After out-shooting the Vancouver Canucks 44-15 on Tuesday night, the Blackhawks opted for the opposite approach on Thursday against the Dallas Stars.
Dallas held a 13-7 shot advantage after 20 minutes, but a Patrick Kane power play goal gave Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Kane’s 33rd of the season came with assists from Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik, but the first period was sloppy by both sides. Chicago killed two penalties successfully in the first, and Dallas was able to kill one of two.
Corey Crawford, who was joined on the ice by Hall of Famer Ed Belfour pregame, was shaky early but settled down as the period progressed. And it’s good that he did because the Stars attack continued into the second period.
Ryan Hartman, playing center again, won half of his eight faceoffs in the opening 40 minutes and agitated the Stars frequently. Dallas picked back at him, and Hartman dropped the gloves with Dan Hamhuis at 11:46 into the second.
Ales Hemsky scored his second of the year 40 seconds after the fight to tie the game at one, and the Hawks struggled to clear their defensive zone way too much.
After 40 minutes, Dallas held a 27-14 shot advantage. If not for Crawford, the Hawks could have easily been chasing a couple goals entering the third.
Early in the third period, Marian Hossa had a good scoring chance broken up on a partial breakaway. Later, however, Hossa wouldn’t be denied.
Trevor van Riemsdyk and Nick Schmaltz picked up the helpers on Hossa’s 24th of the season at 8:37 into the third.
Unfortunately, Hemsky decided to contribute offensively on Thursday night. With 5:09 left in regulation, he scored again to tie the game – again. Hemsky’s second goal of the night gave him three for the season.
With 55 seconds left in regulation, Radek Faksa tripped Artemi Panarin to give the Blackhawks a much-needed power play. Chicago couldn’t capitalize before the third period ended, and carried 65 seconds of power play time into overtime.
Through 60 minutes, Dallas held a 38-23 shot advantage but both teams had two on the scoreboard. Chicago’s skaters blocked another 11 in regulation; Dallas blocked 15.
Dallas – the worst PK unit in the league – killed 65 seconds of Toews, Kane, Panarin and Keith to start overtime.
The Hawks had control of the pick for almost all of the first three minutes of overtime, but Jamie Benn got a good shot off with 94 seconds left in overtime that Crawford struggled to control. Crawford made a few huge saves in the final minute to keep the game tied, and the teams headed to a shootout.
Crawford finished with 42 saves; Kari Lehtonen stopped 24.
In the shootout, Toews led off with a miss for Chicago. Tyler Seguin scored for Dallas. Kane then undressed Lehtonen and scored. Benn missed. Panarin beat Lehtonen and Hemsky, the night’s villain, missed. Chicago won.
Toews won 13 of 24 faceoffs with an assist, one hit and two takeaways. Kane led Chicago with five shots on net.
Hartman won six of 14 faceoffs with one blocked shot, two hits and seven penalty minutes. John Hayden skated 13:13 and led the Blackhawks in hits again; he was credited with four on Thursday night.
Keith skated 28:51 and led Chicago with five blocked shots.
Minnesota lost in regulation, meaning the win gives Chicago a nine-point lead in the Central Division.