The Blackhawks scored four goals in the second period in route to a 6-2 win over the Ducks on Tuesday at United Center. It’s a season sweep for Chicago over Anaheim.
Dylan Strome scored two goals and picked up an assist and rookie defenseman Adam Boqvist collected two assists.
Corey Crawford won his third straight start and made 37 saves, including 12 high-danger stops.
Chicago’s penalty kill continued to get the job done and went 3-for-3.
How it Happened
The Blackhawks opened the scoring 2:07 minutes into the first period. After a smooth breakout from the defensive zone, Kirby Dach cut to the middle nicely on an offensive zone entry and got four Ducks players to puck watch. Boqvist slipped into the offensive zone unnoticed, Dach fed him the puck and Drake Caggiula tipped in the pass to make it 1-0 Chicago.
Drake Caggiula now has 9 goals in 37 games. That's a 20-goal pace had he been healthy all season.#Blackhawks— John Dietz (@johndietzdh) March 4, 2020
The goal gave the Blackhawks some momentum and Chicago was the stronger team for the first ten minutes of the period, earning two scoring chances from Dylan Strome and Alex Nylander that just missed and hit the post.
After a nice start by Chicago, the game turned around and the Ducks pushed hard with the majority of their 16 shots and 14 scoring chances happening in the final ten minutes of the opening period.
Defensive mishaps by Chicago led to two scoring chances for the Ducks in the right high slot, including this one timer from Sonny Milano.
Without Crawford activating beast mode in the final ten minutes of the period, the score could have been 3-1 Ducks instead of 1-0 Blackhawks.
Like the first period, Chicago came out buzzing to start the second period. Brandon Saad, Nylander had scoring chances saved nicely by John Gibson and Boqvist nailed the third post of the night for the Blackhawks.
At 3:46, Chicago got the goal they deserved. After an extended shift in the offensive zone, Duncan Keith slapped a shot off the boards behind the net that bounced right to Strome for an easy tap in to make it 2-0 Blackhawks.
34 seconds later, Anaheim capitalized on a slick passing by by Christian Djoos to Danton Heinen to cut Chicago’s lead in half.
Then, the 2-1 lead looked like it was about to evaporate when the Blackhawks took two penalties to go on a 3-on-5 for 27 seconds, but Crawford made a nice pad stop on Adam Henrique.
The eighth best penalty kill in the league gave Chicago a spark that led to a three goal outburst.
At 15:29, Lucas Carlsson made a tape-to-tape stretch pass to Patrick Kane, who drifted into the offensive zone and gave Strome a perfect pass backdoor to make it 3-1.
Carlsson notched his first career NHL point with the secondary assist.
Chicago continued to build on their momentum and buried two goals in 15 seconds from Nylander and Kane.
Before Nylander’s goal, Boqvist hustled back to break up a breakaway attempt from Heinen and the Blackhawks pushed the other way on a 3-on-1.
On the 3-on-1, Nylander was patient and ended up making a slick move to his backhand on Gibson for his ninth goal of the season.
A closer look at Alex Nylander's goal: pic.twitter.com/WGFSjmCTot— Brandon (@brandonmcain) March 4, 2020
Then, Nylander and Kane forced a turnover in the offensive zone, Nylander picked up the puck and made a backhand pass right to Kane in the slot for Showtime’s 29th goal and 80th point of the season.
Alex Nylander sets up Patrick Kane, who scores his 29th goal of the season to tie Dominik Kubalik for the team lead. That's two goals in 15 seconds for the #Blackhawks. It's 5-1. pic.twitter.com/dGZ4eoGJRq— Brandon (@brandonmcain) March 4, 2020
In the third period, there was a brief injury scare with Crawford when he went to the bench after Ryan Getzlaf nailed his head as he drove the net looking for a rebound.
Malcolm Subban came in, but only played for 1:10 minutes as Crawford was deemed good to go.
Crawford said he's fine, that his neck bothered him more after getting the knee than anything.— Tracey Myers (@Tramyers_NHL) March 4, 2020
At 8:26, Anaheim made it a three goal lead for the Blackhawks after Carter Rowney tipped a shot from the point past Crawford.
Then, Matthew Highmore nearly scored on the second short-handed breakaway of the game for Chicago, but Ryan Miller, who replaced Gibson at the start of the period, made a lunging left pad save.
Highmore was upset he didn’t score, but made up for it not much later when he made a nice backdoor pass to David Kampf for a tap in to make it 6-2.
It was a much needed win to stay only six points out of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
1. Dylan Strome (CHI) - Two goals, one assist, five shots
2. Alex Nylander (CHI) - One goal, one assist
3. Adam Boqvist (CHI) - Two assists, two blocks, 20:03 TOI