Despite a late penalty in a close game, the Blackhawks were able to hold off the Arizona Coyotes to win 2-1 in regulation and complete a sweep of their three-game homestead.
The opening 20 minutes contained one of the most boring periods of hockey this season from any matchup in the league. Shots on goal for both teams combined barely got above double digits and the score remained 0-0 after 20 minutes. Who was glad when that period finally ended?
The Blackhawks got on the board just five minutes into the second period. On a delayed penalty, Patrick Kane skated the puck from behind the Blackhawks net, wove through the Coyotes defense and set up Alex DeBrincat for a one-timer.
PATRICK KANE TO CAT 1-0 pic.twitter.com/N3RYBjSr3E— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 13, 2021
The Coyotes did challenge the goal for missed stoppage, claiming their players had touched the puck during the delayed penalty so the play should have been dead. After some review, the goal stood as good.
The rest of the second was scoreless despite some good pressure from the Blackhawks, so they had to settle for taking a 1-0 lead into the final frame.
Sure enough, the Coyotes tied the game on the power play just 1:41 into the third period. Marc-Andre Fleury was screened by his own teammates and Andrew Ladd’s shot made it through the traffic on the power play.
NHL Video Highlight - Andrew Ladd scores a power-play goal against the Chicago Blackhawks to make it 1-1. pic.twitter.com/8ADwxaakUu— Coyotes Game Bot (@CoyotesGameBot) November 13, 2021
Not long after, Kirby Dach was hit up high and left bloodied as a result, so he missed some game time while being checked out by the trainers.
Some dude name Kyle Capobianco is now on the naughty list.
The Blackhawks regained their lead on the power play with 10:34 left in the game courtesy of a beautiful Kane feed to Dylan Strome in the slot. With Dach in the locker room, Strome had taken his spot on the top power play unit to obviously great results.
Everything has changed (Dylan's version) pic.twitter.com/HvxgMFmxUW— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 13, 2021
Despite a late push from the Coyotes, the Blackhawks — mostly Fleury, let’s be honest — hold on for a 2-1 victory in regulation.
- Outside of some highlight-reel worthy plays by Kane, this was a dull game. The first period was an obvious snooze, and despite a solid second from the home team, it wasn’t particularly engaging either. However, we’ll all take boring wins over exciting losses any day.
- The Blackhawks probably deserved another goal in the second period, but they’re lucky the Coyotes didn’t tie the game in the back half of the third because the latter dominated puck possession at 5-on-5. The same thing happened in both other wins on this homestand with the opposing team tying the game to force overtime, so the Blackhawks still need to work on how to close out in a more sustainable way.
- The Coyotes only had 23 shots on goal, which some would credit to the Blackhawks’ play, but the Coyotes average about 25 shots on goal a game in general so I wouldn’t be that excited. The Blackhawks also allowed 11 high-danger chances against at 5-on-5, which isn’t great against a Coyotes team that has only hit double digits twice in that stat this season. There’s some allowance that the Blackhawks are working out the kinks under a new coach, but quality suppression is going to need a focus sooner rather than later.
- Despite the lackluster suppression numbers, the Blackhawks did seem to have more offensive zone time than in previous games and were cycling well most of the game, especially in the second period.
- In his first season with the Blackhawks, Strome scored at a nearly 20-point pace on the power play and contributed to several other goals as a screener playing the bumper role, so it’s not surprising he scored there tonight as well. It might be a good idea to switch up Dach and Strome on that top unit every once in a while to see what happens.
- Speaking of Strome, he said post-game that he appreciated coach Derek King putting him back on the ice after his penalty. I might be reading into this, but this reads a little shady to a certain previous coach:
Dylan Strome: "It actually was nice to get the goal because I took that dumb penalty in the corner with 5 seconds left in the period. Felt nicer because I did that. Nice to have that confidence by the coach to get you out there after you made a mistake."— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 13, 2021
- Dach had his face partially smashed on an open-ice hit and he missed some time, but he returned late in the third, hopefully meaning he won’t miss any time in the future. Head hits are always scary.
- Kane continued to showcase why November is his favorite month with two awe-inspiring assists. Over his career, Kane has scored at over at about a 1.2 point-per-game pace in the 11th month and he looks to be keeping up that trend with eight points (4 G, 4 A) in five games so far this year. And the two points tonight were both beauts.
- Hopefully the Blackhawks winning three in a row is the start of something good in the long-term. Obviously still work to be done, but confidence is the first step in righting the ship permanently.
- Patrick Kane (CHI) — 2 assists
- Dylan Strome (CHI) — game-winning goal
- Marc-Andre Fleury (CHI) — 0.957 SV%
The Blackhawks have four days off before they face the Kraken Wednesday night in Seattle for a 9 p.m. start.