With Nick Schmaltz centering the second line in place of the injured Artem Anisimov, Chicago’s top two lines kept the heat on against Ottawa, earning four points and igniting both Blackhawks scores. Panik notched his 18th marker and fourth game-winning goal of the season while linemate Toews added an assist to push his season point total to 50.
Red-hot Patrick Kane set up Panik’s game-winner with a laser feed from behind the net, and his 77 points is just two below league-leaders Brad Marchand and Connor McDavid. Kaner now has two goals and five assists on a four-game point streak. Contributing an assist at Ottawa, Artemi Panarin is on his own four-game point streak, and since his hit podcast “Soup and a Sandwich” wrapped production in mid-February, the Bread Man has produced four goals and seven assists over the past ten games.
With Anisimov out for the next few weeks, Chicago’s top producers appear determined to do the heavy lifting down the stretch.
Ryan Hartman has been held pointless for the last nine games, but continues his remarkable play off the scoresheet. His ferocious back-check to bury the stick of Ottawa’s Zach Smith killed an open net A+ chance for the Sens to take the lead mid-way through the third.
The Blackhawks were clobbered at the dot for the second straight game, losing 64 percent of their draws against Ottawa. All the ‘Hawks centermen finished well below 50 percent on the night. Ouch.
The Blackhawks travel to Toronto to finish this three-game road trip Saturday night against the Maple Leafs. GO ‘HAWKS!