Toews, Blackhawks hold on to beat Hurricanes
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[January 07, 2017]
CHICAGO -- After a frustrating
start to the season, Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews is
starting to feel better.
Toews' latest pick-me-up arrived in the form of an opening goal
Friday night. Teammate Artemi Panarin added a power-play goal, and
the Blackhawks held on for a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
"Usually your confidence builds when you start getting lucky and
things start going in for you," said Toews, who has three goals in
his past seven games and seven goals on the season. "Then you start
loosening up and getting that creativity back in your game. It's
nice to see a little offense lately and be a part of it with my
A stellar performance by Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling also
was a welcome sight for Toews and his teammates. The 6-foot-6
netminder made 39 saves on 40 shots, which represented the most
allowed by the Blackhawks this season.
Chicago (25-12-5) earned its second win in a row and improved to
15-4-4 on home ice.
"It was a big win," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Not a
lot of time, not a lot of space out there with their quickness. They
pressure you. ... Trying to win at home is what we're looking to do,
and we'll take it."
Center Victor Rask scored the Hurricanes' lone goal. Carolina
(17-15-7) lost the second game of a back-to-back set and dropped to
6-11-6 on the road.
"I thought we played good, but we've got to put the puck in the
net," Rask said. "We had a lot of shots, but we need to create some
more chances right in front."
Darling stymied Carolina with 19 saves in the first period, 11 saves
in the second period and nine saves in the third period to improve
to 11-4-2. He started for only the second time in the past seven
games in place of No. 1 netminder Corey Crawford.
On one sequence, Darling denied Hurricanes center Jordan Staal on a
shorthanded two-on-one rush. He also stopped a pair of hard shots by
Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk during a Carolina power play. A
sellout crowd praised Darling with several loud ovations throughout
Hurricanes right winger Ty Rattie said Darling's size made him
"He covers 95 percent of the net to begin with, and he's quick,"
Rattie said. "I think I've played him since I was 20 years old in
the AHL, and he keeps getting better and better every year. It's
going to be scary how good he gets as his career goes on."
Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward turned aside 22 of 24 shots in the
A series of sharp passes helped Chicago jump to a 1-0 lead with 7:47
remaining in the first period.
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Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) and Carolina Hurricanes
defenseman Jaccob Slavin (74) fight for the puck during the second
period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA
winger Vinnie Hinostroza snapped a pass across the slot to right
winger Marian Hossa, who quickly redirected the puck to Toews to the
left of the crease. Toews flicked a one-timer into the net.
Chicago increased its lead to 2-0 on a power-play goal with 6:31
remaining in the second period.
Hurricanes right winger Viktor Stalberg broke his stick as he failed
to clear the puck out of the zone. Moments later, Panarin scored on
a pinpoint wrist shot from the left circle for his 16th goal of the
"I think we've had better starts getting ahead in games," Toews
Carolina cut the deficit to 2-1 in the waning moments of the second
period. Darling denied a shot by Rattie from the slot, but Rask
spotted the loose puck near the crease and swept a shot beneath the
goaltender's pads to snap a nine-game scoring drought.
"I thought we had a lot of chances in the first," Carolina coach
Bill Peters said. "We had some odd-man rushes and we had a couple
power plays. We needed to get on the board there."
NOTES: Chicago assigned D Gustav Forsling and LW Spencer Abbott to
the AHL's Rockford IceHogs before Friday's game. Forsling, 20, has
one goal and three assists in 32 games with the Blackhawks but has
received limited playing time as a rookie. Abbott, 28, was held
scoreless in one game. ... Hurricanes LW Teuvo Teravainen returned
to the United Center for the first time since Chicago traded him in
June. The 22-year-old won a Stanley Cup ring with the Blackhawks in
2014-15. ... Blackhawks D Brian Campbell returned to the lineup
after sitting out as a healthy scratch on Thursday against Buffalo.
... Hurricanes D Justin Faulk played for the second night in a row
after missing four games because of a lower-body injury. ...
Blackhawks D Michal Rozsival was a healthy scratch. ... Hurricanes C
Andrej Nestrasil and D Matt Tennyson were healthy scratches.
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