The theme of the first period was a quick start by the Hawks. They clearly had an agenda of flying around and creating as many offensive opportunities as possible early, most likely because they knew their legs will show fatigue given this is their second game in two nights.
Though they were able to create those opportunities, the puck didn’t bounce their way enough to get on the scoreboard. Tons of missed shots and a couple blocked attempts here and there helped the Flames survive the first period. Duncan Keith is still looking fresh as all hell as he was very noticeable the entire period. Artemi Panarin also stood out with some crafty play of his own.
Three goals in 115 seconds? That’ll do. After the Flames opened the period with a goal of their own, the Hawks responded with three straight gems by Kane, Hossa, and Panarin. Kane opened up the scoring by basically picking up the trash. Hey, when you’re hot, pucks will simply sit there in front of an open net for you:
— NHL (@NHL) November 16, 2015
Panarin is also on fire as of late, and it’s good to see big Haus get on the board as points have been hard to come by for him this year. You also had Brent Seabrook blocking a shot with his face, which means you pretty much got everything you could ask for in a period of Blackhawks hockey.
Obviously Seabrook came back for the third period because he is a warrior. His eye looked worse than Rousey’s did on Saturday night (sorry Ronda) but he still played his normal shifts.
Lots of up and down action in this period as two teams with plenty of speed showcased their abilities. Darling came up big a couple of times, including a huge save after a Hjalmarsson turnover. Even though he’s perfected the art, we all have mini heart attacks when the Swedish defender clears the puck up the middle of the ice and this is one of the very rare instances when it didn’t work out too well.
After good work by both goaltenders to keep the score as is, the Flames pulled their goalie with two minutes left to try and overcome a two goal deficit. Toews wouldn’t let that happen as he buried an empty netter to seal the win. On to the circus trip.
Hawks Win, 4-1