On Friday night, Patrick Kane scored twice as the Blackhawks edged the Islanders in Brooklyn.
On Saturday night, Kane had three points (one goal, two assists) as the Hawks ran away from the visiting Islanders in Chicago.
Coach Joel Quenneville mixed up three of his lines entering Saturday night’s game, but left one alone: Kane, Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin. And that line continues to be one of the most impressive in the league.
The line changes made by Quenneville included Teuvo Teravainen moving back to center and the third line, where he skated primarily with Bryan Bickell and Viktor Tikhonov. Andrew Shaw moved down to the fourth line, skating with Marcus Kruger and Andrew Desjardins. And Ryan Garbutt, coming off a strong showing on Friday night, got bumped up to the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.
In the first period, the new lines took some time to develop chemistry. But Kane and Panarin stayed hot to open the season, and made an impact early.
Only 4:07 into the game, Kane and Panarin created a scoring opportunity and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk cashed in for his first career NHL goal.
The second period was completely dominated by the Hawks, who – somehow – we outshot 13-11 by the Islanders in the period in spite of the home team controlling the flow for the entire 20 minutes. Kane took the puck away behind the Islanders net and fed Panarin for his second goal of the young season at 5:53.
A little more than ten minutes later, Panarin got the puck to van Riemsdyk who threw a great pass to Kane that was deflected into the net.
Panarin and van Riemsdyk had the first multi-point games of their respective NHL careers before the third period had even started. Kane and Panarin had three points each through 40 minutes of action.
Unfortunately for him, Islanders goaltender Jean-Francois Berube made his NHL debut in the second night of back-to-backs between familiar clubs and it didn’t treat him well. The high-octane offense for the Hawks was clicking early and often, as the 24-year-old rookie allowed three goals against 22 shots through two periods.
The third period was relatively uneventful until Marek Zidlicky leveled Garbutt from behind, sending him flying into Berube and the Islanders net. Zidlicky received a minor penalty for interference at 13:55 that apparently Islanders captain John Tavares didn’t agree with, and his comments to the officials resulted in him receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct minor and a trip to the showers by way of an accompanying game misconduct.
Brent Seabrook received a pretty pass from Teravainen on the following two-man advantage and scored his first of the season to extend the lead to four.
Zidlicky would head back to the box shortly after returning to the ice for high sticking Toews, but the Hawks got careless with the puck. Cal Clutterbuck scored a short-handed goal to crush Scott Darling’s shutout bid with 65 seconds left in regulation. The final score held up as 4-1.
Kane led the Blackhawks with seven shots on net in another strong offensive performance. With the game under control heading into the third period, Quenneville was able to spread out the ice time after playing a tougher game on Friday night. Duncan Keith was held to 19:38 in the game while Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with three blocked shots and added three hits in only 19:19 in the victory.
Trevor Daley led all Chicago skaters with 22:01 on the ice and continued to look more comfortable with the new team. He was credited with two hits and one blocked shot, and saw 4:10 of power play ice time in the game.
Viktor Svedberg, playing for the second straight night, was credited with two blocked shots and two hits in 16:17 in the game. Reports early during the game that the Hawks are actively trying to acquire help for the blue line puts his roster spot in jeopardy, however.
Darling stopped 28 of 29 to begin his season with a win. Anisimov and Teravainen struggled at the dot; Anisimov won only two of nine while Teravainen won three of ten. Toews won ten of 18 and finished tied with Garbutt and Bickell with a team-high four hits. Hossa added three takeaways to six shots on net.
The Hawks next game is in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.