Hawks shut out Panthers; face Lightning tonight

In their first game back without Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks played one of their best games of the season in first game of a back-to-back series. Corey Crawford got his first shutout of 2015 in a 3-0 victory against the Florida Panthers.

 

Teuvo Teravainen scored in his first contest back with the club after being recalled to replace Kane when he was placed on LTIR. Just over three minutes into the game, Teravainen dangled in close and let loose a shot that found it’s way past Roberto Luongo to give the Blackhawks the lead going into the first intermission.

 

Chicago doubled their lead just 3:07 into the second period off of a gorgeous passing play by the first line. Marian Hossa dropped off a pass for a pinching Duncan Keith, who sent a cross-ice pass to Brandon Saad, who roofed the puck past Luongo for the team’s second goal. 

 

Jonathan Toews would score the empty net goal to seal the game for the Blackhawks’ victory. Crawford stopped 20 shots in the win.

 

The Blackhawks face off again tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who currently sit second in their division behind the Montreal Canadiens. After the injury that knocked Kane out of the running for the Art Ross trophy, the Lightning’s Tyler Johnson, who leads the team in points, is the next highest American player in the scoring race. Johnson’s 59 points is good for 10th in the league, but is within five points of the top spot.

 

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are still trying to chase down St. Louis for the second spot in the Central Division and home ice advantage in the postseason. They currently sit three points behind St. Louis, but have played one more game than the Blues have.

 

They might be getting reinforcements soon along their blue line with the imminent return of Trevor van Riemsdyk, who was recently sent down to Rockford for a conditioning stint with the Icehogs. The team could also get shaken up soon with the rapidly appraoching March 2 trade deadline, and Stan Bowman has been vocal in his stance of wanting to make trades to better the team.