The Blackhawks had a couple days off in Florida to consider their overtime loss in Tampa. They could have come out rusty after Thanksgiving against a struggling Panthers team.
Chicago came out firing early and often on Roberto Luongo. All four lines were clicking early, and at 9:25 into the first the fourth line got the Hawks on the board.
Tommy Wingels picked up the only assist on John Hayden’s third of the season.
The top line, which has struggled to produce over the last couple weeks, then got rolling. Five minutes after the Hayden goal, a relentless attack saw Brandon Saad score for only the second time since Oct. 14, extending the Chicago lead to 2-0.
Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith were credited with assists on the Saad goal.
In the opening 20 minutes – without a power play – the Blackhawks out-shot the Panthers 21-7 and controlled the action throughout.
But Florida would respond. Nick Schmaltz went to the box with 69 seconds left in the first period, and the Panthers were able to gain some momentum in the closing portion of the penalty that carried over to start the second. Once Schmaltz emerged from the box, a turnover turned into a goal for Florida as Jared McCann cut the lead to 2-1 at 1:06 into the second.
Chicago would get right back on the attack, though.
Seven minutes into the second, Patrick Kane sniped home a goal to make the score 3-1.
Toews and Saad were credited with the goals on Kane’s goal, giving each a multi-point night.
Toews wasn’t done, though. Ten minutes later, he snuck a puck through Luongo to push the score to 4-1.
The goal capped the scoring for the night for both teams, and gave Chicago’s captain a three-point night. Toews now has eight points in 10 games in November, matching his point total from October.
Corey Crawford carried the load the rest of the way, stopping 18 of 19 shots in the second period and all 12 Florida shots in the third to earn the victory. Crawford made 37 saves in another stellar performance.
Toews won 13 of 19 at the dot and had two takeaways to lead the Hawks in those areas as well. Saad was credited with a team-leading eight shots on net, seven of which came in the first period.
The Blackhawks return to the United Center to host the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.
Chicago is 4-1-1 in their last six games and have scored 23 goals in those contests. The Blackhawks have successfully killed 27 of 30 penalties in November, and have allowed a power play goal in only two of ten games in the month.