Blackhawks 3, Panthers 4 (OT) — Three Stars, Key Takeaways
The Blackhawks went to Florida to face a Panthers team that is still desperately trying to put together a hot streak to make a playoff appearance… one year after winning the Presidents Trophy with the league’s best record. It’s been a massively disappointing season for the Panthers, and this performance may be emblematic of their entire campaign. They looked like they didn’t really care very much for 40 minutes.
Star 1: Boris Katchouk
Appearing in his 100th career regular season NHL game, Katchouk scored the Blackhawks’ second goal of the night. His last goal came on Jan. 26; this was only his third of the season. The three goals ties his career high, which he set… last year.
Star 2: Caleb Jones
Appearing in his 200th career regular season NHL game, Caleb Jones scored the Blackhawks’ first goal of the night. His last goal game on Feb. 10; this was his third goal of the season as well. Caleb’s career high is five goals, which he set… last year.
Star 3: Petr Mrazek
After the Blackhawks scored twice in the first period (see the script from Detroit)… Petr Mrazek did everything he could to keep his team in the game but the skaters in front of him were ready to head across the state to Tampa after 20 minutes. The Hawks were out-shot 14-8 in the second period but Mrazek held the Panthers off the board. When the Blackhawks handed the Panthers three power plays in the opening nine minutes of the third period the dam broke. Florida out-shot the Blackhawks 30-16 in the final 40 minutes but it was 29-9 at one point. Mrazek made a huge save at the end of regulation to get it to OT.
- Need a big goal? Call Cole Guttman. His fourth of the season inside the final minute of regulation with the Blackhawks’ cage empty tied the game at three and earned the Blackhawks a point in overtime.
- Jujhar Khaira, who got engaged this week, picked up two assists in the game.
- Joey Anderson picked up an assist on the Katchouk goal. After failing to post a point in his first five games with the Blackhawks, he now has points in back-to-back contests. Anderson was also noticeable on the penalty kill. He hasn’t had the three-assist game that Bjork did, but I’ve liked a lot of what Anderson has done in a limited role since arriving.
- The Blackhawks were already down to six defensemen with Andreas Englund hurt and Connor Murphy back in Chicago. Then Alex Stalock got sick and they had to sign a goaltender off the street to EBUG it for them. So when Anders Bjork went down hard a couple times in the first period and did not return to the game after the first intermission, the Hawks were in a tough spot. We’ll see if there an extra body or three makes the flight to Tampa for tomorrow’s game.
- Or, maybe the Blackhawks just put Filip Roos as the backup netminder on Saturday?