SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Chicago Blackhawks
made their moms proud.
Chicago's Jonathan Toews
and Patrick Sharp scored in the shootout, and goaltender Corey Crawford
came up with two saves to lead the Blackhawks past the Florida Panthers 3-2 Tuesday night at the BB&T Center.
The win came in front of the Blackhawks mothers, who made the two-game road trip that will conclude Thursday in Tampa.
In the shootout, Toews opened with a goal before Crawford stoned Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau
. Crawford also stopped Huberdeau on a second-period penalty shot.
"I was more patient in the shootout," Crawford said. "I was able to wait him out as he made his fakes."
Huberdeau said he thought he had Crawford beat in the shootout.
"I tried to go five-hole, and it almost worked," he said. "But Crawford is a good goalie. He read it (well)."
After Chicago's Patrick Kane and the Panthers' Brad Boyes were denied, Sharp won it for the Blackhawks with his goal.
Crawford, who made 20 saves in the game, is 4-0-1 in his past five starts.
Jacob Markstrom finished in goal for Florida, relieving Tim Thomas
with 2:59 left in the third period. Thomas apparently re-injured his groin. Thomas made 25 saves while Markstrom stopped both shots he faced prior to the shootout.
"I could see he was uncomfortable," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said of Thomas and why he decided to pull him. "That's why you have depth. I didn't want to see (Thomas) hurt himself more or maybe not play to his full potential."
Dineen said the Panthers would probably make a call to their AHL affiliate in San Antonio with the probability of bringing veteran Scott Clemmensen back to South Florida.
Florida (3-6-1) cut Chicago's lead to 2-1 on a goal by Tomas Fleischmann with 10:56 left in the third period. It was his second goal of the season, and the assists went to Aleksander Barkov and Kris Versteeg.
Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov
, who was penalized twice early in the game, including one that resulted in a Chicago goal, made up for his mistakes by tying the score on a wrist shot with 8:09 left in the third period. The goal was unassisted.
"Everyone was frustrated for a second, but there was nothing we could do about it," Crawford said. "We moved on."
The Blackhawks (6-1-2) beat Florida for the fourth consecutive meeting, although this was the first time the teams faced off since Jan. 20, 2012.
Chicago's power play, much improved of late, got the visitors on the board first. Toews got the goal at 5:18 of the second period, his third of the season, with assists from Duncan Keith and Kane.
Toews beat Thomas, but the goat was Kulikov, who was sent off for interference. The Panthers killed off Kulikov's first penalty, for hooking in the first period, but could not do the same the second time around.
It was Chicago's seventh power-play goal in nine games.
Kulikov's penalties -- and his goal -- come on the heels of a report in the Toronto Star that stated the Maple Leafs are interested in his services. Kulikov is in the last season of a four-year contract, and various reports already have the struggling Panthers interested in dealing away veterans.
The Panthers had a major opportunity with 10:36 left in the second period when Huberdeau was awarded a penalty shot after he was taken down by center Michal Handzus.
Huberdeau, the reigning NHL Rookie of the Year, offered a couple of dekes, but his forehand try was denied by Crawford.
Chicago made it 2-0 on a goal by Bryan Bickell with 3:11 left in the second period. It was his second goal of the season, and the assists came from Andrew Shaw and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
"We have to be better," Panthers' defenseman Mike Weaver said after the second intermission. "The key was controlling our blue line and their blue line, and we didn't do a good job of that."
NOTES: Panthers LW Sean Bergenheim, who hasn't played in 18 months due to hip and abdominal injuries, practiced Monday and is believed to be close to returning to the lineup. ... Thomas, signed just before the season started, is still wearing a plain white mask while he waits for his Panthers-themed new one to arrive. ... Chicago D Michal Rozsival missed his third straight game due to illness. ... The Blackhawks' offense, ranked second in the NHL last season with 3.1 goals per game, was down to 2.75 and 14th in the league entering Tuesday. ... Blackhawks RW Ben Smith is getting an opportunity to play now that Joakim Nordstrom is back in the minors. Nordstrom, 21, had one goal in eight games. ... Backup goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, 40, is expected to make his second start of the season Thursday in Tampa. He beat the Islanders 3-2 on Oct. 11. ... The Panthers continue their homestand Friday against the Buffalo Sabres.
- Ice Hockey
- Sports & Recreation
- Corey Crawford
- Jonathan Toews
- Jonathan Huberdeau
- the Blackhawks
- Dmitry Kulikov
- the Panthers