The Blackhawks were on Ottawa, Thursday night, to continue their western Canada swing against the Senators following a big win versus the Canadiens in Montreal. The win, though, did not come without a price. The Blackhawks learned that they would be without center Artem Anisimov for three to four weeks with an ankle injury after falling awkwardly at the end of the first period Tuesday night. Luckily they are deep down the middle and had Nick Schmaltz to step in and contribute a nice assist to Artemi Panarin almost immediately. Another fresh face made his NHL debut against the Sens with John Hayden stepping in to show Blackhawks fans what his big frame could bring. While we should all keep our expectations low, having a young talented big body able to help out is never a bad situation to be in. For the Sens, they would be throwing Mike Condon to the wolves, with former Blackhawk and Park Ridge native Craig Anderson still tending to his ailing wife. Mike Condon was facing his friend Scott Darling on the other end, as both teach at the GGSU Legends camp here in Chicago during the summer. Another former Blackhawks player, Viktor Stalberg (ol stone hands himself), would be making his first appearance in a Sens uniform against the Hawks. Lucky them.
It looked like neither team was ready for “one of of those great 6:30 starts“, because there were several icing and off-sides infractions in the opening 10 minutes that made it drag. Things picked up a little in the remaining half of the period, with the Blackhawks getting a slight edge in scoring chances even though the official shot counts were tied at 13. Joel Quenneville seemed like he was still getting his lines dialed in as well, sheltering Hayden a few times resulting in him only getting 2:07 over 5 shifts.
The middle period was certainly an extension of the sloppy play later in the first period. The sens even tried to hand the lead to the Blackhawks, but their goaltender had other ideas. That didn't stop the Blackhawks from throwing some sloppy play in of their own with some late careless penalties. When all was said and done the game was still scoreless after a full forty minutes. The Blackhawks led in shots on net 9-8 and held a one shot advantage for the game.
Nothing changed in the third period either, as far action went. Many mistakes both ways led to some decent chances and the Blackhawks finally drew first blood. The goal was on only their third shot of the period, but the damage was done. Unfortunately for the good guys the Senators tied the game just a couple of minutes later on the powerplay. Not to be outdone, the Blackhawks scored on a back-to-back powerplay with three minutes remaining, and thet was the little bit they needed to to get out of the Canadian Tire Center with two much needed points, to increase their lead on the Wild, after the Wild lost in regulation.
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) March 17, 2017
Keith – Hjalmarsson
Oduya – Seabrook
Campbell – van Riemsdyk