Thursday will see the second of two matchups between the Blackhawks and the Blue Jackets in Columbus after Tuesday’s high-scoring, shaky, and honestly disappointing game.
The Blackhawks managed to keep one goal ahead of the Blue Jackets in Tuesday’s game at Nationwide Arena and ultimately won after a sluggish battle 6-5 with the single overtime shootout goal scored by Alex DeBrincat.
Awesome overhead photo of Alex DeBrincat's shootout goal tonight, from Getty photographer Kirk Irwin: pic.twitter.com/Sup85KJNHW— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 24, 2021
Musing from the Columbus coaching staff indicate their disappointment in the team’s performance these past few games, and their inability to hustle and keep some level of consistency had made the team “unrecognizable.”
It’s interesting to note this is a sentiment echoed within the fan base. In an SB Nation Reacts survey from Wednesday, only 39 percent of Blue Jackets believe the team performing well, a number that has fallen from 60 percent the week before and from 78 percent two weeks ago.
Although the Blackhawks dominated in the first period on Tuesday with a 17-5 shot advantage, 1.12 expected goals, and an estimated goal percentage of about 60 for all four lines, the second, third, and overtime periods were lacking in finesse and consistency.
The goaltending left fans on both sides a bit disappointed as Kevin Lankinen let 5 goals in on 30 shots while Joonas Korpisalo saved 28 of 33 shots. Korpisalo will play again on Thursday, while Columbus will also benefit from the return of defenseman Zach Werenski:
Got some changes for the #CBJ tonight vs #Blackhawks ...— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) February 25, 2021
Werenski, Del Zotto and Bemstrom all in there, Grigorenko, Harrington are scratched and Peeke was assigned to @monstershockey on Wednesday.
Korpisalo in net.
Patrick Kane fared well, though, tying with Connor McDavid for the most multi-assist games in the NHL at seven. Kane has racked up 30 points in 20 games this season.
More happiness for Kane came while witnessing Brandon Hagel’s first NHL goal.
Patrick Kane's smile and celebration for Hagel's first NHL goal is priceless: pic.twitter.com/RBYix9p5UI— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 24, 2021
“[It’s] nice to get two points, but it would’ve been nice to give them nothing. “We have to learn in those situations to close it out. We can all be better winning battles, getting the puck out, making sure they’re not getting any free chances.” - Kane after Tuesday’s game
Nevertheless, I think we can all agree, your fans haven’t given up on you!
Let’s go Hawks!
Blackhawks — Statistic — Blue Jackets
46.42% (29th) — Corsi For — 45.44% (31st)
46.10% (27th) — Expected goals for — 45.01% (28th)
3.0 (14th) — Goals per game — 2.95 (17th)
2.95 (20th) — Goals against per game — 3.40 (28th)
47.7% (26th) — Faceoffs — 45.1% (29th)
33.3% (t-1st) — Power play — 20.0% (17rd)
76.6% (21th) — Penalty kill — 71.7% (27th)
Projected lineups (subject to change)
DeBrincat — Suter — Kane
Hagel — Wallmark — Kubalik
Strome — Soderberg — Janmark
Kurashev — Kampf — Carpenter
Keith — Mitchell
de Haan — Boqvist
Murphy — Zadorov
Laine — Roslovic — Atkinson
Jenner — Texier — Foligno
Grigorenko — Stenlund — Bjorkstrand
Robinson — Nash — Domi
Gavrikov — Jones
Del Zotto — Peeke
Harrington — Carlsson
How to watch
When: 6:00 p.m. CST
Where: Nationwide Arena
TV: NBC Sports Chicago, NHL Network
Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.TV