The Blackhawks were looking to bounce back from an ugly performance in Winnipeg on Tuesday against a banged up Flames team playing their third goal in four nights.
In the first period, the Hawks saw the starting lines quickly get thrown into the blender and, eventually, Ryan Hartman found his efforts noticed and paying off with top line minutes. Richard Panik started with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, but Hartman earned a bump early.
At 7:42 into the first, Hartman received a beautiful, long pass from Artem Anisimov and beat Chad Johnson for his third goal of the season.
Unfortunately, two late period penalties opened the door for Calgary to build some momentum offensively. The Hawks successfully killed penalties on Jordin Tootoo and Marcus Kruger, the second of which overlapped into the second period. But Calgary wouldn’t be held off the board for long.
It helped the Flames’ chances when Kane robbed himself.
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) November 19, 2016
Sam Bennett and Sean Monahan scored 3:30 apart early in the second period to give the Flames a 2-1 lead. Troy Brouwer had an assist on both goals, and the two young forwards picked up assists on each others goals for three two-point performances quickly for a Calgary team that was without Johnny Gaudreau.
Thankfully, Chicago got a power play of their own when Matthew Tkachuk caught Marian Hossa with a high stick. Brent Seabrook made it pay with a missile that tied the game at two.
Through two periods, the Flames had out-shot the Hawks 20-18 but Chicago had spent eight full, successful minutes killing penalties in the opening 40 minutes. After a rough night against Winnipeg, Corey Crawford bounced back with a strong performance in the opening two periods to thwart a number of tremendous chances for Calgary.
In the third period, both teams took a more defensive approach. Only ten combined shots reached either net in the first 15 minutes of the third with both teams looking for a go-ahead goal.
With roughly 2:30 left in regulation, a hard shot by Artemi Panarin popped high up in the air. Marian Hossa followed the play to the front of the net and tipped the puck past Johnson for a 3-2 Chicago lead.
Calgary wanted to challenge that there was goaltender interference on the play, but they had already used their timeout. The goal stood.
But nothing can come easily. With nine seconds left in regulation, Anisimov was called for tripping Monahan. Kruger made a fabulous block and Crawford made a good save during the brief power play and the Hawks were able to hang on for a good road win.
Crawford finished with 28 saves against 30 shots in the win.
Seabrook, Brian Campbell and Dennis Rasmussen led the Hawks with three blocked shots each. Rasmussen skated on a line with Kruger for most of the night and, when with Hartman, looked as good as any line coach Joel Quenneville put on the ice.
Michal Kempny had a terrific night and led the Blackhawks with five shots on net. He picked up an assist on Hossa’s game-winner. He also blocked two shots and was credited with one hit in 18:16.
Toews won only eight of 21 faceoffs and rookie Nick Schmaltz won just two of 10 in a tough night at the dot. Monahan was the primary reason for that; Calgary’s star won 14 of 18 in defeat. Anisimov won half of his 14 faceoffs, however, and Rasmussen won six of 11. Kruger only took one faceoff in the game.
The Blackhawks officially finished the night perfect on five penalty kills, though the final one was only 8.8 seconds in length. Chicago converted their only power play into the game-trying goal from Seabrook in the second.
Before Friday night’s game in Calgary, the Blackhawks got some encouraging news.
Vince Hinostroza had been on bed rest to recover from a concussion since getting rocked on Tuesday night in Winnipeg. He joined the team at the morning skate on Friday, but did not dress. He “might” be available on Saturday night in Vancouver.
Another rookie forward who has been missing might be on his way back soon as well. Tyler Motte, who has been out since Nov. 6, could join the team in Vancouver on Saturday. When he returns to the lineup is a question, but being with his teammates is a great sign he isn’t far away.