Five takeaways from Blackhawks' win over Rangers: Anisimov’s trick seals the deal

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' win over Rangers: Anisimov’s trick seals the deal

Here are the Five Takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers.
1. Artem Anisimov’s first career hat trick. The Blackhawks center has been up and down this season, having a nice scoring spurt recently but still looking to find some consistency. On Wednesday he looked more like himself, scoring all three of his goals within five feet of former Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist. Said Anisimov about getting that trick against the Rangers, “It’s true, it means more. When you go against your former team you want to play twice as hard and you want to score goal, obviously. But I scored three today, so I’m happy.”

2. Stopping the Rangers’ power play. Not many have fared well against it, and the Blackhawks toyed with danger when they gave the Rangers’ power play, ranked third overall in the league entering Wednesday night, three early opportunities. The Blackhawks killed them all, including John Hayden’s double-minor high-sticking. Said coach Joel Quenneville on killing those four minutes off, “that might have been our best stretch of penalty killing.”

3. DeBrincat keeps scoring. OK, this one didn’t look like it had a chance, a seemingly harmless shot that trickled through Lundqvist and helped the Blackhawks tie the game late in the second period. Again, nobody cares how they look. DeBrincat now has six goals in November, the most of any Blackhawks player, per NBC Sports Chicago numbers guru Chris Kamka.

4. Take the breaks. The Blackhawks haven’t had a whole lot go right lately so when the DeBrincat goal gave them life at the end of the second, they ran with it at the start of the third. From Anisimov’s trick to Hayden’s second goal of the season, all four goals came when capitalizing off of loose pucks or rebounds.

5. Holding leads still an issue. Once again the Blackhawks took a 4-1 lead, this time early in the third period. They didn’t completely blow this one but it was close. If not for Gustav Forsling’s alert play on David Desharnais on Corey Crawford’s stick side late in the third period, the Rangers likely tie the game and it’s an entirely different situation. But Forsling was there, and Anisimov gave the Blackhawks a two-goal lead again moments later.

Four takeaways: Blackhawks can't solve rookie Cal Petersen in shootout loss

Four takeaways: Blackhawks can't solve rookie Cal Petersen in shootout loss

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 2-1 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center on Friday:

1. Blackhawks can't solve Cal Petersen

With Jonathan Quick (knee), Jack Campbell (knee) and Peter Budaj (sick) out, the Kings trotted out former Notre Dame standout Petersen to make his first career NHL start between the pipes. And he didn't disappoint.

The 24-year-old stopped 34 of 35 shots (.971 save percentage) in 65 minutes of play and denied Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the shootout to earn his first victory in the big leagues.

"He was good, yeah," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "The third period was more like it. If we’d had 60 minutes [like that] maybe we break him down eventually. He did well, he did a good job. I thought we had a little more traffic, got some more pucks to the net. That was better. But you can’t help but think if we’d have had that push earlier, then we’d get paid off for it."

2. Line changes serve as third-period spark

After failing to generate many scoring chances in the first two periods, Jeremy Colliton spruced up his top-six by putting Brandon Saad with Kane and Toews and Nick Schmaltz with Alex DeBrincat and Artem Anisimov. They saw the benefits almost immediately.

Saad scored 2:39 into the final frame after burying a feed at the doorstep by Toews for his third goal in six games, tying the game at 1-1.

'We showed some resiliency battling in the third," Saad said. "It was definitely a slow start. We've got to play a full 60 minutes to win hockey games, but I think it shows some character how we can battle back in the third. And then overtime we had some chances and some puck possession, and when it comes down to a shootout it can be anyone's game. But the message for us is to play a full 60, because when we play well you can see that we have opportunities and a better chance to win the hockey game."

3. Power play comes up empty

Special teams was the deciding factor in the Blackhawks' last two games. They gave up two power-play goals in 66 seconds against Carolina on Monday and then beat St. Louis 1-0 on Wednesday thanks to a power-play goal of their own.

The Blackhawks had three power-play opportunities against the Kings, and all three of them came in the second period. They recorded a combined six shots on goal during them, but reverted back to some old habits by waiting for the open shot and lacking net-front presence.

"You get three in the second, it would be nice to get one," Kane said. "Even if you're not getting anything on it, it's nice to get momentum off of it. I thought we did a decent job of getting momentum, getting some chances and some looks. Sometimes you've just got to converge on the net and hopefully get those rebounds and try to find a way to get one a little bit dirtier."

The Blackhawks also allowed a breakaway chance towards the end of the third power play, but Corey Crawford saved the day. Tyler Toffoli scored 19 seconds after the Blackhawks' first power play to make it 1-0 Kings.

4. Meet your newest Blackhawk

The Blackhawks had a visitor at morning skate in Carter Holmes, an 11-year-old from Wisconsin, who is battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma. As part of the Make-A-Wish Experience, Holmes became a Blackhawk for a day and practiced with the team, including his favorite player Patrick Kane.

"I might have to change my number," Kane joked about Holmes, who wears No. 88 because of Kane. "I think he was a little bit better than me out there today."

It was the first time Holmes skated since being diagnosed on June 30, four days after his team took first place at a tournament. Holmes feared that he would never be able to play hockey again, but that won't be the close. He's expected to re-join his teammates soon, even if it may take a while to get back into game shape.

"It's pretty special," Kane said of Holmes, who will drop the ceremonial first puck on Sunday for "Hockey Fights Cancer" Night at the United Center. "Sometimes you're just playing hockey and worried about the business aspect of it, but days like today you can take a step back and realize there's more important things out there."

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Updates on the start Jeremy Colliton era


Sports Talk Live Podcast: Updates on the start Jeremy Colliton era

SportsTalk Live is on location at the United Center for Blackhawks Authentic Fan Night. Charlie Roumeliotis, Jay Cohen and Jimmy Greenfield join Chuck Garfien on the panel.

0:00- Pat Boyle stops by to talk about the start of the Jeremy Colliton era and to preview the huge Sunday Night showdown between the Bears and Vikings.

19:00- Adam Burish joins the panel to preview the Blackhawks and Kings and to talk about how the Hawks players are reacting to a 33-year old head coach.

Listen to the full epiosde here or via the embedded player below: 

Sports Talk Live Podcast