March 19, 2017
With veteran stars Artem Anisimov and Marian Hossa out of action Saturday night, the Chicago Blackhawks were going to need help from their depth to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs. That is exactly what they got with two rookies stepping up and scoring huge goals.
After Auston Matthews gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead in the first period, John Hayden had a moment he will never forget by tying the game in the second period with his first career NHL goal. Brent Seabrook started the play by completing a stretch pass down to Jonathan Toews. Once in the zone, Toews passed across to Hayden who made a great play by kicking the puck to his stick and beating Frederik Andersen with a wrist shot.
The game remained tied after 60 minutes of play and headed into overtime. With just 17 seconds remaining in the extra frame another rookie, Ryan Hartman scored his first career NHL overtime goal. Artemi Panarin led a 2-on-1 rush into the zone and passed over to Hartman who faked a slap shot and then snuck the puck past Andersen on the stick side.
The Blackhawks are starting to pull away from the Minnesota Wild in the Central Division race. They now own a five point lead after Minnesota’s loss on home ice to the New York Rangers. Both teams are in action again Sunday evening.