Blackhawks vs. Stars final score 2016: Chicago’s penalty kill finishes off 3-2 win

The Hawks’ penalty kill — THE PENALTY KILL — came up big in the final two minutes of a win over Dallas on Saturday night.

The Chicago Blackhawks extended their win streak to five games with a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. The Hawks’ penalty kill (!!!) came up huge in the final two minutes to cement the victory in the latest sign that the PK is back on track.

Chicago didn’t waste any time getting out to a quick lead by scoring just 11 seconds into the game. Richard Panik put home a wild puck in the crease off a Patrick Kane shot to put the Hawks up 1-0. It’s got to be one of the quickest goals in Blackhawks history, although it’s not the quickest. That honor belongs to Brent Sutter’s goal just eight seconds into a game against the Canucks on Feb. 5, 1995.

The Stars quickly punched back from there with a pair of quick goals by Brett Ritchie and Curtis McKenzie to take a 2-1 lead. It was a strong response by Dallas after the rough start, and the Hawks needed to respond accordingly.

That’s just what they did, as Ryan Hartman and Patrick Kane scored goals in the second period to take back the lead. Kane’s fourth goal of the season put the Hawks up 3-2, and set up an exciting third period.

And then things got REALLY interesting in the final two minutes when Marcus Kruger got whistled for a high-sticking double minor. That put the Hawks on a huge penalty kill with a one-goal lead, no Kruger, and the Stars with a 6-on-4 advantage after pulling their goaltender.

It’s the kind of situation that led CSN’s broadcast to go to the behind-the-net camera, and any time they use that angle, I get all antsy. The last couple minutes of this game were VERY stressful, to say the least.

The Blackhawks hung on, though, and offered maybe the best sign yet of how far their penalty kill has come. With Dallas up two men and going full bore to try to force overtime, the PKers avoided any major gaffes and Corey Crawford made a couple huge saves in tight spaces.

Chicago stays atop the Central Division with a 8-3-1 record following the win. Dallas remains in fifth place with a 4-5-2 record. The two teams will meet again Sunday in the second leg of a home-and-home at the United Center.