Skip to main content
game recap

Blackhawks rely on power play in win against Penguins

Forsling, Anisimov score; Crawford makes 35 saves for Chicago

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Artem Anisimov scored his fifth goal in three games to help the Chicago Blackhawks defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.

Twenty-one seconds after Matt Hunwick tied it 1-1 with a shorthanded goal for Pittsburgh 8:00 into the third period, Anisimov re-established Chicago's lead. A shot attempt from Nick Schmaltz missed the net before Anisimov reached below the goal line to retrieve it and tuck a shot inside the right post for his Blackhawks-leading 10th goal at 8:21.

"[The goal] feels big," Anisimov said. "What happened, happened. We just need to forget it, learn from the mistakes and go forward. Go out there and complete the power play. … I feel nice. Just keep it going and work hard every day, and move forward."

 

[WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Penguins highlights]

 

Chicago (10-8-2) is 3-1-0 since losing five of its previous seven games (2-5-0).

The Penguins (11-8-3) lost in regulation at home for the first time this season. They are 6-1-1 in Pittsburgh.

Despite an improved effort compared to their 10-1 loss to the Blackhawks on Oct. 5, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan wasn't pleased.

Video: CHI@PIT: Forsling buries PPG after faceoff win

"I think we see signs that when we play the game the right way, we control territory," Sullivan said. "I also think … there was a lack of attention in the detail and some of the odd-man rushes that we gave up were forcing plays to try to create offense.

"I don't know if it's maybe because we're pressing because we're chasing the game all night long, but that's a characteristic that we have to get better at if we're going to get to where we're going to go. This team can score goals. We don't have to force plays that aren't there."

Jake Guentzel seemed to tie it 2-2 at 11:33 of the third period. The goal was disallowed following a coach's challenge, where it was ruled Olli Maatta interfered with Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead scoring on its second power play. Gustav Forsling scored his second goal of the season at 12:32, after Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Anisimov each failed to convert on chances with Matt Murray scrambling in his crease. Murray stopped a wrist shot from Anisimov with 7:35 left to freeze the puck.

Jonathan Toews won the face-off and Alex DeBrincat passed to Forsling at the inner edge of the left circle, where he sent a wrist shot past Ian Cole.

Video: CHI@PIT: Crawford snares Kessel's wrist shot

Chicago could have had a larger lead in the first period, but couldn't convert on two breakaways. Schmaltz was denied at 1:06, and Toews sent a shot over the net at 12:44.

Crawford, who made 35 saves, temporarily left the game after being hit by Evgeni Malkin at 8:43 of the second period. Malkin was called for goaltender interference after running into Crawford's head.

Anton Forsberg, who didn't face a shot, replaced Crawford until he returned at 11:35.

With the Penguins net empty, Crawford made a save on a wrist shot from Phil Kessel with 19 seconds remaining in the third period. After receiving a pass from Sidney Crosby, Guentzel found Kessel gliding toward the left post. Kessel shot toward a seemingly open left side of the net, but Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook partially blocked his shot before Crawford got his right pad on it and reached back to freeze the puck.

"Both of us just kind of dove over there," Crawford said. "I don't know how it stayed out."

Murray made 36 saves.

Video: CHI@PIT: Murray scrambles to make multiple saves

 

Goal of the game

Anisimov's goal at 8:21 of the third period.

Video: CHI@PIT: Anisimov bangs in carom off boards for PPG

 

Save of the game

Crawford stopping Kessel with 19 seconds remaining in the third period.

Video: CHI@PIT: Crawford denies Kessel on the doorstep

 

Highlight of the game

Hunwick's goal 8:00 into the third period.

Video: CHI@PIT: Hunwick ties game with shorthanded goal

 

They said it

"I find that we're moving better and skating better. We still think there's better puck management internally, on every single line, and that could make us better. That's where the upside has to come from." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville

 

"I think it comes down to killing the penalties. Those things happen. Penalties happen. Somebody goes to the box, you just have to make sure you kill the penalty, and right now we're not able to do that. Just have to be better." -- Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta

 

Need to know

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith played after missing practice the previous two days with an undisclosed illness. He had three blocks in 26:56. … Maatta did not participate in Pittsburgh's morning skate Saturday because of an undisclosed illness. He blocked four shots and had one hit in 18:10. … Hunwick returned from missing 15 games with a concussion. … The Blackhawks have won eight consecutive games against the Penguins dating to Jan. 21, 2015, outscoring them 30-10.

 

What's next

Blackhawks: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Penguins: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SNP, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Crawford, Anisimov pace Blackhawks to 2-1 victory

View More