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game recap

Scott Darling, Blackhawks hold off Hurricanes

Goalie makes 39 saves to protect early lead

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Scott Darling made 39 saves to help the Chicago Blackhawks defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 at United Center on Friday to sweep back-to-back home games.

Jonathan Toews scored in the first period and Artemi Panarin scored in the second for the Blackhawks (25-12-5), who are 15-4-4 at home, including a 4-3 overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

 

WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Blackhawks highlights

 

Chicago was outshot 40-24 Friday.

"I don't think with our skill we should ever become used to that," said Toews, who scored his third goal in the past seven games. "I guess it's gotten to the point where if you're outshot numerous times, we still feel comfortable and confident we can win games with our goaltending and our defensive play, and not really giving up too much quality around our net."

Darling made a season-high in saves: 19 in the first period, 11 in the second and nine in the third.

"He covers 95 percent of the net to begin with, and he's quick," said Hurricanes forward Ty Rattie, who was stopped on a breakaway in the second period. "I think I've played him since I was 20 years old in the [American Hockey League], and he keeps getting better and better every year. It's going to be scary how good he gets as his career goes on."

Victor Rask scored, and Cam Ward made 22 saves in his 15th straight start for the Hurricanes (17-15-7).

Video: CAR@CHI: Toews finishes slick passing sequence

Carolina had a 19-9 shot advantage in the first period but Chicago took a 1-0 lead when Toews scored at 12:13 to cap a tic-tac-toe play with Marian Hossa and Vinnie Hinostroza.

Darling made seven saves during a 2:13 span of the period that included the Blackhawks' second successful penalty kill.

Carolina increased its advantage in shots to 31-16 in the second, but Chicago increased its lead to 2-0 on Panarin's power-play goal at 13:29.

Rask made it 2-1 off a rebound of Rattie's shot with five seconds left, after Darling stopped Rattie on the breakaway with 1:45 left.

"Our goaltending has put us in a great spot this year," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "[Darling] was great again. That could be the difference to where our record is and where it could be by playing so much in our own end."

Video: CAR@CHI: Rask slides puck past Darling in front

 

Goal of the game

Panarin's goal was a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle.

"Got a great pass from [Patrick Kane]," Panarin said. "I was looking for [Artem Anisimov], but at the last moment I changed my mind and decided to shoot."

Video: CAR@CHI: Panarin beats Ward with nice wrister for PPG

 

Save of the game

Kane got a breakaway early in the second period but Ward stopped a forehand-backhand move at 1:11 to keep it 1-0.

Video: CAR@CHI: Ward stones Kane's breakaway opportunity

 

Unsung performance of the game

Prior to Panarin's goal, defenseman Duncan Keith reached to keep the puck in the offensive zone. Kane got it and passed to Panarin.

 

Highlight of the game

Darling preserved a 1-0 lead at 3:10 of the second period by making a stop against Jordan Staal on a shorthanded 2-on-1.

"They told us before the game their [penalty kill] is top of the League in shorthanded goals, so they're not just going to dump it in," Darling said. "They're going to try and make plays, so we were ready for it."

Video: CAR@CHI: Darling denies Staal with brilliant pad save

 

They said it

"We were getting lots of shots, a few opportunities to score. We could have done a better job of maybe getting in front of his eyes more." -- Hurricanes center Jordan Staal on Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling

 

"I went to poke check because I didn't think he was going to be able to settle it, but he made a great play. Fortunately it hit me right in the forehead." -- Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling on his second-period save on a breakaway by Ty Rattie

 

Need to know

Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell returned to the lineup after being scratched against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. … Former Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell (illness) did not make the trip with the Hurricanes. … Hurricanes forward Elias Lindholm (upper body) missed his fourth straight game. … Kane played his 700th NHL game; his assist gave him 704 points. … Toews tied Bill Mosienko for ninth in Blackhawks history with 258 goals.

 

What's next

Hurricanes: Host the Boston Bruins on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; FS-SE, NESN, NHL.TV)

Blackhawks: Host the Nashville Predators on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; WGN, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Darling delivers in net as Hawks top 'Canes, 2-1

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