Thursday night saw the Blackhawks close out their two-game series against the Stars with a 4-2 victory at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Despite being outshot 15-4, the Blackhawks finished the first period with a 1-0 lead, thanks to an early goal by Dominik Kubalik. The play was started by David Kampf, who won a board battle in the neutral zone before Brandon Hagel made a pass to Kuablik at the blueline to spring a breakaway.
Kevin Lankinen bailed his team out several times in the first period — both during 5-on-5 play and on special teams — stopping 15 shots. That included two from high-danger areas.
During a power play early in the second period, Carl Soderberg deflected Adam Boqvist’s shot from the point to put the Blackhawks up 2-0.
Following Soderberg’s tally, Duncan Keith scored his first goal of the season, giving the Hawks a 3-0 lead.
To close out the frame, Alex DeBrincat continued his hot streak, scoring his 15th goal of the year during a Blackhawks’ power play.
This goal put the Hawks up 4-0 going into the third period. Chicago was shooting 50 percent up to this point with four goals on only eight shots.
Midway through the third period, Roope Hintz scored the first Stars goal of the game, making it 4-1.
John Klingberg followed this up with and end-to-end goal that made it 4-2. But that would be the final score despite a late, extended shift by Dallas.
- The good: The Hawks grabbed two points in regulation. Two of their four goals were scored at even-strength. DeBrincat is a superstar. You could see the numbers on their uniforms.
- The bad: Amusing as it may have been, shooting 50 percent on only 8 shots is absolutely unsustainable. Lankinen was stellar in the first 50 minutes of Thursday’s game, and again in the final stretch. While that isn’t a negative, it’s frustrating to see the Hawks regularly depend on their goaltender when they’re having trouble staying out of their own end. Had the Hawks’ shots not been finding the back of the Dallas net, Thursday’s outing may have looked worse than Tuesday night.
- The ugly: The Blackhawks once again struggled to retain puck possession, especially in the first two frames. Owning only 25 percent of possession is playing with fire. And while the third period was their best of the game, it got a little too close for comfort in the final stretch. Both goals allowed by the Blackhawks came uncontested and from the slot.
- The ugliest: Black numbers on a black jersey is unforgivable.
- The Blackhawks continue to play the Ross and Rachel “Will They/Won’t They” game. It’s a bit un-nerving. It definitely keeps things interesting. But as a fan, I want them to build a Stanley Cup contender, not win a daytime Emmy.
- I remember going to a game where the Hawks put on 50 shots and lost 2-1 in overtime. Thursday’s game was the inverse of that. The basic science behind this is that hockey is weird and sometimes doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
- Kevin Lankinen - 28 saves on 30 shots
- Adam Boqvist - 2 assists, 55 Corsi-For percentage (all strengths)
- Alex DeBrincat - 1 goal, 21:19 time on ice
The Blackhawks head to the BB&T center in Florida to face the Panthers for a 6 p.m. puck drop on Saturday.