Blackhawks 5, Penguins 2 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways
The Penguins had their playoff hopes riding on beating the Blackhawks. Chicago had the worst record in the NHL on the line — and the best odds in the draft lottery. Again, this one felt like we should be able to write the outcome before the night began but these Blackhawks don’t like your narratives. Why make life easy when you can keep working? Meanwhile…
Star 1: Petr Mrazek
It was kind of ridiculous that he was as under siege in the first 45 minutes as he was and the Blackhawks somehow still had a one-goal lead. It wasn’t until Caleb Jones took penalties on consecutive shifts to start the third period that the Hawks couldn’t keep it together. Mrazek brought his A Game for the second-to-last game of the season.
Star 2: Buddy Robinson
Robinson had 10 points in 61 career games at the NHL level before Tuesday night. He was recalled so the Blackhawks had enough skaters to finish the regular season after sending Lukas Reichel and Alex Vlasic back to Rockford. With Pittsburgh’s season on the line, Robinson had two points in a span of 26 seconds in the third period as the Blackhawks grabbed a 2-goal lead. He did not understand the assignment.
Star 3: Caleb Jones
If losing was the goal, Caleb did one helluva job on Tuesday night. His two penalties in the early stages of the third period shoved the door wide open for the Pens to come back just as the Wild did on Monday night in Chicago. The Blackhawks were tired, and his play amplified their dead legs. So if the Blackhawks do land the top pick in the draft, shoutout to Caleb for his two penalties tonight. He came back with a penalty on Buddy Robinson’s go-ahead goal later in the third period so Caleb was… yeah. Whatever.
- You really didn’t think Jonathan Toews was going to allow what might be his last game against Sidney Crosby — with Crosby’s playoff streak hanging in the balance — to go away quietly, did you?
- In his last seven game going back to March 30 against St. Louis, Andreas Athanasiou now has nine points (five goals, four assists). He’s recorded a point in six of those last seven games and is now just one goal away from hitting 20 for the season.
- After scoring his first goal with the Blackhawks, Anders Bjork picked up two assists in Pittsburgh. When he’s been healthy, he’s been a nice player.
- Jason Dickinson might be this year’s Marcus Kruger Award winner. The poor guy has been thru one this season; he’s been playing hurt for most of the second half of the season. He blocked a shot late in the third period and could barely get to the bench. He went down the tunnel for a moment… but was back on the ice with two minutes left in regulation for a big shift. I love his game.
- MacKenzie Entwistle scored his fourth of the season into the empty net. Good for him.