The Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane hit career milestones and new stars emerged in 2017’s first week of action
The early days of 2017 revealed stellar performances around the NHL, including career milestones for the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane and impressive work from some of the league’s emerging stars.
In this week’s 3 Stars segment, we’ll commend three Blackhawks and three players from both the Eastern and Western conferences for their work over the last week’s action.
After starting 2017 with an uninspired 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues in the Winter Classic, the Chicago Blackhawks bounced back with consecutive one-goal wins over the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes and followed that with a 5-2 victory against Nashville on Sunday.
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The Blackhawks have posted an impressive record of 16-6-5 in 27 games decided by only one goal, and they head into Tuesday’s tilt against Detroit still perched atop the Western Conference.
(Note: These three stars for each category were decided prior to Sunday’s action.)
Chicago Blackhawks’ 3 Stars
Third star: Artem Anisimov. Posting his third multi-goal game of the season, Anisimov scored twice Thursday night against Buffalo to keep the ‘Hawks alive in Chicago’s come-from-behind 4-3 overtime victory.
Just 18 seconds after Chicago fell behind 2-1 on a powerplay goal by Buffalo’s Kyle Okposo, Anisimov tied the game with a nifty turnaround wrister from the right circle. Then, with the Blackhawks trailing 3-2 late in the third period, Anisimov banged home a rebound to send the game to overtime, which ended 56 seconds later with Patrick Kane’s game-winning goal.
Second star: Duncan Keith. Notching an assist in each of the past three games, Keith now has 27 helpers on the season, second among NHL defensemen. His breakout pass to Artemi Panarin led to Chicago’s early lead in the Winter Classic, and he ignited the play against Buffalo that ended with Anisimov’s game-tying score late in regulation.
But it was Keith’s ultra-skilled keep-in at the blue line that led to Panarin’s second-period powerplay goal against the Hurricanes and showed once again the two-time Norris Trophy winner still ranks among the NHL’s elite defensemen.
First star: Patrick Kane. With one goal and three assists in his last two games, Kane ranks second in the NHL with 29 helpers and fifth with 41 points. His overtime goal Thursday night against Buffalo was his fourth game-winning goal this season and 48th of his career, which ties him with Stan Mikita for third most in franchise history.
Playing in his 700th career game Friday night against Carolina, Kaner made a masterful rink-wide pass thru traffic to get the assist on what proved to be the game-winning goal. Kane ended the week with nine multi-point games this season.