CHICAGO – The Florida Panthers got Joel Quenneville a win in his return to Chicago, using a hat trick by Frank Vatrano to beat the Blackhawks, 4-3, on Tuesday night for their sixth consecutive victory.
The 61-year-old Quenneville coached the Hawks to three Stanley Cup championships and nine playoff appearances in 10-plus years before he was fired when the team got off to a lackluster start last season. He was hired by Florida in April, and the former NHL defenseman was showered with love in his first game back at the United Center.
The crowd of 21,559 roared and bellowed “Q!” during a sustained standing ovation after the Hawks aired a tribute video during the first period. One fan held up a sign that read “ThanQ.”
“Very fortunate to have that type of career time here in Chicago and shared by a lot of people and feeling that today,” Quenneville said before the victory.
Patrick Kane, Kirby Dach and Drake Caggiula scored for the Hawks (24-21-6), which had won a season-high five straight.