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Blackhawks extend Central lead with overtime win

Ryan Hartman scores to defeat Maple Leafs, who hold wild card by point

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Ryan Hartman scored with 17 seconds left in overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 2-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Saturday.

"It was great, I was out there for a while, I was pretty tired, but I saw a break for a 2-on-1," Hartman said. "[Artemi] Panarin made a good pass and I'm glad I wasn't offside."

The goal was upheld after it was reviewed to ensure the Blackhawks were onside. Panarin entered the zone before the puck but had control of it as he made the pass.

Corey Crawford made 25 saves for the Blackhawks (46-20-5), who have won four in a row. He stopped Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk on a breakaway 2:40 into overtime.

 

WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Maple Leafs highlights

 

"He's always standing on his head, he keeps us in a lot of games and he always gives us a chance to win each night," Hartman said. "We're lucky to have him back there. Once again, he stood on his head and made some big saves in overtime."

Chicago has a five-point lead over the Minnesota Wild for first place in the Central Division. Minnesota lost 3-2 to the New York Rangers.

"We want to keep playing well. We didn't give up much tonight, the pace was pretty even in the game," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Both teams had their turns but not a lot of turns. But hey, we'll see what plays out, we'll keep trying to push ahead and see how it goes."

Video: CHI@TOR: Hartman fakes, goes five-hole for OT win

Frederik Andersen made 37 saves for the Maple Leafs (32-23-15), who lead the New York Islanders by one point for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. New York lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime. 

"I thought it was a good game, it was tight, tight, tight," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "They had the puck lots, but in saying that, I didn't think we gave up quality chances at all. They're a good team, a veteran team. You're disappointed to lose; you'd like to win that game obviously."

The Blackhawks outshot the Maple Leafs 13-8 in the first period but the Maple Leafs took a 1-0 lead when Auston Matthews scored at 8:25. The goal, his 32nd, ended the rookie's seven-game point drought.

Video: CHI@TOR: Andersen uses pads to stop Kruger in close

The Maple Leafs nearly took a two-goal lead at 10:01 of the second period when William Nylander hit the crossbar with a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot.

The Blackhawks tied it 1-1 less than a minute later when John Hayden put a shot past Andersen's glove from the slot at 10:51. It was Hayden's first NHL goal in his second game.

"It was awesome," Hayden said. "It was pretty surreal, especially in this building with this environment."

 

Goal of the game

Matthews and Nylander ran a give-and-go that resulted in Toronto's goal. Matthews passed to Nylander on the right wing and went to the net to tip the return pass by Crawford.

Video: CHI@TOR: Matthews tips home Nylander's terrific feed

 

Save of the game

Crawford kicked out his right pad to stop Matthews at the top of the goal crease at 1:50 of the third period after a centering pass from Zach Hyman behind the net. It kept the score 1-1.

Video: CHI@TOR: Crawford robs Matthews with his blocker

 

Highlight of the game

Brent Seabrook made a lead pass from inside the Blackhawks zone to Jonathan Toews at the red line. Toews carried the puck into the Maple Leafs zone and passed to Hayden, who was trailing the play and kicked the puck to his stick before shooting.

Video: CHI@TOR: Hayden picks the corner for first NHL goal

 

Unsung performance of the game

Toews looked to have an easy tap-in at the top of the crease with Andersen out of position, but Maple Leafs defenseman Matt Hunwick got his stick in the way and cleared the puck.

 

They said it

"I liked him a lot; I thought he was really good in the first game and even better tonight. It was a good start to his career. I thought he had a lot of purpose; he made some decisions without the puck that were really good and effective. He made a great play on the goal. He's at the net, he finishes checks, and he has some pace to his game." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on John Hayden, who played his last game for Yale University on March 11

 

"You always take the points you can get and run with them, especially with the race that we're in. Obviously we know what's going on in the games around us. That was a huge point for us. We needed that one. We'll regroup and get back after it Monday." -- Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk

 

Need to know

Nylander's assist extended his NHL career-high point streak to seven games (one goal, six assists). … Matthews trails Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine by one goal for the NHL rookie lead. … Kadri won 14 of 16 faceoffs (87.5 percent). … Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa did not play because of a lower-body injury, but Quenneville did not rule him out for the game Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche. … Chicago won at least one game in each of the seven NHL arenas in Canada this season. … Toronto wore green-and-white uniforms to honor the Toronto St. Pats, their name from 1919-27.

 

What's next

Blackhawks: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, WGN, ALT, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: Host the Boston Bruins on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, TSN4, NESN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Hartman lifts Blackhawks to 2-1 overtime win

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