The second line of Dominik Kahun, Dylan Strome, and Alex DeBrincat produced three goals in the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon at the United Center in Chicago.
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each had a goal and an assist to extend their point streaks to 14 and seven games, respectively.
Cam Ward played a major role in the Hawks’ seventh straight win with 43 saves on 45 shots.
The Hawks now sit four points out of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
How it Happened
Almost immediately after puck drop at the United Center, Toews and Kane found themselves on a 2-on-1. The two stars were not able to capitalize, but it foreshadowed a first period that had numerous odd man rushes for the Hawks.
The Red Wings have a couple promising young players, like Dylan Larkin, Dennis Cholowski, and speed demon Andreas Athanasiou. A few minutes into the first period, Athanasiou got a chance to show off his speed. Erik Gustafsson, who continues to develop his defensive skillset, was able to gap up properly and limit Athanasiou’s options coming into the zone.
After a handful of glorious opportunities by Toews, Kane, DeBrincat, and a few odd man rushes, Strome picked up a puck from his skates and drew two Red Wings defenders towards him. He then slid a soft pass to DeBrincat speeding up the neutral zone who then gave it Kahun as they crossed the blue line. Kahun tried to force it backdoor to DeBrincat, but the puck bounced off the defender’s stick and Kahun buried it upstairs on the Red Wings’ goalie, Jonathan Bernier.
It was Kahun’s 10th goal of the season, and DeBrincat extended his point streak to eight games.
Following the goal, the Hawks came on strong with some impressive hustle by the Saad, Kruger, and Perlini line and Drake Caggiula, who was finishing checks and causing mayhem.
The momentum continued to build for the Hawks and they were rewarded with another 2-on-1 opportunity when DeBrincat sprung Kahun in the neutral zone. Kahun corralled the puck and sped around Niklas Kronwall at the blue line. Strome went backdoor and was able to legally deflect Kahun’s pass with his skate to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
It was Strome’s 11th goal with the Blackhawks and he now has 13 points in his last seven games.
Early on in the second period, the Hawks had numerous chances to give themselves a three goal lead, but couldn’t capitalize.
The Red Wings were able to grab some momentum after a penalty kill that limited the Hawks to only a few shots from the perimeter and included a shorthanded breakaway. Detroit was clearly prepared to take on the dangerous Hawks power play.
When you let a team stick around, especially in the NHL, they will inevitably put one on the board. Kane grabbed a puck in the neutral zone and tried to regroup at the Hawks’ blue line, but Danny Dekeyser read the play and caused a turnover that bounced right to Christoffer Ehn. Ehn was forced wide by Slater Koekkoek, but was able to rifle a shot top shelf, far side on Cam Ward.
The Hawks were scrambling the rest of the period and Ward was able to get the Hawks to the dressing room still up 2-1. Ward saved 31 of 32 shots through two periods.
Almost immediately in the third period, Ward came up big again with multiple stops to keep the Hawks lead intact.
Duncan Keith got a chance to step up on a loose puck near the Hawks blue line, and gave a quick pass to DeBrincat. DeBrincat then gave it to Strome who dished it to Kahun as he was splitting between two Detroit defenders. Kahun was able to put a backhand five hole for his second goal and third point of the game. It was Kahun’s 11th goal of the season.
Each member of the second line had three points in the victory.
With five minutes left in the third period, Nick Jensen found some room in the high slot when Kahun and Strome collided with each other just off the wall. Jensen passed it over to a wide open Gustav Nyquist, who patiently waited for Connor Murphy to sprawl out on the ice hoping for a blocked shot and snapped the puck low glove side on Ward.
Shortly after the goal to pull the Wings within one, Anthony Mantha almost tied it up from a dangerous spot in the slot. He just missed the net. Toews then took the puck and was able to flip it out to center ice to Kane who snuck into the neutral zone during the chaos in the Hawks’ zone. Kane had room to move in on Bernier and went short side for his 33rd of the season to put the Hawks up 4-2.
With the goal, Kane extended his point streak to 14 games, and Toews was able to extend his streak to seven games with the assist.
The Wings pulled their goalie and Kane unselfishly sent a cross ice saucer to Toews who wristed the shot into the empty net to ice the game for the Hawks. It was Toews’ 25th goal of the season.
1. Cam Ward (43 saves on 45 shots)
2. Dominik Kahun (2 goals, 1 assist, plus-2, 4 shots, 14:36 TOI)
3. Dylan Strome (1 goal, 2 assists, plus-2, 4 takeaways, 15:37 TOI)