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game recap

Crawford, Blackhawks hand Panthers sixth straight loss at home

Makes 38 saves for Chicago; Florida is 1-3-1 in past five overall

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

Blackhawks beat Panthers in SO

CHI@FLA: Toews, Kane, Crawford lead Blackhawks in SO

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane both scored, while Corey Crawford did not let in a goal in the shootout to give the Blackhawks the win

  • 01:00 •

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Corey Crawford made 38 saves and then two in the shootout for the Chicago Blackhawks in a 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Saturday.

Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist and scored in the shootout for Chicago (29-28-8), which has won two in a row and moved within six points of the Nashville Predators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

"I don't know, we've still got a chance here," Crawford said. "I say it a lot, but we've just got to go game by game and not worry about the end result and just keep that effort. Guys are working hard and playing good defense. We've just got to keep going with that."


[WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Panthers highlights]


Mike Hoffman had a goal and an assist, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Florida (33-25-7), which has lost six straight at home and four of its past five overall (1-3-1). 

The Panthers are three points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, and five behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division. 

Mike Matheson tied it 2-2 with 1:28 remaining in the third period when he beat Crawford five-hole on a 2-on-1 after stealing the puck in the neutral zone.

"We're looking ahead to March, it's do or die," Matheson said. "A lot of people have written us off already, but that just adds fuel to our fire."

Hoffman gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 4:07 of the first period, intercepting a pass by Brandon Saad and scoring on a breakaway.

Video: CHI@FLA: Hoffman beats Crawford on breakaway

Toews tied it 1-1 at 12:54 when he redirected Adam Boqvist's pass from the high slot.

"That's what makes him a really good player, he's got his head up in those situations," Toews said. "He just literally put it on my tape and I think that's as easy as they come right there."

Drake Caggiula gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead at 6:21 of the second period when he tipped Connor Murphy's shot from the point.

Video: CHI@FLA: Caggiula deflects home Murphy's point shot

Florida outshot Chicago 33-6 after Caggiula's goal, including 17-2 in the third period.

"Would have loved to close it out in regulation, that would have been easier on everyone," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "I like the start. I thought we played pretty well, didn't give up much. The second period, actually the last two periods, [I] would have loved for us to generate a little more zone time, put more pressure on them and take the pressure off us. But I thought the third period, we were pretty good until obviously they scored (the tying goal), but credit to our guys, they came through. [Crawford] made a lot of big saves for us and we had some big-time players come through in the shootout."


They said it

"We want to make the playoffs. We've pushed each other hard all year. There's been a lot of bumps in the road, a lot of ups and downs just trying to find our team game and improve every single day. And sometimes you've got to take a few steps back to take a step forward. That can be frustrating at times, but credit to these guys in the room, I think there's a lot more experience, a lot more character, and guys are going as players and teammates. We're ready to play our best hockey, and I think the last two games (including a 5-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday) have been a pretty good example of that." -- Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews

"It was a tough post-All-Star break for us. We've got to recapture that feeling of what it was like prior to going into this. We had a lot of things going the right way. We were a little quicker and we had the puck more." -- Panthers coach Joel Quenneville


Need to know

Chicago is 4-4 in shootouts. Florida is 3-4. … Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith led skaters with 27:11 of ice time. … Hoffman has 10 points (six goals, four assists) during a seven-game point streak and five-game goal streak. 


What's next

Blackhawks: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Calgary Flames on Sunday (4 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-F, SNW, NHL.TV)

Video: Toews lifts Blackhawks to 3-2 shootout victory

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