Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Panarin's Repeat Performance Powers Blackhawks Past Penguins, 3-1

The Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins met again Wednesday night, the 2nd half of a home-and-home series.  This time, the stage was the United Center. The star, the same as it was last night, Artemi Panarin who scored two more goals again tonight to give the Hawks a 3-1 win.

The Blackhawks came out blazing by peppering Marc-Andre Fleury with 15 shots in the first period while the Penguins managed just 3 shots on Scott Darling and the Blackhawks.  Puck possession was obviously what the Blackhawks had in mind as they put on a clinic keeping the puck in the Pittsburgh zone for close to a full minute.  It ended with Artemi Panarin whipping a snap shot off of Fleury thanks to the net presence of Artem Anisimov who screened the shot.  The period would end with the Blackhawks with a 15-3 shot advantage and a 1-0 lead.

In the 2nd, Pittsburgh would tie the game when Evgeni Malkin would slap a shot past Darling while on the power play with Patric Hornqvist screening Darling the entire time all alone in front of the net.  The Hawks had plenty of scoring chances again on Fleury, but Fleury answered them all in the period including an outstretched pad save on Trevor van Riemsdyk.  The period would end, 1-1, with the Blackhawks shot advantage at 25-11.

Fleury continued his dominance in net as he started the period rejecting a Jonathan Toews redirected shot.  With the game almost half over, Panarin scrapped for a loss puck off of a faceoff and the Breadman struck yet again with a wicked wrist shot to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.  The Penguins only mustered 18 shots for the entire game against Darling who picked up his 4th win of the season.  Late in the period, Kris Letang took a classless run at Panarin to deny him a chance for his first NHL hat trick.  And as any good Captain would, Toews took exception to it.  Panarin would have another chance before the game ended but missed wide by two feet.

Notable mentions: Marc-Andre Fleury played well to win both games in this home-and-home...but he didn't.  Artemi Panarin outscored the Penguin team over the last two games, 4-3.  He now has 38 points (15G 23A), 10 points ahead of any other rookie.  Patrick Kane's assist tonight gives him a 5-game point streak (2G 8A).  The Blackhawks are now just 6 points behind the Dallas Stars for best record in the conference.

Three Stars of The Game
1st - CHI - Artemi Panarin - 2G, +2, 4 shots
2nd - CHI - Artem Anisimov - 1A, +2
3rd - PIT - Marc-Andre Fleury - 36 saves, .944 SV%

Next game: Friday, January 8th, Home versus Buffalo Sabres, 7:30PM CT