Late power play goal pushes Blackhawks past Senators

Late power play goal pushes Blackhawks past Senators

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Chicago goaltender Scott Darling and Ottawa netminder Mike Condon had to put their friendship on hold Thursday night.

Darling made 33 saves and Richard Panik scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period to lift the Blackhawks over Condon and the Senators 2-1.

Panik beat Condon on the power play at 16:59 of the third, finding the back of the net on a one-timer off a feed from Patrick Kane, who was behind the net.

"It's fun. We've been friends for 10 or 12 years, and it's the fifth time we've played each other in pro and we love it. Second NHL game, but we've played each other twice in the (American Hockey League) and once in the (ECHL)," Darling said.

"We're great friends and we both want to win. I'm happy he played well but I'm happy I won."

Duncan Keith had the other goal for the Blackhawks, who got their second straight win.

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Condon made 26 saves for the Senators, who failed to jump into first place in the Atlantic Division. Kyle Turris scored the lone goal.

Keith opened the scoring 8:04 into the third period. Condon made the initial save on the shot but the rebound bounced off a collection of bodies in front of the net before crossing the goal line.

"I thought the rebound was going far right so I tried to extend, then it hit a skate and went the other way," Condon said. "I tried to lay back and cover it up, but the guy tapped it in."

Turris tied the game at 11:23 on the power play with a one-timer from the right side that beat a screened Darling over the shoulder with Bobby Ryan on top of the crease.

"It was good to take advantage of an opportunity there. I was just trying to get the puck through because we've been struggling on the (power play)," Turris said.

"It's a frustrating result. I thought we played a pretty solid, structured game, it just got away at the end there."

Neither team was able to score despite firing 43 combined shots on goal through two periods.

The Senators had 21 shots on Darling through the first two periods but another 23 were blocked by Blackhawks skaters. Condon made 22 saves while his teammates blocked 10 additional shots.

Condon's best save was a glove grab against Artemi Panarin in the second after Senators forward Derick Brassard tried to clear the puck behind the goal but it bounced off the side of the net right to Panarin in the slot.

"There wasn't much of back and forth and it was kind of a weird game. It seemed slow and boring in a lot of ways," Keith said.

The Senators had back-to-back power plays late in the second as Marian Hossa was called for holding just eight seconds after Marcus Kruger finished serving his interference penalty.

Ottawa had two shots on each of those power plays with no luck. Cody Ceci had no luck either as he was staring at a wide-open net from the face-off circle but the puck jumped over his stick.

Click here for the full Blackhawks-Senators box score.

Blackhawks will try to avoid end-of-bye-week pitfalls

Blackhawks will try to avoid end-of-bye-week pitfalls

Coach Joel Quenneville is cognizant of how the bye week has effected some teams that have already taken it. He and the Blackhawks got a glimpse of that last Saturday when they soundly beat the Edmonton Oilers, who had just come off theirs.

As Quenneville said, “I think teams are having a little bit of a hiccup coming out of it.”

So how do you avoid that hiccup?

“Don’t know that,” Quenneville said. “I think we’ve been pretty good being fresh coming out of days off but we’ve never had this kind of break.”

The Blackhawks can take a lesson from last weekend’s visit to Edmonton heading into Saturday night, when they host the Oilers. Not only do you need that jump off to start, you need to sustain it. The Oilers got the early 1-0 advantage but the Blackhawks took over after that.

“It’s always tough to try and find your legs right away,” Ryan Hartman said. “The key is to worry about that first period, put yourself in good position to finish off strong and it’s always nice when you start at home after a break have the fans behind you. We’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Duncan Keith said it’s not just about the physical preparation out of the break, either.

“[The Oilers] will be ready, and it comes down to being a little more mentally prepared than normal. You try to find a way to get yourself into it right away,” Keith said. “We just have to make sure we’re taking short shifts and keeping as high a pace as we can.”

Brian Campbell said the start isn’t important solely for this game but also for the Blackhawks’ latest series of games. The Blackhawks have three games in four nights and are still chasing the Minnesota Wild, who they face on Tuesday. The Wild caught up to the Blackhawks in games this past week but also now have a seven-point lead over them.

“Obviously you don’t want to look too far ahead but Minnesota is one of those games to the end there. That’s another huge game for us so we have to keep finding ways to put points in the bank here,” Campbell said. “Last game against Edmonton, they came off their break, I don’t know if they were at their best but it’s going to be reversed. We want to try and catch Minnesota.”

The Blackhawks enjoyed the break but were glad to be back to practice on Friday. They’re used to stretch-run hockey but they’re not used to hitting it coming off a break like this. They went into the bye with a flourish. They’d like to come out of it the same way.

“Our guys are pretty good about coming ready to play and I certainly liked how we went into the break, knowing that was a question mark, how we’re going to be and that you’re going to be out for a little bit. And I thought we played extremely well in Edmonton there,” Quenneville said. “But they weren’t their best when they came out of it. Hopefully we got a little bit of a lesson from that, knowing that they’re going to be much better tomorrow.”

Quick Hits: Blackhawks’ second line erupts in win over Jets

Quick Hits: Blackhawks’ second line erupts in win over Jets

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Finding offense against the Winnipeg Jets: for the Blackhawks this season, it hasn't been easy.

And even on Friday night, it ultimately wasn't about what the Blackhawks produced in their 5-2 victory over the Jets. It was about what they gave up, and between Corey Crawford's work and that of the defense, that wasn't much.

But this trip isn't over just yet. So before we wrap it up in Edmonton, let's look at the Quick Hits from Friday's game:

What Worked: The Blackhawks' second line. It wasn't that long ago that Artemi Panarin, Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov were so quiet offensively that some wondered if it was time to split them up. Coach Joel Quenneville wasn't hearing of it; the potential of what they could do together was too strong. Good thinking. The line was tremendous on Friday night, with Kane and Anisimov each having a goal and an assist and Panarin recording a goal and two assists.  

What Didn't Work: The Jets attempt at a comeback. Winnipeg had its chances, including two power plays in the final eight minutes of regulation. But unlike their last meeting in Chicago, the Jets weren't going to get the best of the Blackhawks in this one. The Blackhawks defended well, and Duncan Keith's goal, which made it 3-1 at the time, was a dagger to the Jets.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Star of the game: Brent Seabrook. Sure, it'd be easy to go with Kane (see his latest milestone number below). But Seabrook also deserves credit for a strong game. Look at his block late in the second period: if that goal gets through it's a 2-2 game and who knows how things carry over into the third period. Seabrook played just under 20 minutes against the Jets, recording three shots on goal and six blocked shots, tied for team best with Niklas Hjalmarsson. Corey Crawford was grateful. "Yeah, he was awesome out there. He had like 12 saves," Crawford said.

He Said It: "When we began this trip after the break, it was an important stretch for us knowing we could make or break our year. We captured some momentum here going into the last part of it. It's been a real positive trip for us, and tonight may have been the best." – Coach Joel Quenneville

By the Numbers: 

269 – Career goals for Patrick Kane, who is now sixth all-time on the Blackhawks list in that category. That's also the most goals for an American-born player in Blackhawks history. 

185 – Multi-point games for Kane (goal, assist), tying Joe Thornton for sixth most in the league since Kane's rookie season. (Stat courtesy of TSN StatsCentre). 

1 for 16 – Blackhawks power play vs. the Jets through these first two tonight and the previous four games.

5 – Goals for the Blackhawks on Friday night. They had five goals in their previous four games combined against the Jets this season.