Posted October 21, 2013 on AP on Fox
The ability to bounce back from a defeat helped pace the Chicago Blackhawks' run to the Stanley Cup last season and has been a key reason for their strong play early in 2013-14. Looking to build on their latest victory, the visiting Blackhawks try to continue their recent success over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. En route to its second title in four years, Chicago (5-1-2) never lost more than two straight games during the last regular season. After consecutive 3-2 defeats to Tampa Bay and St. Louis, the Blackhawks reeled off three straight victories before falling 3-2 to the Blues in a shootout at home Thursday. True to form, Chicago rebounded with a 3-1 victory over Toronto on Saturday. "We played exactly like we needed to, and overall we were solid," goaltender Corey Crawford told the Blackhawks' official website after he stopped 19 shots to improve to 4-1-2 with a 2.07 goals-against average. Chicago scored all its goals in the second period, then held a two-goal lead after failing to maintain a 2-0 advantage in last Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win at Carolina and a pair of one-goal leads at home to the Blues. "I thought we got what we were looking for," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We didn't produce in the third period, but we did what we wanted to do much for effective." "Start to finish it's what we're looking for." Brandon Pirri scored in his second straight game and added an assist in his third contest since being recalled from the AHL on Oct. 12. He didn't have a goal in seven NHL games over the previous three seasons. "The puck's just finding my stick right now, so it's a lot of fun," Pirri said. "I'm just trying to do the little things right." Though Chicago has not faced Florida (3-6-0) since Jan. 20, 2012, it has outscored the Panthers 10-3 during a three-game series winning streak. Patrick Kane has recorded five goals and five assists during a six-game point streak against the Panthers, while Jonathan Toews has two and three assists during the three-game run. Florida snapped its second three-game slide of the season with a 2-1 shootout victory over Minnesota on Saturday. Aleksander Barkov, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 draft, tied the game in the third period with his third goal. Jonathan Huberdeau and Brad Boyes each scored in the shootout and Tim Thomas made 30 saves to snap a personal three-game skid during which he posted a 5.60 GAA. "It was huge. To get the power-play goal, too," Huberdeau said after Barkov tallied Florida's fourth power-play goal in 34 chances this season. "I think we did everything (Saturday), that's why we found a way to win." Florida last posted back-to-back victories in the same season during a three-game run March 28-April 2. "We earned that win through hard work, and that's the level of output that we need to have every night," Thomas told the Panthers' official website. "The effort is awesome. That's how we need to win." Boyes has a team-leading four goals but been held to only one assist in the last four contests. He's scored three and added an assist during his last four versus Chicago.
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