On the night Patrick Kane reached 500 career points, the story at the United Center was the exceptional outing from goaltender Scott Darling as the Blackhawks defeated the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night.
The game featured two starting netminders who were born in the Chicago area, but it was Darling who earned the first victory of his NHL career. The Sens brought it early, including a power play as Marcus Kruger went to the box for tripping less than three minutes into the contest, but Darling stood strong.
Only 21 seconds into the second period, Jonathan Toews scored the 197th goal of his career to give the Hawks the lead. Ottawa was able to tie the game on a short-handed goal by Milan Michalek that was aided by a referee mix-up and Brad Richards completely giving up on the play.
Richards came back and was credited with the primary assist on a Brent Seabrook power play goal later in the second period that would stand up as the game-winning goal.
Ottawa brought it again the third period, out-shooting the Hawks 16-11 in the final frame. But Darling was up to the task, making 32 saves in the game. Darling became only the fifth Illinois native to win an NHL game, three of which have come with the Blackhawks.
Jeremy Morin was in the lineup for the injured Daniel Carcillo, and played a solid game in spite of a predictably limited work load. He skated only 7:19 but was credited with three shots on net and two hits. Morin had a plus-six CORSI in the game, which ranked fourth among Chicago forwards behind Patrick Sharp (plus-12), Kris Versteeg (plus-10) and Toews (plus-nine).
Toews skated 22:34 and won 17 of 25 faceoffs to lead the way. With his goal, the Hawks captain tied Troy Murray for 19th on the Blackhawks’ all-time goal scorers list.
David Rundblad was in the lineup for Michal Rozsival and skated only 6:34. His partner on the blue line, Trevor van Riemsdyk, was limited to only 7:16 in the game but was credited with two shots on net.
All 18 Blackhawks skaters had at least one shot on net in the game.
The Hawks were 1-6 on the power play, and successfully killed all three of the Sens power plays.
Sunday night was Hockey Fights Cancer night at the United Center.