The Blackhawks’ big-name scorers keep coming through when needed, and they kepts on rolling.Artem Anisimov scored with 5:20 left in the third period to lift the Blackhawks over the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night for their fourth straight win and ninth in their last 10.Anisimov beat Jake Allen on the glove side from the right edge of the crease for his 22nd goal – matching his career high – after taking a pinpoint cross-ice pass from linemate Artemi Panarin. Tanner Kero added an empty-netter with 2.6 seconds left.The Blackhawks have outscored opponents 44-24 during their 10-game run. The goals have not only been plentiful, but timely, as the top two lines have been clicking.
”If somebody has a good shift, everybody feeds off it and keeps it going,” Anisimov said. ”It’s very nice to have two lines going.”
Anisimov’s line, with wings Panarin and Patrick Kane, has been outstanding. So has the trio of center Jonathan Toews with wings Richard Panik and rookie Nick Schmaltz.
”I think we’re so much deeper as a team, both lines are dangerous and effective,” coach Joel Quenneville said. ”Who are (opponents) going to check? Who are they going to match up on the back end? ‘It gives the other team something to think about over the course of a game.”
Kane assisted on Anisimov’s winner and scored a power-play goal. Toews also had a goal and an assist for surging Hawks, who pulled one point behind first-place Minnesota in the Central Division and Western Conference despite blowing an early 2-0 lead.Toews has nine goals and 15 assists in his last 14 games. Kane has nine goals and six assists in his last 10.Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith had an assist for his 500th NHL point.Magnus Paajarvi and Alex Pietrangelo scored for the Blues, who played their first game following their bye week and lost their third straight.After Pietrangelo connected during a power play in the second period to tie it at 2, the Blues saw a chance to get back on track.
”This would have been a good one to come away with,” Pietrangelo said. ”I know teams haven’t had a lot of success coming out of the break. It would have been nice to break that trend.”
Scott Darling made 30 saves as he stepped in for No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford, who was ill and ruled out by Quenneville at the team’s morning skate.Allen blocked 38 shots. Toews pened the scoring 4:18 in with a quick forehand move to cap a crisp, rink-long passing series with his linemates.Kane finished a give-and-go with Toews to make it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 11:44, beating Allen on the short side with a shot from the left circle.Paajarvi cut it to 2-1 with 3:06 left in the period. He skated in alone and beat Darling between the legs after linemate Jori Lehtera forced defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk into a turnover at the Blackhawks’ blue line.Pietrangelo’s power-play goal with 7:27 left in the second tied it. With the Blackhawks’ defense backing in, he took David Perron’s feed and beat Darling on the glove side.
NOTES—The Blackhawks finished 3-2 against the Blues in the regular season. … Darling was backed up by Lars Johansson, who was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL on Sunday. Johansson arrived at the United Center in time, even though the IceHogs played at Ontario, California, on Sunday night. … Tomas Jurco, acquired Friday from Detroit for a draft pick, made his Blackhawks debut. … Niklas Hjalmarsson missed the game and is day-to-day. He skated five shifts on Thursday against Arizona before leaving. … D Jay Bouwmeester played his 300th game with St. Louis. … The Blues healthy scratches were F Nail Yakupov and D Robert Bortuzzo. … Dennis Rasmussen sat out.
NOTES—The Blackhawks are home to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night in first of two regular season meetings between the teams.