CHICAGO – Jayce Hawryluk’s hustle and desire are paying off for the Florida Panthers.
Hawryluk scored his first two NHL goals, Mike Hoffman and Jared McCann had goals in a 31-second span in the second period and the Panthers defeated the Blackhawks, 6-3, on Sunday night.
Denis Malgin also scored, and Frank Vatrano added an empty-netter as the Panthers won road games on consecutive night and prevailed for the fourth time in five games overall. Hoffman’s goal was his 17th, tying him for the team lead.
Hawryluk, a 22-year-old center, skated in his fifth game since being recalled from Springfield of the American Hockey League where he led the team with 28 points on seven goals and 21 assists.
“He does have a knack for the net,” coach Bob Boughner said. “He had a great start for Springfield, earned the call-up, and now every game he’s getting better.
“It’s real contagious, the passion and the energy that he brings. Nice to see him get rewarded.”
Dylan Strome had a goal and two assists for the last-place Hawks, who had their season-high, three-game winning streak snapped. Connor Murphy scored his first goal of the season and Alex DeBrincat netted his 17th, moving into a tie with Patrick Kane for the team lead.
“I think we all felt pretty good coming into the game,” said Strome, who recorded his first three-point game in the NHL. “Even after the first period, we were playing pretty good, I think.
“Once they got a goal, I think we let that take the wind out of our sails and let them get momentum from that.”
James Reimer made 26 saves for Florida, and Cam Ward stopped 21 shots for the Hawks, as No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford missed his fourth game with a concussion.
Murphy opened the scoring at 13:32 of the first period, connecting in his ninth game after missing the Hawks’ first 30 while recovering from a back injury. After taking Strome’s feed from behind the net, his shot from the right circle beat Reimer on the glove side.
DeBrincat scored a power-play goal off a series of bounces at 4:56 to tie it at 2. DeBrincat’s pass across the crease caromed off Strome, Matheson and the right post before bouncing back to him at the left side of the crease.
The quick goals deflated the Hawks, coach Jeremy Colliton said.
“We didn’t feel like we were playing very well, but we were still in the game,” Colliton said. “Then, all of a sudden, it’s an uphill battle.”
Malgin was wide open at the right side of the crease and converted a feed from McCann to make it 5-2 just 59 seconds into the third. Strome tipped in a pinpoint backhanded feed from Kane at 9:35 of the third to cut it to 5-3.
Vatrano’s empty-netter with 1:01 sealed it.
NOTES: Hawryluk was drafted by Florida 32nd overall in 2014. ... Blackhawks 25-year-old C Jacob Nilsson, recalled Saturday from Rockford of the AHL, played in his first NHL game. ... The Blackhawks beat the Panthers 5-4 in overtime on Nov. 24 at Sunrise, Florida, in the other regular-season meeting. . Chicago C Marcus Kruger sat out his third game (concussion). . Florida was without LW Jamie McGinn (back), C Derek MacKenzie (shoulder), C Vincent Trocheck (ankle) and C Nick Bjugstad (upper body).