The Chicago Blackhawks’ offense finally came to life for three unanswered goals in a comeback 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night. Alex DeBrincat scored twice, Gustav Forsling tied it up late, and Brandon Saad finished off the much-needed comeback for a team that’s increasingly feeling the heat of its slow start.
Facing a number of familiar faces like Scott Darling, Teuvo Teravainen, and Marcus Kruger, the Hawks fell behind 3-0 early on. Brock McGinn scored two of the goals. It continued an ugly trend from recent games as other teams beating the Hawks out of the gate. This time, however, they had enough fight left over to win in the end.
DeBrincat was the one to really fuel the comeback when it seems like things might get out of hand. He scored the first goal right after the conclusion of a power play by crashing hard to the net on a zone entry, which led to Jonathan Toews finding him in the blue paint for a goal.
It felt a little bit like the rookie saying, “Alright, if you guys won’t get to the dirty areas and get us a goal, I guess I will.” He would score again early in the third period to make it 3-2.
Forsling tied the game with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation with his first goal of the season and third of his career. Brent Seabrook had fired a shot that rebounded back out to the young defenseman, who got a shot to deflect off a body and past Scott Darling.
In overtime, Forsling and DeBrincat showed up again as they assisted Saad on the game-winning goal. The winger went five hole to beat Darling for his seventh score of the season. Anton Forsberg, who got off to a rough start, finished strong with 35 saves on 38 shots.
So, anyway, the
Warriors Hurricanes blew a 3-1 lead. That was fun.
CHI GOALS: DeBrincat 2 (4,5), Forsling (1), Saad (7)
CAR GOALS: McGinn 2 (4, 5), Skinner (8)
Drawing penalties is a huge positive
Let’s turn the focus to something positive. The Blackhawks drew five penalties against the Hurricanes on Saturday, which pushes them into first place among all NHL teams in penalties drawn this season with 91.
That’s particularly impressive because the Hurricanes entered Saturday with the fewest penalties committed in the league. Justin Williams, Justin Faulk, Noah Hanifin, Kruger and McGinn all got whistled. Hanifin’s infraction led to the Saad penalty shot.
The Blackhawks have struggled to take advantage of all those opportunities with their middling power play, but drawing so many penalties at 5-on-5 is one of the few consistent strengths we’ve seen from the team this season.
The rise of Forsling
Forsling’s future in Chicago may not be certain yet, but it’s clear they want him to be a big part of the defense. He’s finished near the top of the team in 5-on-5 playing time during each of the past two games, including 15:13 against the Hurricanes. Since returning from injury on Thursday, he’s recorded his two highest minute totals of the season.
The 21-year-old (remember, he’s only 21) may continue to receive those opportunities, too. Over those two games, he’s posted a 56 percent 5-on-5 Corsi, seven shots on goal, and his first score of the season. It would be a huge development for the Hawks if he can settle into a bigger role going forward.
Lou Malnati’s is delicious
Good pizza. Good comeback. We endorse both of them.
- Alex DeBrincat (CHI) — 2 goals, 1 assist
- Gustav Forsling (CHI) — 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 SOG
- Brock McGinn (CAR) — 2 goals