- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: The Blackhawks’ special teams carried them to the win. They scored three power-play goals and killed off all five of their penalties. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 10 minutes thanks to two power-play goals. Patrick Sharp scored the first goal at 1:10, and Brent Seabrook put in the second one at 9:11. Marian Hossa made it 3-0 when he knocked in a Sharp rebound 37 seconds into the second period. The Panthers cut the Blackhawks’ lead to 3-2 behind goals by Dylan Olsen and Marcel Goc, but the Blackhawks responded with goals by Michal Handzus and Andrew Shaw to go ahead 5-2. Brandon Saad added a late third-period goal for the final score. Blackhawks starting goaltender Corey Crawford left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. He was replaced by Antti Raanta, who made 29 saves. Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen was making his first start in more than a month and made 26 saves.
What it means: The Blackhawks snapped a three-game losing streak. They were coming off two regulation defeats and one shootout loss. They haven’t lost four consecutive games since the 2011-12 season. Chicago improved to 21-6-5 on the season. The Blackhawks’ power play has scored in five consecutive games, and they didn’t allow a power-play goal for the first time in five games. The Panthers had a two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 9-17-5 on the season. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane had three assists in the win and now has 37 points in 32 games.
Player of the game: Three of Sharp’s shots led to goals. He scored once, and Shaw and Hossa capitalized off two of his other shots.
Stat of the game: The Blackhawks scored three power-play goals for the first time this season.