Another superb outing from young goaltender Collin Delia was enough to earn the Blackhawks one point, but the Islanders skated away with the second thanks to an overtime goal from Devon Toews in a 3-2 win Thursday night at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
For the seventh straight game — a major change from Chicago’s play earlier this season — the Blackhawks grabbed the early lead. This time, rookie Dominik Kahun put the Hawks in front by tapping home a loose rebound:
The Islanders took over from there, unleashing a barrage of shots on Delia. Mathew Barzal worked two of those shots past Delia, scoring three minutes after Kahun’s goal in the first period and then on the power play late in the second, sending the Islanders into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead.
But Patrick Kane tied the game early in the third period when he shanked a one-timer that fooled Robin Lehner and snuck inside the far post to make it a 2-2 game:
Chicago killed off a crucial late penalty in the third period, sending the game into overtime. But the Islanders left victorious after Devon Toews buried his own rebound past Delia for the game’s decisive goal.
To the thoughts we go!
Ride the hot hand in net
Fifty shots again, 47 saves made. Until Delia proves otherwise with his performance on the ice, he should be the Blackhawks starting goaltender.
The Islanders dominated possession
At even strength, the Islanders owned a 67-42 advantage in shot attempts, owning roughly 61.5% of the attempts taken in the game. That included a 20-7 advantage in the final period. Both the in-game broadcast and intermission discussion tried to pin this on fatigue, which seems misplaced. The Blackhawks had three days off for the holidays, two days off prior to the Winter Classic and then another day off before this one. And now the Blackhawks have two more days off before Sunday evening’s game against the Penguins. Heavy legs shouldn’t be an issue for this team right now.
On Alex DeBrincat
During the second intermission of the NBC Sports Chicago broadcast, in-studio analyst (and former Blackhawks forward) Jamal Mayers suggested more ice time for DeBrincat as a potential way to spark the offense. Color commentator Ed Olczyk replied with, “not tonight,” later saying that DeBrincat was “fighting it” during the game. Now this is certainly possible, but DeBrincat hasn’t been put in a position to succeed for several weeks now. Yes, he’s getting time on the top power play unit. But that’s not enough. The Blackhawks leading goal scorer from the last season, who’s second on the team with 18 this season, has been skating with a rookie (Dylan Sikura) and a defensively-minded center (David Kampf). How in the hell is DeBrincat supposed to maximize his potential with those two linemates? Kampf is a fine bottom-six player and Sikura may end up being a quality NHLer. But it doesn’t make sense to have DeBrincat skating with those two every night. There’s a perfectly good spot in the top six for DeBrincat available: on the line with Kane and Dylan Strome. Put No. 12 with some other offensively-gifted players and see what happens.
- Mathew Barzal (NYI) — 2 goals
- Collin Delia (CHI) — 47 saves
- Devon Toews (NYI) — 1 goal