PITTSBURGH (AP) — Artemi Panarin and Richard Panik started a four-goal first period for Chicago, and the Blackhawks moved closer to locking up the Central Division title with a 5-1 victory over the short-handed Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
Marcus Kruger and Marian Hossa also scored during an explosive first period as the Blackhawks moved nine points clear of second-place Minnesota with five games left in the regular season. Tanner Nero added a breakaway goal in the third. Patrick Kane picked up two assists to move past Sidney Crosby and into second place in the NHL scoring race.
Corey Crawford stopped 31 shots for Chicago, which beat the Penguins in regulation on the road for the first time since 1997.
Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 31 saves but received little help outside of Bryan Rust’s third-period goal. The defending Stanley Cup champions saw their winless streak reach four games, and their chances to catch first-place Washington atop the Metropolitan Division took another hit.
(© 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)