On the night that Marian Hossa reached 1,000 career points, the Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators needed shootout to decide the contest. Thankfully, Patrick Sharp closed the deal and Scott Darling picked up his second win in three NHL starts.
The Hawks play in regulation left a lot to be desired. They allowed 32 shots in regulation and the overtime, and Darling finally looked somewhat vulnerable. Even with a couple goals he’d undoubtedly like to have back, his performance between the pipes kept the Hawks in the game early and for much of the third period.
Ottawa’s third goal, from Bobby Ryan only 30 seconds into the third period, shortened the night for Bryan Bickell. Bickell committed the ugliest turnover of the night, putting the puck on Ryan’s tape less than ten feet in front of Darling and the sniper finished with authority. The Hawks forward only got three shifts after the giveaway.
Jonathan Toews played a fantastic game. He scored two of the Hawks four goals, won 16 of 25 faceoffs and was credited with one hit, one takeaway and three shots on net in the victory. Chicago’s captain finished the night with a team-leading plus-16 CORSI.
Kris Versteeg looked good again as well. He finished with a plus-eight CORSI with one goal and one assist in the game, and undressed former Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson on his goal in the first period.
The Hawks spent far too much time in the penalty box, especially late in the game. Three Chicago players – Marcus Kruger, Jeremy Morin and Patrick Kane (serving a too many men penalty) – went to the box inside the first eight minutes of the final frame, but the Hawks were able to survive the three penalties and tie the game between mistakes.
Morin, who was outstanding in the Hawks’ previous game, found himself stapled to the bench again on Thursday night. He skated only nine shifts (6:25) with one shot on net in the game.
Brent Seabrook led the team with six shots on net, while Andrew Shaw was credited with a team-high four hits. Duncan Keith skated 28:12 and led the way with four blocked shots and an assist.
At the end of the night, the Hawks picked up the important second point and Hossa became the fourth active player to have 1,000 career regular season points. Thursday was only the third time this season that the Hawks have scored more than two goals; hopefully the offense stays around for a while.
As the Blackhawks head into the weekend and November, they now have to make a decision with their goaltenders. Darling has forced himself into the conversation, but Corey Crawford was healthy enough to serve as the backup on the bench on Thursday night and appears to be ready to return soon. Darling and Antti Raanta are both able to be sent to Rockford without going through waivers. That decision could come in the next 24 hours.