(Photo: Chicago Blackhawks Facebook)

Rookie on a roll

Chicago‘s Russian rookie Artemi Panarin may be overshadowed a bit sharing a line with the NHL points leader on a team of superstars, but opponents likely notice the playmaker.

He’s tallied 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) in 44 games so far this season–leading the league’s rookies–and has given the Blackhawks two game-winning goals in their past five games. In fact, he’s had at least a point in five games of their recent seven-game win streak, with eight total during that time.

The “Breadman,” as he’s known for his name’s similarity to Panera, has been serving fresh talent in dishes to his teammates or with hot shots past netminders’ baskets.

His line, the Hawks’ “second line” of Panarin, Patrick Kane, and Artem Anisimov, is an offensive authority. Kane has been in the NHL’s three stars of the month twice this season and broken franchise, American, and current player record point streak.

And, there’s no doubt Kane’s streak wouldn’t have neared 26 without his Russian linemates.

Though the English to Russian and vice-versa is a challenge for Kane and Panarin–that line is fluent in the language of hockey.

“He’s one of the best in the league and definitely a great partner and fun to play with,” Panarin told The Buffalo News of Kane. “I can sense the same understanding of the game playing together. I enjoyed him right away. I knew Patrick Kane before I came to play here. Back in Russia, I was watching his game and definitely understood how to play with him.”

Panarin has made his way into the record books himself, by the way. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, with two goals each in back-to-back games Jan. 5th and 6th against the Pittsburgh Penguins–game-winners, no less–he became the first Hawks rookie to score multiple goals in consecutive games since Darryl Sutter in February, 1981 (about 10 years before Panarin was born).

 

He’s had five goals and three assists in the last seven games–and still gone without a point in two.

 

Seven straight

The Blackhawks, with their 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Sunday, walked away with a ‘W’ in their last seven matchups.

 


They beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 Jan. 8, took the Penguins 3-1 Jan. 6 at home, and managed an overtime win thanks to Panarin in Pittsburgh Jan. 5. Chicago had a deciding 3-0 win over the Ottawa Senators Jan. 3, a close 4-3 overtime victory over the Avs Dec. 31, and a 7-5 win in Arizona Dec. 29.

What’s ahead

In the next week, the Blackhawks:

  • Host the Nashville Predators at 7:30 p.m. CT Jan. 12 CSN-CH+, SNE, SNO, SNP
  • Visit the Montreal Canadiens at 6:30 p.m. CT Jan. 14 CSN-CH, NBCSN
  • Visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6:00 p.m. CT Jan. 15 CSN-CH, NHLN-US
  • Host the Montreal Canadiens at 6:00 p.m. CT Jan. 17 WGN, SN
  • Visit the Nashville Predators at 7:00 p.m. CT Jan. 19 CSN-CH, NBCSN, SN1, SNO

(As always, check bolded links and videos for additional content.)

Carly Mullady grew up needing to know more about icing than its deliciousness on cupcakes. She's the lone daughter of four children, with a father who was among the last cut from the Midwest tryouts for the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic team. And she knows very little matches the thrill that happens from puck-drop to handshakes. A rink didn’t return to her hometown until she was gone, but she’s been able to see two younger brothers on the ice. She's their feistiest fan. Her other hockey loyalty lies with the Blackhawks--whether it's meant seeing games for $8 with student IDs when the Madhouse didn’t have much of a temper at all, or dancing to Chelsea Dagger at standing room only--there’s something magical about a roaring anthem, the Indianhead sweater, and the Original Six. A former journalist and current editor, she carries a penchant for excitement (and maybe even fighting) with a resume that includes working for Chicago-area newspapers, and television, including The Jerry Springer Show, as well as NBCUniversal in New York. After East Coast living and a return to the Chicago area, the new Mrs. is giving Graceland a go with her Southern Gent, who now shares her adoration of the game, and their rescue dog, Doc Holliday. Other interests include Cubs, Bears, Illini, Crimson Tide, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, baking a mean pineapple upside-down cake, Kate Spade accessories, and a properly coordinated cardigan for every ensemble.

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