Blackhawks ride Panarin's 4-point night past Jets in OT
Chicago rookie now has 68 points this season
Artemi Panarin keeps finding ways to make a huge impact.
The NHL rookie scoring leader forced overtime with his second goal of the game, then assisted on Brent Seabrook's game-winner as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 on Friday.
Panarin, who finished the night with four points and leads all rookies in goals (27) and assists (41), continues to benefit from playing with linemate Patrick Kane, who leads all NHL players with 96 points.
"That line's dangerous," said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. "They have a pretty good idea where the other guy is going to end up. They find lanes and seams like they did on the power play and on 5-on-5. They get through some nights and their finish is excellent."
Seabrook's winner came 1:02 into overtime in a game that saw four lead changes.
"It was a crazy game all game long," added Quenneville. "There was some looseness and some great opportunities. They had a chance, an empty net to go 3-1 and [instead] it's tied. That was a big mess and a great chance at the other end and it's tied."
Brandon Mashinter and Kane also scored for the Blackhawks (45-26-7), who are 9-1-0 in their last 10 visits to Winnipeg.
"[The win] is definitely the more important part," said Scott Darling, who finished with 28 saves for his 10th win of the season. "We're here to win. You never want to let in four goals but I'm happy with the way we all battled and pulled it out there."
Blake Wheeler had a pair of goals and an assist for the Jets (32-39-7) while Dustin Byfuglien scored once and added two assists. Nic Petan's recorded his second goal of the season and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 22 shots.
"They're skating really well and I think they're playing with a lot of confidence," Wheeler said of linemates Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers. "I've been around long enough to not waver in my confidence in myself, and that's something you have to earn in this league. It's something you have to develop and I think those guys are on their way to doing that."
Wheeler's three-point night extends his point streak to seven games. He has four goals and six assists during his run and his 71 points on the season sets a new career-high.
Dustin Byfuglien's 18th goal of the season made it 3-3 in the third before Wheeler's second goal of the game put the Jets ahead. Panarin forced overtime when he scored at 15:17 of the third.
"It was nice to see us bounce back after giving up that goal," said Seabrook. "The resiliency of this team was good to see, and I think it's definitely a confidence booster going forward to know we can be down and get a big goal and get it to overtime."