Artemi Panarin was all over the ice in Wednesday’s game against the St. Louis Blues, picking up an assist early, a fight late and ending the game with a perfect shot in overtime.
Artemi Panarin’s brilliant rookie season saw him notch 30 goals and 77 points in 80 games en route to the Calder Trophy, and he even picked up a career milestone by potting his first career hat trick in February 2016.
Almost nine months later to the day, Panarin has another hat trick to celebrate, but this one’s of a different — and most unexpected — variety.
In Chicago’s 2-1 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, Panarin factored in all over the score sheet, picking up a helper on Marian Hossa’s opening goal, dropping the gloves and throwing fists with Blues winger Scottie Upshall and then sniping home the game-winning goal in overtime. Yes, that’s right, Artemi Panarin, all 5-foot-11, 170 pounds of him, registered a Gordie Howe hat trick against the Blues.
Let’s start with the assist. Not all secondary assists are made the same, and Panarin’s assist was one of those that’s more than fitting of the point. Driving down the left wing, Panarin slammed on the breaks and opened up some space for a hard charging Gustav Forsling to blast a puck on net, and the rebound went right onto Hossa’s tape:
Next came the fight, which came after a dustup between Panarin and Upshall in the corner during a Blackhawks power play. Upshall took umbrage with a hit Panarin threw, came back with a crosscheck on the Chicago sophomore and the two ended up dropping the gloves near the Blues’ bench.
Sometimes you can earn a Gordie Howe hat trick by getting into a fight and not necessarily winning, but Panarin more than held his own, even switching from throwing rights to lefts in the midst of the scrap:
The scrap took Panarin out of the contest for the remainder of regulation, and it definitely hurt for coach Joel Quenneville to see a player of Panarin’s calibre sitting in the penalty box when Chicago earned a late-game power play. But Panarin was back in time for the start of the extra frame, and he made the Blues pay on the scoreboard:
St. Louis was no doubt wishing Panarin and Upshall would have scrapped, say, 65 seconds later than they had. At least that would have kept Panarin off the ice to start the overtime power play. The goal will stand as a four-on-four tally, however, as Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo was exiting the penalty box as Panarin potted the winner.
Thanks to Panarin’s Gordie Howe hat trick — and more specifically his overtime goal — the Blackhawks extended their winning streak to seven games. But even with Panarin no doubt getting some love from teammates and the coaching staff, they’ll all want to see him using his hands for the other, three-goal version of a hat trick in the future.
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