The Chicago Blackhawks bounced back from a tough stretch of hockey with a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
As anyone would say, the Hawks needed this one. The expected themselves to roll into Pittsburgh with a determined mindset to get started early on and keep pressure on the Penguins. Luckily, that’s just what they did.
In the high scoring opening frame, the Hawks were ready to compete. Patrick Kane lead Artemi Panarin a beautiful pass from behind the net, leading to their first goal just 3:23 into the game.
After lengthy battles down both sides of the ice, Richard Panik was given a great pass by Nick Schmaltz, allowing him to rifle home his 22nd goal of the year to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
In the final moments of the period, the Hawks unloaded on the Pens. Marcus Kruger and Marian Hossa scored within 41 seconds of one another to give the Hawks a 4-0 lead over the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, lifting them with confidence heading into the second period.
With a scoreless middle frame, the Hawks looked to seal the deal in the third period.
Tanner Kero was able to make it 5-0 in favor of the Hawks nearly a minute in, but was soon answered by Bryan Rust four minutes later. The Hawks held on for the remainder of the game, finally winning 5-1 and heading back home to face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.
UNPOPULAR THOUGHT ALERT:
This actually wasn’t an easy game for Corey Crawford. The scoreboard may have let it seem like it, but Crawford was on his toes all game long and didn’t budge anytime the Penguins came up the ice. He stopped 31 of 32 shots, stopping four from Sidney Crosby, and three each from Phil Kessel and Patric Hornqvist.
That’s not such an easy task. Hats off to Crow!