December 24, 2018 / 2:57 AM / a month ago

Hawryluk's first 2 goals lead Panthers over Hawks

Rookie Jayce Hawryluk scored the first two goals of his NHL career, leading the Florida Panthers to a 6-3 win over the host Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.

It was Florida’s first win in Chicago in 11 years.

Mike Hoffman scored the go-ahead goal at 3-2, and Florida also got scores from Jared McCann, Denis Malgin and Frank Vatrano. MacKenzie Weegar added two assists.

Florida completed a 3-1-0 road trip and snapped Chicago’s three-game win streak.

Connor Murphy, Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome scored for Chicago. Strome added two assists.

The 22-year-old Hawryluk, Florida’s second-round pick in 2014, played just his fifth NHL game.

In a battle between backup goalies, James Reimer earned the win, making 26 saves. Chicago’s Cam Ward made 21 saves.

Chicago opened the scoring, getting Murphy’s goal with 13:23 gone in the first period. Strome earned the primary assist, working behind the net until he found Murphy in the right circle, where his shot found the back of the net for the first time since March.

Hawryluk scored his first goal with 16:21 expired in the first. Mark Pysyk sent a lead pass to Hawryluk, who fought off Carl Dahlstrom and then avoided an attempted poke-check by Ward for a well-earned tally into an open net.

Hawryluk struck again with 2:35 elapsed in the second, giving Florida a 2-1 lead. This time, Michael Matheson’s long outlet pass provided a breakaway for Hawryluk, who overpowered Ward with his wrist shot.

Chicago tied the score on DeBrincat’s power-play, tap-in goal with 4:56 gone in the second. Vatrano was penalized for sending the puck over the glass, and Chicago capitalized 14 seconds later.

Florida then scored twice in 31 seconds to take a 4-2 lead late in the second. First, Hoffman scored a power-play goal, using a screen by McCann to fire in a wrist shot. Then, after a shot by Weegar, Ward left a juicy rebound that was put in by McCann.

Malgin’s score — on an assist from McCann — gave Florida a 5-2 lead with just 59 seconds expired in the third.

Chicago cut its deficit to 5-3 on Strome’s goal with 9:35 gone in the third. But, with 1:01 left, Vatrano’s empty-net goal sealed Florida’s win.

—Field Level Media

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