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Five Against the World: Blackhawks 3, Blues 2

Chicago rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to win the game in overtime.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks are now 6-2 under interim coach Derek King following a 3-2 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues on Friday afternoon at the United Center.

The first goal went to the Blues in the game’s opening minute, as Pavel Buchnevich finished off an odd-man rush just 59 seconds into the game. A few minutes later, Jonathan Toews thought he had his first goal of the season, but it was overturned following review.

Before the first period ended, Ivan Barbashev scored a power-play goal to send St. Louis into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.

While St. Louis scored early in the first period, Chicago tallied one early in the second. A brutal giveaway from Blues’ defenseman Justin Faulk ended up on the stick of Reese Johnson, who passed to Mike Hardman for a one-timer that Jordan Binnington deflected into the air. That rebound fell to Jujhar Khaira, who crashed the crease to ensure it found its way into the net:

Credit Khaira with the patience to let the puck get below the crossbar to ensure it was a legal goal.

For the rest of the second period, Chicago had the bulk of the possession but it didn’t result in too many scoring chances, nor did it result in a goal.

That trend continued for much of the third — until the 14:56 mark of the period. A fervent Chicago forecheck led to a St. Louis turnover, with Toews moving the puck to Seth Jones at the point, who fired a shot on net that Brandon Hagel ricocheted into the net to tie the game at two:

Regulation ended in a 2-2 tie. Overtime did not.

A brilliant past by Jones sent Patrick Kane away for a 2-on-1 with DeBrincat on the opposite wing. Guess what happened:

Notes

  • It hasn’t been said much this season, but the Blackhawks did control the majority of the possession in this game. However, a few caveats apply: St. Louis was very passive in the second and especially in the third before Hagel’s goal. The Blues were also quite good at keeping the Blackhawks out of high-danger areas: Natural Stat Trick data credited the Hawks with ONE high-danger chance in the final 40 minutes. So, while Chicago had the better share of puck possession, it wasn’t generating a lot of quality chances. For a visual representation of this, check out the heat maps below and note the lack of oranges and reds on the Chicago side of the map.
  • Still, Chicago battled back from a 2-0 deficit and also overcame a ... let’s call it “debatable” overturn of a goal in the first period. The Blackhawks showed a level of grit/fortitude/whatever in overcoming those obstacles to get a win against a pretty good divisional opponent.
  • The Chicago power play has just one goal in the last 10 games, with 28 opportunities spread across those games. The one player who scored that PPG? Dylan Strome, who was in the press box on Friday night. Strome, alone, wouldn’t fix the power play’s woes but it certainly couldn’t hurt.
  • Seth Jones’ offensive awareness is so, so good. His pass to Kane for that OT 2-on-1 was perfectly threaded between a pair of St. Louis defenders who were trying to force their own turnover on Jones. Considering Jones had a few subpar games in the last week or so, it was nice to see him bounce back with a quality performance this evening.
  • Speaking of offensive abilities: it’s fun seeing Kane and DeBrincat take off on a 2-on-1, knowing that a goal is virtually inevitable.
  • Beating the Blues will never go out of style.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Alex DeBrincat (CHI) — GWG
  2. Seth Jones (CHI) — 2 assists, 25:43 TOI
  3. Pavel Buchnevich (STL) — 1 goal, 1 assist

What’s next

The Blackhawks remain at home and will face the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night at the United Center at 6 p.m.