Midway through Wednesday night’s game between the Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks, it seemed like déjà vu for Florida. A night after a late Ranger goal did them in, the Panthers seemed destined for another low scoring nail biter. However, the effects of the back-to-back finally set in, and Florida lost 4-0 in Chicago.
The Panthers were shutout for the second time in as many nights. This time it was Corey Crawford doing the honors, making 25 stops in the game. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was also the second straight game that Stephen Weiss missed due to injury.
Chicago broke the scoreless tie at the 14:41 mark of the second period with a power play goal. The Blackhawks worked the puck around the perimeter, before Duncan Keith found Brent Seabrook with a fake shot pass, and Seabrook one-timed a blast over Tomas Vokoun.
Viktor Stalberg made it 2-0 on a two-on-one attempt with Jonathan Toews. Toews sent a cross ice pass across the front of the net, and Stalberg found a spot between Vokoun and the post.
The Blackhawks got a couple of beautiful goals to close the game out. The first was scored by Patrick Kane, and was the result of crisp attack zone passes. The final dagger was a tic-tac-toe play from Marian Hossa to Michael Frolik to Tomas Kopecky, the last of whom shot the puck into the open net. Vokoun had overcommitted to Frolik, and Kopecky had an easy shot for the Blackhawks fourth and final goal.
It was a huge victory for Chicago, who moved into a tie for fifth place in the tight Western Conference. The Panthers will look for their first goal of the road trip in game number three, against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.