The Chicago Blackhawks will head into the All-Star break on a high note after beating the New York Islanders 3-2 on Tuesday night.
The Blackhawks, who had snapped a five game losing streak with their win Sunday over the Washington Capitals, have now won two games in a row to finish the de facto first half of the season, and will now get some well-earned rest as they head home for a stretch of nine days without games.
As they head into the break, here are our Three Stars of the Game:
Third Star: Jonathan Toews
On a night that the Blackhawks’ power play was once again stellar, Toews did some great work on the man-advantage, scoring a goal on two shots in the victory.
The goal was a thing of beauty, as the captain showed off his brilliant hand-eye coordinator. After a shot by Alex DeBrincat was stopped in front of the cage on the power play, the puck eventually found its way to Toews, who batted it out of mid-air and beat Robin Lehner to knot the game up at 2-2.
The Blackhawks’ power play has now scored at least one goal in nine straight games, and they did it against an Islanders team that has been on a defensive roll of late.
Second Star: Cam Ward
While the Blackhawks have been getting plenty of action for Collin Delia, Cam Ward has been playing solidly for the most part of late, and he had one of his best games to date, saving 34 shots as the Blackhawks won their second game in a row.
Ward was equally effective in the overtime and shootout, stopping four shots in the overtime frame and both shots that he faced in the shootout, making a couple of athletic and impressive plays to do so. He may not be getting the majority of time in the crease, but he’s making the most of it, and proving himself to be a capable netminder as the team continues to play without Corey Crawford.
First Star: Dylan Strome
For the first time this season, Strome has goals in back to back games after scoring Tuesday’s first goal against the Isles, and he also added an assist for good measure in the victory.
Patrick Kane will get plenty of credit for the goal, as it was his deke to the middle of the ice that got the Islanders to close in on him during a 5-on-3 power play situation, but Strome’s move to the net was well-timed, and his shot against Lehner was equally impressive, beating the netminder