Blackhawks return home to face the Minnesota Wild tomorrow night at 7:00pm CST.
CHI Goals: Panik (6), Sharp (6), Schmaltz (11), Toews (13), Schmaltz (12), Rutta (4), Toews (14), Kane (18)
OTT Goals: Stone (18), Brassard (12)
Potent power play proved productive
Three power play goals from Chicago in the second period put tonight’s game out of hand. With the third worst power play production in the league heading into tonight’s game, it was a MUCH needed boost to the offense to see the Hawks rattle off four total PPG’s in 5 total attempts.
Top Three Ticking Together
Apparently the key to kick-starting the Toews’ line is to add Vinnie Hinostroza, as his addition to the line has produced a total of 23 points in six games. Surges like this are how Chicago is going to move back into a playoff spot.
Forsberg Found Form
Sure, the offense put up eight total goals tonight...but do NOT count out the play of Anton Forsberg. After earning his first regular season win on Sunday, Forsberg followed up with a 24 save night on the road. With the Hawks playing in back to back nights, we knew the goaltending would need to play a prominent role. Forsberg delivered.
OH. MY. FORSBERG.— Brad Repplinger (@TCRBrad) January 10, 2018
Call the cops. This is robbery. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/PSDES8JUyl
1. Patrick Kane (CHI) - 1 goal, 4 assists
2. Nick Schmaltz (CHI) - 2 goals, 1 assist
3. Richard Panik (CHI) - 1st goal since October 21st