Darling helps Hurricanes top Blackhawks, keep pace for wild card
Makes 22 saves in first game in Chicago since offseason tradeby Charlie Roumeliotis / NHL.com Correspondent
CHICAGO -- Scott Darling made 22 saves in his first game at United Center since his offseason trade, and the Carolina Hurricanes kept pace in the wild-card race with a 3-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
It was Darling's first win since Feb. 9 and second since Jan. 11.
"Any win right now is good," Darling said. "I feel like I've been playing well but I haven't been getting the results. Tonight, it was a good time to get it. I was happy to be back here, happy to see everybody. It was a fun night."
[WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Blackhawks highlights]
Jaccob Slavin, Justin Williams and Sebastian Aho scored for the Hurricanes (30-27-11), who remain four points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
"To be honest, I thought we played better than they did today and we deserved to win the game," Williams said. "That's not the case a lot of the times, it's a really tough place to play. Tonight, we deserved it."
Video: CAR@CHI: Slavin bangs home big drive from point
Tomas Jurco and Patrick Sharp scored, and J-F Berube made 37 saves for the Blackhawks (29-31-8), who lost for the first time at home in four games. They trail the Los Angeles Kings by 13 points for the second wild card from the Western Conference.
"Tough second period for us," Sharp said. "Thought we could have made better decisions with the puck when we had it. Felt like we gave it up a little bit too easy, and against a good team like Carolina, they're going to check you, shut you down, and then find a way to stay in the game. Not enough offense generated by us tonight."
Aho broke a 2-2 tie at 4:35 of the third period with a power-play goal, deflecting a shot from Teuvo Teravainen.
"I didn't see much," Aho said. "I just saw [Teravainen] shooting. Actually, I saw the puck all the way and just tried to get a piece of it and tip it in."
Williams tied it at 2-2 1:06 into the second period. He came out of the penalty box, received a stretch pass from Elias Lindholm and scored on a breakaway.
"That's a dream," Williams said. "That's what you dream for coming out of the penalty box, that they don't score and you get a breakaway somehow. I think it was the first breakaway I've had in years, so I'm glad I got one in."
Jurco gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 6:02 of the first period when he redirected a Brent Seabrook shot from the point.
Video: CAR@CHI: Jurco strikes on an early tip-in
Slavin tied it 1-1 at 10:32 when his shot from just inside the blue line got past Berube.
Sharp made it 2-1 at 15:06 when he scored from in front.
Goal of the game
Aho's goal at 4:35 of the third period.
Video: CAR@CHI: Aho gives Hurricanes the lead with PPG
Save of the game
Darling's save on Anthony Duclair at 17:27 of the third period.
Video: CAR@CHI: Darling makes crucial stop on Duclair in 3rd
Highlight of the game
Williams' goal at 1:06 of the second period.
Video: CAR@CHI: Williams tallies after leaving penalty box
They said it
"I thought the guys had some good resilience to them, but I thought we played well, too. I thought we played well in the first period and deserved maybe a better fate, but had a real good second period, and the third period was a good push by them, but we got the power-play goal that made the difference." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters
"It was a game that, intensity-wise, anyone who wanted to grab it could have had an edge. In the second period, they did. We put the puck in areas [and] we didn't keep it, we didn't move quick enough and we didn't pressure quick enough. And we were in our own end the whole second period." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville
Need to know
Aho matched a NHL career high with his fourth game-winning goal of the season. ... Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner tied a season-high with nine shots on goal. ... Quenneville coached in his 1,607th NHL game, tying Al Arbour for second-most all time. Scotty Bowman is first with 2,141. ... Jurco has three goals in his past six games after having one in his previous 49, dating to the 2015-16 season.
Hurricanes: At the New York Rangers on Monday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-CR, NHL.TV)
Blackhawks: At the Boston Bruins on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, NESN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)