Blackhawks

Quick Hits: 'Wow factor' shows up in Blackhawks' win over Penguins

Quick Hits: 'Wow factor' shows up in Blackhawks' win over Penguins

See four lines roll. See a player get hurt. See the Blackhawks plug another player into the injured party's slot. See the Blackhawks keep going.

It's been a successful formula lately, and the Blackhawks applied it again to great results in their 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. We'll see how Artem Anisimov (lower body) is on Thursday. Coach Joel Quenneville said the second-line center, who was out after just one shift in the second period, could miss some time.

If that's the case the Blackhawks may have to shuffle some things around but, on first glance on Wednesday, they did fine with the quick fixes they needed to apply immediately.

Now onto the notables.

What Worked: Scott Darling. Corey Crawford felt better on Wednesday and, in a pinch, could have started against the Penguins. But since Darling was 100 percent and not coming off an illness, it was a chance to play him instead. Darling once again did his job, stopping 36 of 37, including a big one on Matt Cullen early in the third period. His performance needed to be good, because Marc-Andre Fleury was pretty good on his end, too.

What Didn’t Work: Evgeni Malkin's defense. At least on one play, when Richard Panik slipped past him en route to scoring what would be the game-winning goal in the second period. Apparently it's a move Panik's practiced. "That was an amazing play. We don’t want to advertise trying that play too often in the offensive zone, but he times that stuff and we see it in practice. In a game it's hard to do; we don't encourage it," Quenneville said with a laugh. "But he has confidence. He had the wow factor tonight."

Star of the game: Patrick Kane. OK, you could put Nick Schmaltz in here, too (look at the plays Schmaltz made to set up Kane's first two goals). But two hat tricks in your last three games are two hat tricks in your last three games. That, and the goal that earned him the hat trick was a no-look stunner.

He Said It: "Whatever he did when he went down to Rockford is incredible. He came back with a whole new edge and a whole new intensity and now you're seeing the results. He's playing to the full capability." Scott Darling on Nick Schmaltz

By the Numbers:

27-0-0 – The Blackhawks' record this season when scoring four or more goals.

5 – Consecutive games in which Schmaltz has a point (two goals, seven assists), including his two primary assists on Patrick Kane's goals on Wednesday night. Since Feb. 8, Schmaltz has at least a point in nine of 10 games.

10 – Points in his last seven games for Richard Panik (five goals, five assists). The seven-game point streak is the longest of Panik's career.

406 – Consecutive sellouts at the United Center.

Robin Lehner starting Game 1 for Vegas Golden Knights against Blackhawks Tuesday

Robin Lehner starting Game 1 for Vegas Golden Knights against Blackhawks Tuesday

Ahead of the start of Round One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs' matchup between the Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer announced former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner will get the start in net for Vegas in Game 1 against his former team. 

The 2019 Vezina Trophy finalist was traded from Chicago to Vegas ahead of Feb. 24's trade deadline. He was 16-10-5 as a Hawk during the 2019-20 regular season with a 3.01 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage prior to the move.

Related: Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner unveils new pads

Lehner was in net for the Knights' overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday in a round-robin contest to help Vegas grab the No. 1 seed in the West for Round One, pitting them against the Blackhawks, who were the No. 12 seed in the qualifying round and were reseeded to be No. 8 for Round One.

Following Saturday's game, Lehner was asked about facing the Blackhawks and his former goalie partner Corey Crawford and if playing with the Hawks earlier this season carries an advantage.

Related: Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner's birthday cake is unreal

"I don't know. All I know is it's going to be fun playing them," Lehner said. "They're a very good hockey team and I have a lot of respect for them, the whole organization... but I think I really like it here (with Vegas), we're a great hockey team."

The 29-year-old netminder got off to a hot start with Vegas ahead of the NHL pause on March 12 going 3-0-0 with 1.67 goals-against average and .940 save percentage.

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COVID-19 pandemic delays Marian Hossa, Doug Wilson's 2020 Hall of Fame inductions

COVID-19 pandemic delays Marian Hossa, Doug Wilson's 2020 Hall of Fame inductions

On Monday, Lanny McDonald, chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame announced that the 2020 HHOF Induction Weekend is being postponed "until further notice due to continuing consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Blackhawks legends Marian Hossa and Doug Wilson, in addition to Jarome Iginla, Kevin Lowe and Kim St-Pierre make up the 2020 HHOF's Player Category, with Ken Holland in the Builder Category.

The 2020 Induction Celebration was previously set for Monday, November 16th in Toronto. 

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The Hall's Board of Directors will address rescheduling plans for the induction when they meet on October 29, 2020.

"While it's possible the class of 2020 could be inducted on alternative dates during the modified 2020-21 NHL season, the most likely scenario is to postpone to November 2021, either by waiving the 2021 elections or in combination with the 2021 induction class involving adjusted category limits," McDonald said in a statement. "Since the magic of the induction from the Honoured Members' perspective is experiencing several days of close interaction with family, friends, former teammates and fans, the Board ruled out any means of holding the 2020 inductions virtually."