Scott Darling, Blackhawks thwart Stars in OT

Scott Darling, Blackhawks thwart Stars in OT

Scott Darling was probably never so happy to be 6-foot-6.

The Blackhawks backup goaltender was already having a good game but that height, and his ability to get over quickly, kept Dallas Stars forward Patrick Eaves from scoring an overtime winner.

Not long after, Marian Hossa made Darling’s stretch worth the effort.

Darling stopped 32 of 35 shots and Hossa scored the winner with 28.7 seconds remaining in overtime as the Blackhawks beat the Stars 4-3 on Sunday night. The Blackhawks, who were down 2-0 nine minutes into the second period, won their sixth game in a row and seventh of their last eight.

The Blackhawks may be without forward Tyler Motte for a little bit, however. Motte suffered a lower-body injury in the second period. Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks will know more about Motte’s status in the next day or two.

“He might miss some games,” Quenneville said.

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Jonathan Toews scored a goal and added two assists. Artem Anisimov scored what was the go-ahead goal at the time, extending his point streak to a career-best 11 consecutive games.

It was one more game where the start was sluggish but the finish was there. And Darling’s lunge helped the Blackhawks get there.

“It took every inch of me to get that one,” Darling said. “Whoever passed that, I think it was [Jamie] Benn, he had a good fake. I thought he was going to shoot it; he passed it across and I just tried to get something over there. Lucky it hit me.”

Maybe, but the Blackhawks goaltending has been strong throughout this season. And the team, slow starts be damned, just gets better as the games progress.

“We’re showing a lot of positives in all areas,” said Toews, who now has three goals in his last five games. “No one seems to be focused on the win streak we’re on right now. We’re just focused on every game and that’s a good thing we’ve got going.”

The win streak looked like it was ending on Sunday night, as the injury-decimated Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Tyler Seguin had a power-play goal and rookie Gemel Smith scored a short-handed goal, the first goal of his NHL career. Patrick Kane’s fifth of the season cut the Stars’ lead to 2-1 at the end of two.

Then the Blackhawks’ third-period return commenced. Toews tied the game 3:39 into the period and, just 56 seconds later, he fed Anisimov for his team-leading eighth goal of the season and a 3-2 edge. Smith’s second goal of the night, however, forced overtime.

A few minutes after Darling’s stop on Eaves, Hossa, with Anisimov screening Kari Lehtonen in front, scored the winner. It was a relief for Hossa, who had a turnover on the previous sequence that almost led to another Stars scoring opportunity.

“I had two or three giveaways,” Hossa said. “I was a little frustrated. Nice way to end it that way.”

The Blackhawks keep finding ways to win. On Saturday it was their penalty kill. That was a big part of it again on Sunday, thanks to the big stop by their big backup goaltender.

“When you kill a 4-on-3 it’s big. You don’t get too many opportunities to do it and guys did a good job of doing what they had to do,” Quenneville said. “We’ve had some big PKs over the last little while, particularly tonight in overtime. Timing was good.”

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft


Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Draft.

They discuss the pair of puck-carrying defensemen that the Blackhawks selected on Friday, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin. When can we expect to see these first-round picks play in the NHL?

Boyle also goes 1-on-1 with Boqvist and Beaudin. The guys spoke with Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville on Friday.

The guys also share their biggest takeaways from those interviews, which includes your daily Corey Crawford update and Quenneville appeared excited that the team has plenty of cap space to spend in free agency.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27

Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27

DALLAS — Despite taking Adam Boqvist with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks took a second defenseman at No. 27 with the selection of Nicolas Beaudin.

Beaudin is a 5-foot-11, 172-pound defenseman who prides himself on playing strong at both ends of the ice and tries modeling his game after Torey Krug of the Boston Bruins.

"I’m a two-way defenseman," Beaudin said. "I can provide offense, too. I’ve got a great IQ. I think in my zone I’m just getting better and better."

Beaudin is also a left-handed shot, which is something the Blackhawks could use more of in the organization along the blue line when it comes to impact-type players.

"Nicolas is a very efficient defender," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "He’s got a really nice skill set. He makes the game look pretty easy. He’s a smooth player, not a lot of panic to his game. He’s a good skater so when he has to turn back and get to the puck he can get there first. Usually he just gets his setup and makes the simple play.

"You watch him play and he makes it look really easy. He’s not a guy that’s getting run over a lot. He’s not a real big player, but he uses his brain really well and he had over a point a game, too. He’s got a good feel for making plays and scoring points."

The 18-year-old registered 69 points (12 goals, 57 assists) in 68 games with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, and added three goals and eight assists in 10 postseason contests.

Beaudin is the third defenseman the Blackhawks have taken in the first round the last two years, with Henri Jokiharju and Boqvist being the other two.

"It’s a winning culture in Chicago," Beaudin said. "They won a lot. I know they’ve got some young guys coming in. For sure in the next few years I want to earn my place and I want to try to learn a lot from a guy like Duncan Keith."