Cory Schneider’s tremendous run continued at the expense of the Chicago Blackhawks.
For the sixth straight game, Schneider allowed no more than two goals and the Devils made their limited scoring chances matter at the United Center.
New Jersey was credited with only 22 shots on goal but three of them beat Corey Crawford, the third of which game with only 2:27 left in regulation while Patrick Kane sat in the penalty box.
Kane and Artemi Panarin were, once again, the sum of the Hawks offense. Kane scored his 11th of the season on a two-man advantage in the first period. Jersey scored twice in the second period to take the lead, but Panarin came back with his fifth of the year to tie the game in the third. Sergey Kalinin scored the game-winner a little more than four minutes after Panarin’s goal.
Andrew Shaw got the bump up to the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa and picked up six hits in 18:19. However, Hossa was credited with five of the eight shots those three put on net in another game that ended without that like scoring a goal. (Toews had an assist on Kane’s power play goal in the first.)
The new-look third line showed some signs of promise, however. Marko Dano was credited with four hits and one blocked shot, but showed a lot of energy throughout the night. Teuvo Teravainen was only credited with one shot on net in another quiet evening, while Tanner Kero won one of four faceoffs and was credited with two hits and one takeaway.
On the blue line, Erik Gustafsson took another step forward with a strong showing once again. He skated 14:07 with an assist on Panarin’s goal and one hit, but has shown the ability to join the offense effectively over the last few games.
Gustafsson’s play has been good enough on both ends of the ice for David Rundblad’s time in Chicago to come to an end soon. With Duncan Keith and Michal Rozsival coming back from their injuries soon, the Hawks will need to make two defensemen disappear at some point. It has become clear that Gustafsson is ready to be part of the Blackhawks moving forward, displacing Rundblad for good.
But the Hawks front office still needs to pull the trigger on that move, which would require placing Rundblad on waivers as early as Friday morning.
Artem Anisimov skated 19:19, most of which was with Kane and Panarin, and picked up three hits and one blocked shot. He won only four of 14 faceoffs as Blackhawks not-named-Toews struggled at the dot; Chicago’s captain won 12 of 18 faceoffs, while the rest of the roster won only eight of 28.
Brandon Mashinter skated 5:37 with two hits. He finished minus-one.
Andrew Desjardins skated 7:21 with two hits. He finished minus-one.
The Hawks are back on the ice in St. Louis on Saturday night.