NEW YORK – Artem Anisimov had the expected response of a Blackhawks player, one so used to strong defensive games, after Thursday’s goal-laden contest.
“It was fun for the fans, but not for us,” Anisimov said. “We just needed to play good defense in D-zone. They created so many chanced on odd-man rushes but we find a way to win the game today. It’s a good thing.”
Artemi Panarin scored twice, both times on the power play, and Richard Panik scored the game winner in the Blackhawks’ 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders at Barclays Center. Marian Hossa scored his 16th of the season and Anisimov added his 14th, a power play goal. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook had two assists each.
The Blackhawks didn’t look good at the start, falling behind 2-0 before the game was four minutes old. Former Blackhawks forward Andrew Ladd had the Islanders’ first and Casey Cizikas scored about 90 seconds later.
But a few minutes later, Ryan Hartman’s restraint after a big hit proved pivotal. Cizikas was called for roughing Hartman, who didn’t retaliate. That gave the Blackhawks a much-needed power play, which led to a much-needed goal.
“We were a little loose right off the bat and then Hartsy did a good job of a big hit, turned the momentum around for us,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Scoring on that power play certainly got us going.”
The power play was key for the Blackhawks, as they went 3-for-3 on the advantage. Both of Panarin’s goals were lethal shots from the left circle, something that’s become his trademark.
“He practice every day these one-timers. All day long,” Anisimov said of Panarin. “He shoots the puck from that position.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Panarin’s second was the biggest, coming with just 18.7 seconds remaining in the second period to force a 4-4 tie. Panik’s game winner, off a great pass from Dennis Rasmussen, came with 6:13 remaining in regulation.
“It was a really good pass. I was kind of surprised I got it like in the right spot,” Panik said. “I just try to shoot it. I’m glad it went in.”
Thursday’s game is not typical Blackhawks hockey. The Blackhawks had allowed just three goals in their four previous contests. It was a wild one, and one that the Blackhawks would rather not repeat anytime soon. But they nevertheless found a way to win. Pretty or not, they’ll take it.
“I think today it was a different game than we’re used to playing,” Paniks said. “They play really good. They play rush hockey. Yeah, finally we got more than three goals and we won the game. That’s all that matters.”