Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 33rd goal in regulation and connected again in the shootout as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Thursday night to open an eight-point lead for first place in the Central Division.
Artemi Panarin also scored in the shootout as Chicago rode a 42-save effort by Corey Crawford through overtime to improve to 6-0-1 in its last seven. It was also the Blackhawks’ 18th win in their last 22 games. Marian Hossa scored his 24th goal of the season midway through the third period.
Crawford was beaten only by Tyler Seguin in the shootout and twice in regulation by Ales Hemsky as he rebounded from giving up four goals on 10 shots to Vancouver on Tuesday night.
Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen made 24 saves through overtime, following up on a 30-save shutout on Monday against San Jose.
Hemsky’s second goal of the game with 5:09 left in the third tied it at 2 and sent it to overtime. From the left side of the crease, Hemsky buried a rebound of Esa Lindell’s shot from the right point.
Hemsky connected for his second goal and third goals this season in his 10th game back following hip surgery.
Kane opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 8:13 of the first. He moved in on a 2-on-1 break with Richard Panik, then beat Lehtonen on the stick side.
Crawford was sharp as the Stars started piling on shots. That including a point-blank pad save on Jiri Hudler’s backhander at 9:42.
Hemsky tied it at 1 at 12:26 of the second on a 40-foot shot from the slot that may have been screened by Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. Hemsky beat Crawford high on the stick side after taking John Klingberg’s feed from the right boards.
Hossa fired a quick wrist shot from 30 feet out in the slot, through a screen and past Lehtonen to put Chicago ahead 2-1 at 8:37 of the third. Hossa was set up by rookie Nick Schmaltz, who passed from just inside the Dallas blue line on the left boards.
Kane fired a shot off the post during a power play 26 seconds into overtime.
Later in the extra period, Crawford stopped two in-close chances by Jamie Benn from the right edge of the crease. He then came up with a pad save on Remi Elie’s breakaway with 1:15 left in overtime.
▪ Stars C Jason Spezza missed his second game with back spasms.
▪ Chicago C Artem Anisimov sat out his fifth game with a lower-body injury.
▪ Earlier on Thursday the Blackhawks gave utility F Tanner Kero a contract extension that runs through 2018-19. The 24-year-old Kero, signed as a free agent in April 2015, is one of seven rookies to skate with Chicago this season, and has five goals and seven assists in 38 games since his recall from the AHL.
▪ The Blackhawks honored Hall of Fame G Ed Belfour in a brief “One More Shift” ceremony before the game. Dressed in his Blackhawks gear, Belfour skated onto the ice and joined the team for the national anthem. Belfour began his career with Chicago, where earned his first 201 of 484 career wins over seven seasons. He went on to play for the Stars and led them to their only Stanley Cup in 1999.
Stars: Host Pacific Division leader San Jose in Dallas on Friday night, and for the second time this week. The Stars beat the Sharks 1-0 in Dallas on Monday.
Blackhawks: At Florida on Saturday night to start a three-game trip. Chicago plays six of its last eight regular-season games on the road.
First Period—1, Chicago, Kane 33 (Toews, Panik), 8:13 (pp). Penalties—Panik, CHI, (interference), 3:29; Elie, DAL, (tripping), 7:23; Kruger, CHI, (tripping), 8:35; Shore, DAL, (interference), 14:37.
Second Period—2, Dallas, Hemsky 2 (Benn, Klingberg), 12:26. Penalties—Eakin, DAL, (high sticking), 2:49; Hartman, CHI, (tripping), 9:16; Hartman, CHI, Major (fighting), 11:46; Hamhuis, DAL, Major (fighting), 11:46.
Third Period—3, Chicago, Hossa 24 (Van riemsdyk, Schmaltz), 8:37. 4, Dallas, Hemsky 3 (Lindell, Benn), 14:51. Penalties—Faksa, DAL, (tripping), 19:05.
Shootout—Dallas 1 (Seguin G, Benn NG, Hemsky NG), Chicago 2 (Toews NG, Kane G, Panarin G).
Shots on Goal—Dallas 13-14-11-6—44. Chicago 7-7-9-3—26. Power-plays—Dallas 0 of 3; Chicago 1 of 4. Goalies—Dallas, Lehtonen 18-22-7 (26 shots-24 saves). Chicago, Crawford 30-15-3 (44-42). A—21,798 (19,717). T—2:39. Referees—Dan O’Halloran, Brian Pochmara. Linesmen—Bryan Pancich, Vaughan Rody.