The Blackhawks entered the Saturday rematch with the Blue Jackets looking for redemption after squandering a pair of two-goal leads last game. This time, it was the Blackhawks who played spoiler, scoring with a few minutes remaining in regulation and again in overtime off yet another game-winning goal from Alex Debrincat for a 3-2 victory.
Patrick Laine opened the scoring at 6:39 into the first with a top corner bar-and-down spipe. Just a beauty of a shot. The Jackets have scored first in 12 of 16 games.
Decent shot by Patrik Laine pic.twitter.com/si2LcKjcTx— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) February 14, 2021
Later in the first, Brandon Hagel checked Jack Roslovic hard, and Laine inexplicably decided to defend his honor. Hagel and Laine each got five for fighting, but the Blackhawks come away with the power play opportunity as Laine picked up an extra interference penalty.
The first period was looking like it’d be just a continuation of the last game with the Blue Jackets dictating, but the Blackhawks built momentum after a pair of power plays that did everything but score.
The Blackhawks finished with 14 shots to the Jackets’ 9, but still trailed 1-0 at the end of the period.
That momentum would carry over into the middle frame, and after some extended offensive zone time for the Blackhawks, Nicolas Beaudin scored his second in as many games to make it a tie game at 1-1.
In a scary moment, Mattias Janmark took a puck to the head and went to the locker room with 8:40 remaining in the second. He would thankfully return the bench not long after.
Took a puck to the face here pic.twitter.com/M94MH5u20r— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) February 14, 2021
Cam Atkinson broke the tie with 5:13 remaining in the second period by deflecting a point shot from Zach Werenski. This was Atkinson’s sixth point in the last two games against the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks pushed hard after the second goal against and had multiple chances in the waning minutes of the period. Dylan Strome had maybe the best, but Joonas Korpisalo came up big to keep the Blue Jackets ahead.
Despite the Blackhawks controlling much of the play in the first 40 minutes, they trailed 2-1 going into the final period.
The third period would be the antithesis of the first two as the Blue Jackets trapped through the neutral zone to stifle the Blackhawks.
However, the Hawks are nothing if not resilient, and they scored the game-tying goal with 3:45 remaining in the game. Philipp Kurashev made a great play to knock the puck to Carl Soderberg, who scored his first goal of the season.
Regulation ended with the Blackhawks and Jackets tied at 2 and so they’re off to overtime once again.
Luckily, Debrincat ended the game quickly, scoring just 35 seconds into overtime with some beautiful hand-eye coordination. Patrick Kane also picked up his third assist of the game. Those two are really feeling the chemistry.
HAWKS WIN! HAWKS WIN!
- It almost feels redundant at this point, but the Blackhawks kids really are alright. The team is being led by the vets in Kane and Keith, but the young players are each impressive in their own individual ways and it’s just a pleasure to watch them.
- Speaking of impressive, Nicolas Beaudin not only scored his second NHL goal, his steady play with and without the puck is becoming a hallmark of his. There’s a level of comfort Beaudin displays that is wonderful to see, considering he turned 21 just a few months ago.
- Hagel was quick to become a fan favorite thanks to his work ethic and relentless pursuit of the puck, and he likely only endeared himself more by dropping the gloves against Laine. Hagel is a spark-plug who needs Andrew Shaw to mentor him on how to convert that energy into production.
- Kurashev was a catalyst this game, too. He drew the first penalty of the game — which swung momentum in favor of the Hawks — and picked Werenski’s pocket to assist on the game-tying goal.
- DeBrincat and Kane have always worked well together, but this season they seemed to have taken it to another level. They’re possessing the puck well in their 128 minutes of ice time together with a 52 percent share of the shot attempts and 63 percent share of the goals scored while they’re on the ice. Kane had his seventh multi-point game of the season.
- There’s been much discussion about the Blackhawks’ substandard play at 5-on-5, but they were much better in the first 40 minutes tonight. Some of that is due to score effects, and they couldn’t get anything going in the third — seriously, the Hawks had just 7.95 expected goals percentage for that frame — but you have to happy with the improvements from the last game.
- On the flip side, the power play failed to score for the first time in six games. It still looked dangerous but the streak had to end sometime.
- Alex Debrincat (CHI) — GWG
- Patrick Kane (CHI) — 2 assists
- Kevin Lankinen (CHI) — 29 saves on 31 shots
The Blackhawks face the Detroit Red Wings on Monday at the American Little Caesars Arena for a 6:30 p.m. start.