CHICAGO — Once Artemi Panarin stopped thinking about scoring, he started scoring again.
The Russian rookie had two goals for the second straight night, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat Pittsburgh 3-1 on Wednesday for their second win against the Penguins in two days.
“If (I) don’t score some goals in many games, then (I) start to think too much,” Panarin said through a translator. “This is what kind of not help (me). But tonight was good.”
Panarin broke a 1-1 tie when he jumped on a loose puck after a faceoff and whipped it over the glove of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury at 8:56 of the third. Teuvo Teravainen added an empty-net goal as Chicago earned its season-high fifth straight win in the opener of a four-game homestand.
Panarin also had two goals in Chicago’s 3-2 victory at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, including the winner in overtime. Panarin, who leads all NHL rookies with 15 goals and 38 points, had just two goals in his previous 13 games before the scoring binge against the Penguins.
“I think with him, when he thinks shot, he’s got a great shot,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.
Evgeni Malkin scored for Pittsburgh, and Fleury finished with 34 stops. The Penguins had won two in a row and four of six before the two losses against the Blackhawks.
“I think just dictating the play has been more of our identity here lately and tonight when we don’t do that you see the difference,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “We are really a team that can skate and play on our toes and when we’re doing that we’re playing fast and we’re tough to contain.
“You get a game like tonight where you sit back, you play tentative and we’re a much different team that way,” he said.
With Fleury looking strong and Chicago keeping most of the action away from Darling, the teams exchanged screened goals in the first two periods.
Artem Anisimov was camped out in front when Panarin wristed a shot by Fleury for a 1-0 lead at 15:58 of the first. Panarin’s goal capped an extended stretch in Pittsburgh’s zone for Chicago’s second line.
Malkin tied it with his 19th goal at 7:33 of the second. With Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews in the box for high sticking and Patric Hornqvist making life difficult for Darling in front, Malkin’s big drive from the point went off the inside of the crossbar and down into the net.
Chicago had a chance to go in front again with 5 1/2 minutes left in the second, but Fleury denied Patrick Kane in front, and then made a terrific blocker save on a wide-open Trevor van Riemsdyk.
“Kane’s line was tough for us to handle tonight,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “Obviously Marc made some great saves to keep us in the game. We just didn’t have enough of a sustained attack and I thought we were on our heels too much.”
NOTES: Quenneville said he had no update on forward Richard Panik, who was acquired in a trade with Toronto on Sunday night. Panik was in the minors at the time of the deal but is expected to join the Blackhawks once he resolves a visa issue. “It’s not in our hands,” Quenneville said. … Penguins rookie LW Sergei Plotnikov played in his 32nd NHL game, but remains in search of his first goal. “As far as scoring goals, when I look at the type of player that he is, I think he needs to go to the net more,” Sullivan said. … Blackhawks D Michal Rozsival returned to the lineup. D Rob Scuderi was scratched.