Blackhawks vs. Senators: 3 stars of the game
The Blackhawks get back into the win column with no shortage of key contributors. Who stuck out the most Sunday against Ottawa?
After suffering two straight road losses to division opponents, the Blackhawks returned to the United Center to take down the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, on Sunday night. The 'Hawks were able to capitalize on some key opportunities and get their offense going a bit more. There was some sloppy defensive play, but overall the Blackhawks turned in a solid 60-minute effort.
Jeremy Morin returned to the lineup in place of the injured Daniel Carcillo, and Coach Q made some key adjustments to the forward lines in the win. Rookie Scott Darling made his NHL debut, and got the win in a very impressive performance. The Blackhawks finally got a goal in the second period, with tallies from Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook, and Patrick Kane earned his 500th career point. Safe to say there were quite a few key contributors to this one, but who stuck out the most?
3. Patrick Kane
In honor of his aforementioned 500th career point, #88 gets my nod as the third star of tonights game. Kaner made a sweet pass to the Captain to free him up for a goal in order to earn that 500th point, but that wasn't his only impact on this game. He had quite a few scoring chances, and although he was unable to pot one himself, you can't help but feel that he is due to get on a goal-scoring run soon. Hopefully he will get going at even strength instead of just scoring on the power play, but for tonight, congrats to the $84-million man on his 500th career point.
2. Jonathan Toews
The Captain was all over the ice tonight, playing well in all situations. His goal, a slick wraparound effort just 21 seconds into the 2nd, was a true beauty in which he displayed incredible patience to wait out Craig Anderson, then incredible quickness to get around the net fast enough to stuff it home. He also headed up quite a few odd-man rushes later in the game, and was great on the penalty kill. All-around solid night for him, earning him the second star tonight.
1. Scott Darling
The 25-year old Lemont, Ill., native was more than impressive in his NHL debut. He single-handedly kept the 'Hawks in the game in the first, making quite a few key saves and keeping the game scoreless when it probably could have been 3-0 Ottawa. He was aggressive in the crease, which was encouraging to see from a guy in his first NHL game. That, along with the great lateral movement he displayed and 6'6" frame that he used to take up most of the net, allowed him to stop 32 of the Senators' 33 shots to earn his first NHL win in his first NHL game. Congrats to him on that, and hopefully he will continue to play like this in the future.