Patrick Kane had two points and extended his point streak to 17 games with his 35th goal of the season. Jonathan Toews scored his 27th goal of the season.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 39 stops on 41 shots and made numerous impressive stops throughout the game, especially in the second period when the Hawks had 20 shots.
How it Happened
Almost immediately after puck drop at the United Center, Cam Ward was called upon to make some high quality saves. He looked calm and collected in the first few minutes of the game as the Blue Jackets dominated possession.
Right from the start it was clear that part of the Blue Jackets’ game plan was to activate their defensemen and have them join rushes and pinch at the blue line. One prime example was when defenseman Seth Jones went hard to the net on a 2-on-2, but Carl Dahlstrom was able to skillfully block the attempted pass to Jones with a poke check.
Shortly after, Dylan Sikura just missed his first NHL goal on a scramble in front. Bobrovsky showed why he is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner with an impressive right pad save.
After a dump in by the Hawks, David Savard found Pierre-Luc Dubois with a rim around the boards. Dubois gained lots of speed in the neutral zone and beat Gustafsson wide to the net on a 2-on-2 rush. Dubois gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead with a snipe upstairs on Ward. Gustafsson’s defensive gap was a bit off and Dubois took advantage.
The Hawks almost got it right back when Slater Koekkoek one touched a pass to Toews backdoor. It looked like a sure goal, but Bobrovsky anticipated the pass and stoned the captain.
Near the end of the first period, Drake Caggiula was able to draw a penalty on Savard. After one of the better entries into the offensive zone, Alex DeBrincat found Kane who buried it for his 35th goal of the season. The goal extended Kane’s point streak to 17 games, which tied him with Mike Hoffman of the Florida Panthers for the longest point streak in the NHL this season.
17 seconds after Kane’s goal (brings back fond memories) Panarin scored on a one timer from right in the slot. Before the goal, Connor Murphy turned it over to Dubois who shot it behind the net. Oliver Bjorkstrand picked up the puck and found Panarin out front. It was Panarin’s 23rd goal of the season.
With less than a minute to go in the first period, Murphy whiffed on a bouncing puck at the blue line, which sprung Cam Atkinson and Panarin on a 2-on-1. Panarin set up Atkinson with an easy tap in for his second point of the game.
The Hawks came out much faster and determined in the second period. Similar to how the Blue Jackets’ defensemen were very active in the first period, the Hawks defensemen started to do the same.
The Hawks began to drive possession and had tons of glorious chances, but Bobrovsky continued his stellar play.
With only 40 seconds left in the second period, Kane was able to steal a puck in the offensive zone and give it to Gustafsson at the point. They interchanged positions and Gustafsson drove the net. Kane slid the puck to Gustafsson who then circled around the net and gave Toews an easy tap in. It was Toews’ 27th goal of the season and Kane extended his assist streak to 16 games.
In the second period alone the Hawks had 20 shots to give them 35 total after 40 minutes. It could have been a completely different score going into the third period if Bobrovsky was not on his A game.
Following a face-off win to start the third period, Koekkoek iced the puck. Toews ended up losing the resulting defensive zone face-off and Jones fired the puck towards the net. The puck deflected off of Panarin’s stick and it ricocheted above Ward’s glove. Unlucky. Panarin was not even looking at the puck when Jones took the shot. It was Panarin’s second goal and third point of the game.
Later in the third period, Atkinson received a breakaway pass from Panarin right at the blue line. Atkinson scored, but Jeremey Colliton challenged the goal for offsides. After a review, the Hawks got a break and the goal was disallowed.
After a slow change by the Blackhawks’ defensemen, Josh Anderson sped towards the net and scored his 20th goal of the season that Ward initially stopped, but the puck rolled in after Ward tried to catch it as it bounced in the air. Anderson’s goal iced the game for the Blue Jackets.
The Hawks had a 41-30 shot advantage, but a slow start that gave the Blue Jackets a 3-1 lead going into the second period was too much to overcome. In their last three games, the Hawks have been outscored 8-3 in the first period.
1. Artemi Panarin (2 G, 1 A)
2. Patrick Kane (1 G, 1 A, 22:13 TOI, extends his point streak to 17 games)
3. Sergei Bobrovsky (39 saves on 41 shots, 0.951 save-percentage)
The Blackhawks finish up their three game homestand against the Ottawa Senators Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the United Center in Chicago.