Jayce Hawryluk scored twice, including his first NHL career goal, to lead Florida (15-14-6) to its first win at the United Center since Dec. 16, 2007. Mike Hoffman, Jared McCann and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and assist, Denis Malgain also scored and James Reimer had 26 saves.
Chicago forward Dylan Strome posted three points with a goal and two assists, Connor Murphy had a goal and an assist and Alex DeBrincat tallied his 17th goal of the season.
This one started out in Chicago’s favor, as the Hawks (13-20-6) opened the scoring for the fifth time in seven games on Murphy’s slap shot from the right circle. Oddly enough, Chicago only had four players on the ice during the play as Christ Kunitz was late getting back into the game. It was Kunitz’s first game after being a healthy scratch for six games.
It was an all-Arizona goal for Murphy as Strome and Brendan Perlini were credited with the assists.
Florida retaliated late in the first, however, after Hawryluk fired a shot past a poorly positioned Cam Ward to tie the game 1-1. Ward tried to disrupt Hawryluk out in front of the net. Ward tried.
“bUt YoU hAvE tO cUt DoWn ThE aNgLe AnD cHaLlEnGe ThE sHoOtEr” pic.twitter.com/dYtBlrDuwZ— Second City Hockey (@2ndCityHockey) December 24, 2018
Hawryluk added his second goal after a great lead pass from Mike Matheson. Hawryluk split the paring of Erik Gustafsson and Duncan Keith to create the scoring chance to give Florida a 2-1 lead.
Just a few minutes later, DeBrincat tied the game on a follow-up shot from Strome. DeBrincat initially tried to feed the puck across the slot to linemate Patrick Kane, but his pass ended up hitting one of Strome’s skates and bounced off the right post. DeBrincat knocked in his own pass to tie Kane for the team lead in goals scored at 17.
Florida didn’t go quietly though, as the Panthers scored two goals in 31 seconds to jump ahead 4-2.
Hoffman tallied the first one, ending Chicago’s streak of 10 successful penalty kills with his 17th goal of the season. McCann made it a two-goal game after Ward gave up a big rebound.
With thoughts of re-creating their 5-4 overtime comeback win over Florida in November, the Hawks took another step backwards when Malgin scored 59 seconds into the third period. The goal opened up Florida’s lead to 5-2, which marked the ninth time this season the Hawks have allowed five goals or more in a game.
Strome tried to pull Chicago back into the contest, on a tap in goal from Kane to close the gap to 5-3, but Vatrano tallied an empty-net goal with 61 seconds left in the game.
Chicago has a three-day Christmas break, before returning to the United Center to face the Wild on Thursday.
1) Jayce Hawryluk (FLA) — 2 goals
2) Dylan Strome (CHI) — 1 goal, 2 assists
3) Jared McCann (FLA) — 1 goal, 1 assist