Special teams, special effort, special win for Blackhawks

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Special teams, special effort, special win for Blackhawks

Lets face it, after escaping with a 5-4 win over Toronto last Wednesday, and captain Jonathan Toews return nowhere in sight, this three-game road trip looked ominous for a team fighting for playoff survival. But consecutive 2-1 wins in enemy territory over playoff-bound teams have turned the clock back on the back end of the recent four-game win streak that was so rudely interrupted by last weekends trip to California.

The Hawks killed off all four of their penalties two of which came as a result of coming to their teammates defense - and they added a power play goal on the first of their three opportunities. Theyve now connected on the man-advantage in three of their last four games after going 0-for-39 prior to that.

Added to the kills was another offsetting five-minute major when Andrew Shaw probably took his lumps against a bigger opponent in Brendan Smith, but it dropped the Wings down to four defensemen for five minutes after Jakub Kindl was lost earlier in the game, and Patrick Kanes game-winner came while the fighting major was served.

The Hawks were also getting annihilated in the faceoff circle through two periods: 10 wins, 24 losses. But in the 3rd they won 13 of 19, and had enough puck possession where they didnt have to completely play a soft zone.

While Patrick Sharp had a goal and an assist, some unsung heroes include: Brent Seabrook with four hits and three blocked shots in 28 minutes of ice time. Bryan Bickell had four more hits, giving him nine in these two games. Jamal Mayers and Johnny Oduya also got in front of three Wings shots. And oh yeah, Ray Emery. Just six of the last 132 shots hes faced have gotten past him.

Lets see if the Hawks can keep duplicating and pull off a three-game sweep Tuesday night in St. Louis.

Jonathan Marchessault's hat trick leads Panthers rout of Blackhawks

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AP

Jonathan Marchessault's hat trick leads Panthers rout of Blackhawks

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Jonathan Marchessault scored his first career hat trick, James Reimer stopped 25 shots for his first shutout of the season and the Florida Panthers routed the Chicago Blackhawks 7-0 on Saturday night.

Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and three assists, and Aleksander Barkov added a goal and two assists for Florida. Reilly Smith and Nick Bjugstad also scored to give the Panthers their largest margin of victory since an 8-0 win over Toronto on Feb. 5, 2008.

Marchessault had two goals in a 3-1 win over Arizona on Thursday. He has nine goals over his last nine games and leads the Panthers with 28.

Corey Crawford stopped 21 shots for the Blackhawks before being lifted at 4:59 of the third for Scott Darling, who allowed three goals on six shots.

Already leading 3-0, the Panthers poured in four goals in the third.

Marian Hossa named Blackhawks' nominee for 2017 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Marian Hossa named Blackhawks' nominee for 2017 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

The Chicago chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has selected Marian Hossa to be the Blackhawks' nominee for the 2017 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which recognizes perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

The 38-year-old winger has bounced back in a huge way following a 2015-16 campaign where he had only 13 goals and 20 assists in 64 games. 

Hossa is tied for second on the team with 24 goals and ranks sixth on the club with 42 points in 66 contests this season. He ranks fourth among active players with 1,131 points, and recently surpassed Pat Verbeek to move into 35th all-time in goals scored with 523.

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Three finalists from the 30 NHL teams will be named at the end of the regular season.

Pit Martin (1969-70) and Bryan Berard (2003-04) are the only two players in Blackhawks history to win the honor.