Behind two goals from Jonathan Toews, the Chicago Blackhawks racked up their 11th consecutive victory on Sunday night as they beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 at the United Center.
Patrick Kane scored his 29th goal of the season in the game, and Richard Panik scored his first goal since being traded to the Blackhawks earlier this month as the team continued their remarkable run.
Just a few minutes into the game, the Blackhawks’ offense clicked into gear, and they seized an early lead. Erik Gustafsson broke into the offensive zone with speed, and after he pulled up near the face-off circle, he drilled a slap pass across the ice to Panik. The new Blackhawks forward one-timed a shot over Ben Scrivens’ glove, and in an instant the Blackhawks seized a 1-0 lead.
Despite the sluggish start for their offense, the Canadiens managed to finally register a shot on goal, and it led to the team tying the score. Jeff Petry pinched in from the point to hammer a shot on Corey Crawford, and after the goaltender stopped it Lars Eller collected the rebound and dumped it into the cage to knot things up at 1-1.
The second period began with both teams exchanging penalties, but it was Chicago that ultimately took advantage and grabbed the lead. Marian Hossa broke into the offensive zone on the rush, and he feathered a pass across the ice to Kane. The winger was unable to get a shot on net, but his pass across to Toews was kicked toward the net. Hossa then attempted to wrap a shot around the net and in, but Toews finished the job as he slapped the puck in to give Chicago a 2-1 lead.
A few minutes later, Andrew Shaw beat out an icing call, and he won the ensuing board battle behind the net. Shaw then threw a pass out to the front of the net, and Toews deked the puck around Scrivens and scored to put the Blackhawks ahead 3-1 after 40 minutes of play.
The Canadiens scored a power play goal early in the third period as Max Pacioretty beat Crawford, but the Blackhawks responded quickly. Artemi Panarin made an excellent play as he drew double coverage in the offensive zone, and he fired a backhanded pass across the ice that Kane hammered into the net to re-establish the Blackhawks’ two goal advantage.
The Canadiens pulled their goalie late in the game, but Chicago quickly scored to put things out of reach. Duncan Keith attempted to pass the puck up the ice to Hossa, but it skipped past the winger and ultimately rolled into the net to give the defenseman the goal and the Blackhawks the victory.
The Blackhawks will look to extend their winning streak to a dozen games on Tuesday night when they travel to Nashville to take on the Predators.