It had been a while since the Blackhawks had a really strong game at the United Center. And while things were way too interesting for them down the stretch, the Blackhawks liked what they did in most of this one.
The Blackhawks didn’t mess around on Sunday, jumping out to a quick lead en route to a 6-4 victory over the Boston Bruins, who still remain outside the playoff picture. There were a few milestones included in the victory. So before we enjoy what remains of a nice day in Chicago, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Boston.
1. Make it 100. Patrick Kane entered Sunday’s game with 96 points. By the time the second period ended, he had a hat trick, four points and, more importantly 100 points for the season. The last Blackhawks player to reach 100 points was Jeremy Roenick in 1993-94. Kane completed his hat trick with just over five minutes remaining in the second, as hats flew onto the United Center ice.
2. The second line lives again. The Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Kane combination had been quiet lately after being so strong most of the season. Well, on Sunday it was back. Kane and Panarin had his four-point days while Anisimov had a three-point outing for the Blackhawks. It’s looking like a finely tuned line again.
3. The power play is resuscitated. The Blackhawks’ power play had been a dud lately, generating just two goals in their last 11 games. But it produced more on Sunday, with Anisimov and Kane both scoring on a power play that went 2-for-3. Keep in mind they were going against Boston’s penalty kill, which entered Sunday’s game as the league’s best kill on the road this season. Sure, the Bruins were reeling by the time Kane scored his power-play goal, which gave the Blackhawks a 6-0 lead. But for an ailing power play, scoring, especially against a great kill, helps.
4. Marian Hossa plays great but leaves early. Oh, No. 81 was doing his best to get that 500th goal on Sunday, and there were a few times where he could’ve had it. He also showed his unselfish side, setting up Jonathan Toews on a 2-on-1 in the second period. So it was even that much scarier when Hossa left in the third period after a mid-ice collision. Based on Joel Quenneville’s post-game assessment, however, Hossa’s injury may not be so bad and he could play Tuesday against Arizona. Hopefully he does; it would be a shame if Hossa doesn’t get No. 500 this season.
5. That’s 800 for Quenneville. The coach keeps racking up victories in what will end up being a Hall of Fame career and his latest stop has been a special one. “This one was a little crazier than we envisioned at one point but certainly I’ve been fortunate to be with good teams, none better than the one I’m with right here,” he said. “It’s been a fun situation, fun working in Chicago, and great group of guys.”