The Blackhawks scored three second period goals in a 2:53 span to defeat the Ducks 6-2 on Tuesday at United Center. Chicago (30-28-8) trails Winnipeg and Vancouver for the second wild card by six points in the Western Conference with 16 games remaining.
Winning out of nowhere
After being sellers at the NHL trade deadline, the last thing anyone in Chicago predicted was a winning streak. Yet, after three great games from Corey Crawford — in peak form with a 3.39 goals-saved above expected and .949 save percentage — and the offense regaining composure, that’s where the Blackhawks stand.
The Blackhawks have had encouraging puck possession metrics during their streak with a 50.2-percent Corsi-For and a 52.4-percent expected goal share at even strength. Both figures are significantly above their season averages, and their push is a result of those numbers becoming better.
The best line in this run has been the combination of Dylan Strome, Patrick Kane and Alex Nylander. A surprising development, particularly for that last member of the trio, but the Blackhawks are getting success from unconventional lines.
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
Strome had three points (two goals, one assist) in 13:58 against Anaheim. His ice time was 2 minutes less than his season average, but he made the most of it. Strome had five shots, four high-danger chances and a .79 expected goals. He also won half of his faceoffs in the game.
With three assists in 13 games since returning from a nearly month-long right ankle injury, Strome didn’t have the most enjoyable February. But he got off to the right start in March with his best game in a long time that should serve as a confidence booster.
Boqvist making plays
Rookie defenseman Adam Boqvist, who is only 19, had two assists for his first multi-point game and showed his defensive prowess. He made numerous plays in his own end, including tracking down a breakaway for Danton Heinen and stripping the puck.
Despite a 50-percent offensive zone shift percentage at even strength — 9.8-percent lower than his season average — Boqvist had a 63.4-percent Corsi-For and a 56.5-percent shot share, as well as 70.2-percent expected goal share. Excellent numbers, but perhaps not as good as this one — Boqvist did not allow a goal against.
Boqvist has begun to show off more ability as the season has continued, and he was a difference maker in this game.