Hawks survive shootout against Panthers

 

     The Hawks kicked off the first leg of their Mother/Son road trip with a shootout win Tuesday night in Florida against the Panthers.  Corey Crawford stopped both Florida attempts in the shootout and Patrick Sharp netted the game winner for the visitors.

     The Hawks continued to have trouble putting together a full 60 minutes of hockey, and gave up two unanswered goals to Florida in the third to tie a game that was 2-0 heading into the last period.

     After a scoreless first, the Hawks came out jumping in the second, putting heavy pressure on the Panthers and drawing a penalty to go on the power play. The PP, previously a sore spot for the Hawks, continued to improve as Jonathan Toews scored on a cross-ice pass from Duncan Keith at 5:18 in the second, with Dmitry Kulikov in the box for interference against the captain.  Later on, Bryan Bickell pounced on a rebound from goalie Tim Thomas to score his second goal in as many games at 16:49 in the middle frame.

     The Panthers refused to quit, pressuring the Hawks and getting two quick goals by Kulikov and Tomas Fleichmann within a three minute span in the third.

     Panther’s goalie Thomas left the game with just under three minutes left after stretching to make a save and falling awkwardly.  He was replaced by Jakub Markstrom, who made two saves in relief, most notably on a breakaway by Patrick Kane in the overtime period.  Crawford also made several quality stops, including stopping Huberdeau on a penalty shot in the second after Michael Handzus was called for tripping the forward.

     Toews also scored in the shootout.

 

Three Stars:

1. Jonathan Toews - CHI ( 1G, 3 SOG,  -1; 19:22 TOI)

2. Tomas Fleischmann - FLA (1 G, 4 SOG, +2; 17:12 TOI)

3. Dmitry Kulikov - FLA (1 G, 1SOG, +1; 23:44 TOI)

 

Quick hits:

- The Hawks had an impressive night at the dot, finishing with an team faceoff percentage of 56%.  Toews won 15 of 21 draws for a 71% FOW and Handzus finished with a 60% FOW, winning 6 of 10.

 

- Pirri appeared in his third straight game for the Hawks and finished with a -1 rating and 10:24 ice time, winning 2 of 8 faceoffs.

 

- Sharp sealed the game with his second game-winning shootout goal of the season, providing stability for a shootout lineup that has struggled to find a third shooter behind Toews and Kane.  For now, it seems that Sharp has cemented his spot in the shootout lineup as the finisher.

 

The Hawks will finish up their Florida road trip as they head down to Tampa on Thursday to face the Lightning.

 

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