Following a road victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday afternoon, a game in which Roberto Luongo practically stole, the Florida Panthers challenged the Chicago Blackhawks, looking for another victory before Christmas break.
The first period commenced with plenty of action from both sides. MacKenzie Weegar wound up hitting the post, coming awfully close to giving the Panthers the early lead.
However, the Panthers played rather resiliently and continually applied pressure, specifically rookie Jayce Hawryluk.
The fierce Hawryluk tied up the contest, scoring his first career NHL goal, a miraculous effort in which Jayce stripped both the defender and Ward of the puck and finished on a yawning cage (1-1).
Barkov would soon draw yet another penalty and that’s how the first period of play would conclude.
The second period commenced with the Blackhawks successfully killing off the Panther power-play opportunity, a top 3 PP unit in the entire NHL.
Soon after, Jayce Hawryluk would provide the Cats with their first lead of the hockey match, scoring a tremendous goal on a breakaway chance.
The Cats would receive their third power-play opportunity of the night, with the Hawks taking an undisciplined cross-checking penalty.
The second period of play concluded with the Cats carrying a decisive two-goal lead over the deflated Hawks into the locker room.
The third period began with the Cats tacking on their fifth goal of the contest, courtesy of Denis Malgin (5-2 FLA).
Malgin received a magnificent cross-ice feed from Jared McCann, and potted home the puck, giving the Cats a comfortable three-goal cushion in Chicago.
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The Blackhawks would continually apply offensive zone pressure, but James Reimer and the Florida defense stood strong.
The Hawks would receive a power-play chance, but the Cats much-improved penalty kill would successfully kill off another Chicago PP opportunity.
However, the dynamic former top draft selection Dylan Strome would slice Chicago’s deficit to two goals (5-3 CHI). The easy tap-in goal for Strome gave the rookie an impressive three-point night against the Florida Panthers.
Although, with the net empty for the Hawks, Frank Vatrano would ultimately seal the deal for the Cats, slotting home an empty-net goal and regaining Florida’s three-goal lead (6-3 FLA).
The Cats would claim a commanding road victory against the Chicago Blackhawks, heading into Christmas break with a two-game winning streak.