The Chicago Blackhawks entered the new year, and the 2017 portion of their schedule coming off of a less than stellar end to the 2016 portion of their schedule. The Blackhawks weren’t able to rebound on Monday afternoon when they visited the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium for the ninth annual Winter Classic.
The Blackhawks were dropped a poor performance to the Blues 4-1 on Monday afternoon, and nearly dropped Thursday’s match-up with the Buffalo Sabres before some late heroics by Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane allowed them to steal one in overtime in front of the United Center crowd.
As the Blackhawks prepare for the second half of a back-to-back at home with the Carolina Hurricanes this evening, we take a look at the Blackhawks three stars of the week.
3. Michal Kempny
Rookie defenseman Michal Kempny has been pretty good as of late, and is playing his way into some sustained playing time over the last two weeks since being reinserted into the Hawks’ defensive pairings.
Kempny notched a goal and an assist last week against the Carolina Hurricanes, and continued to insert his presence on the score sheet this week. Kempny scored early on Monday afternoon against the Blues, putting the Blackhawks up 1-0 over the Blues just minutes into the Winter Classic.
Kempny added an assist on Thursday evening on one of the two Artem Anisimov goals. Kempny had two assists through his first 24 games of the season entering last Thursday night’s game with the Carolina Hurricanes, and has since added a pair of goals and a pair of assists to his season totals this week.
2. Artem Anisimov
Artem Anisimov has had an excellent 2016-2017 campaign to date, racking up 18 goals and 13 assists through his first 37 games this season. Two of those goals came last night, when the Blackhawks looked to have been outplayed by the Buffalo Sabres, helping the Hawks’ steal one from Buffalo.
Anisimov tied the game twice on Thursday night, once in the second period and once in the third period as well. The first goal came at the 18:28 mark in the second period tying the game at two-a-piece at the time. After Sabres forward Jack Eichel gave the Sabres the lead again, just over a minute into the third period, Anisimov tied the game up again at the 17:56 mark in the final period.
Anisimov finished up the week with his pair of game-tying goals as the Blackhawks went 1-1-0 over the last week.
1. Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane goes by the nickname “Showtime” around the television broadcast world for good reason, on Thursday night he reminded us why. With the Blackhawks trailing late in the third period, Kane notched an assist on the game-tying Artem Anisimov goal, before sending the 21,824 fans at the United Center jumping to their feet with his game-winning-goal early in the overtime period for the Blackhawks victory.
Kane finished up the week with a goal, and two assists over the last seven days, making him our Blackhawks number one star of the week.
The Chicago Blackhawks (24-12-5) will host the Carolina Hurricanes (17-14-7) tonight at the United Center in the back end of a back-to-back. Scott Darling will get the start in goal tonight over Corey Crawford, and you can catch the action at 7:30 PM (CT) on CSN-Chicago (TV) and 720AM-WGN (Radio).