Marian Hossa’s 1,100th career point was the overtime winner, but it was because of a miraculous stop by Scott Darling that the Blackhawks even had a chance to pick up a win Sunday.
The Blackhawks exited their weekend home-and-home series against the Dallas Stars with two one-goal victories, both of which featured superb goaltending from the Chicago duo of Corey Crawford and Scott Darling on consecutive nights. For as good as Crawford was Saturday, though, it’s Darling who blew minds on Sunday with a miraculous game-saving stop.
After Darling had helped the Blackhawks fight their way to overtime with the Stars thanks to 28 regulation saves, he faced his toughest task of the evening in the extra frame. Though he only faced four shots for in the four-plus minutes of overtime action, Darling came under fire early in the period when Patrick Kane found himself in the penalty box for hooking, and it set the table for one of the best saves of any netminder through the early part of the season.
As the puck got worked low in the Blackhawks’ zone, the Stars set up a quick passing play that isolated the single defender, Duncan Keith, covering the front of the net. The play saw Jamie Benn fired a perfect pass across the crease to Patrick Eaves, and as the pass was sliding across, it appeared the game was all but over. That was until Darling stuck out his toe to make an unthinkable stop:
That Darling managed not only to get a piece of Eaves’ shot but get enough on it to push it wide is incredible. Even though the Blackhawks still had more than a minute left to kill on Kane’s penalty, they managed to shut the door from then on out, not allowing Dallas another Grade-A chance like the one Eaves had earlier in the power play.
And, as one would expect from hockey, after a big save at one end of the ice, the game-winner game at the other. As Chicago moved the puck up ice late in the frame, Marian Hossa wound up taking a one-time pass from Brent Seabrook and blasted the puck through Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen for the overtime winner.
The goal was Hossa’s sixth of the season after he scored just 13 in the entire 2015-16 campaign, and the marker was the 1,100th point of Hossa’s career. He has Darling to thank for point No. 1,100 being able to come in such a memorable fashion.
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