Blackhawks

Artemi Panarin out as Blackhawks host Stars

artemi-panarin-out-again-illness-slide.png

Artemi Panarin out as Blackhawks host Stars

Artemi Panarin will miss his second consecutive game due to illness and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars tonight at the United Center.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Panarin’s illness is, “hopefully not long term, but he’s definitely out tonight.” Quenneville added that it’s comparable to what ailed Jonathan Toews prior to the All-Star break. Toews played through his illness for about a week but finally had to sit out the third period of the Blackhawks’ Jan. 26 game at Carolina. Toews also missed the All-Star weekend due to that illness and was suspended against Colorado on Feb. 2.

Richard Panik was in the left-wing spot on that second line at this morning’s skate. Jiri Sekac will once again be in the lineup.

Quenneville also talked on Thursday about Brandon Mashinter’s nullified goal from Tuesday night. Quenneville, who answered one question following that game, said today that he talked to the league about the nixed goal. It was the second time in three games the Blackhawks had their first goal erased by a coach’s challenge for goaltender interference.

“I just think, we had a couple of occurrences in a short amount of time so obviously a little frustration there,” Quenneville said of his brief presser. “But we did speak to the league and got some [clarification] on the play. I just think there’s education across the board and you have a lot of people in the middle of the process making the decisions. As long as we’re getting right is what we’re looking for.”

Asked if the league agreed with the no-goal decision, Quenneville said, “Did they agree with the call? No.”

[RELATED - Report: 2017 NHL Draft to be held in Chicago]

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks face the Stars for the third time since Dec. 22 but it’s the first regular-season matchup in Chicago. Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya are making their second trip here since they joined the Stars; they were both here for the final preseason game. Still, coming up here in a regular-season game, with the Stars chasing the first-place Blackhawks – they trail by three points – will be different.

“A little bit [weird,] yeah, but lucky to play the preseason game here, that kind of took all the weird stuff out of it. I can play a hockey game and enjoy the day,” Sharp said. “The first couple of games against the Hawks were difficult to play in, a little emotional, a little weird out there. But [there are] some valuable points on the line, so I’m sure those feelings go away as the season goes on.”

Oduya agreed.

“It'll be more fun today than last time [in Chicago], so a lot of excitement,” he said. “It'll be a good day.”

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

2-21_forsberg_usat.jpg
AP

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

2-21_senators_matchup_nhl_chi_blank.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?