Late in the first, the Blackhawks broke the scoring. Patrick Kane scored first, easily tapping in a rebound from a missed shot by Alex DeBrincat into a yawning net as Jonathan Quick was pulled out of position by DeBrincat’s off-aim one-timer:
Just another Kane goal for your feed pic.twitter.com/70Bbve26t5— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 25, 2022
That’s Kane’s 21st goal of the season.
It also became clear towards the end of the first period that it doesn’t matter that these teams haven’t faced each other since November 2019, that the remnants of the Cup cores of each side continue to dwindle, that both Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty are hurt for Los Angeles, or that there’s really nothing for someone like Quinton Byfield or Alex DeBrincat to hate the other side for. They just do, as proven by the fact that DeBrincat looked like he wanted to fight the much larger Byfield.
With Troy Stecher in the box for hooking, the Kings started the second period by scoring a shorthanded goal as Trevor Moore got a breakaway and shot the puck past Collin Delia. The Blackhawks were unable to score on that power-play opportunity.
The Blackhawks did take the lead back about 10 minutes later, as Dylan Strome set up shop behind the net before feeding DeBrincat, who sniped one past Quick:
Phil Danault would score before the end of the second to tie the game at 2 on the man advantage for Los Angeles with Henrik Borgstrom in the box to serve a too many men penalty.
However, just over a minute later, Sam Lafferty scored a goal to put the Blackhawks back up 3-2:
A great up-ice pass from Taylor Raddysh — who continues to excel since the trade from Tampa — and the Blackhawks had another one-goal lead.
After Calvin de Haan failed an attempt to clear a rebound from the crease, Danault scored again, tying the game at 3 after a series of shots against Delia.
That would take it to the end of regulation, with the game tied at 3.
DeBrincat scored in the shootout while Delia did not allow a goal, giving the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory.
That’s two straight.
- The Blackhawks really traded Marc-Andre Fleury to get two of their best performances out of a goaltender not named Fleury in two straight games, huh? Collin Delia was astounding in this game, making 43 saves on 46 shots and not allowing a goal in the shootout. Delia faced 3.59 expected goals against, allowing three, with all of the goals coming on three of 12 shots from high danger. The average goal distance was 8.33 feet. Hell of a game for the California native.
Collin Delia is choking up a little about winning this game in his home area against a childhood idol in Jonathan Quick.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 25, 2022
“It’s hard to put it into words.” pic.twitter.com/zkdlYfDO6J
- Seems like everybody’s having to take turns extolling the virtues of Taylor Raddysh since the trade, so I’ll take mine. His pass to Lafferty setting up the third goal for the Blackhawks was a great one and the guy can skate. Raddysh played 16:16, had 0.3 expected goals and drew a penalty. In a game where the Blackhawks were dominated in terms of shot generation, Raddysh had a 50% high-danger share and 46.39% expected goal share, not even that bad relative to the team (-6.61).
- Speaking of Raddysh, the line of Lafferty, Raddysh and Jonathan Toews was arguably the Blackhawks’ best in this game, with a 86.94 xGF% and two high-danger chances to zero against, albeit in just over a minute together. The line certainly did a lot better than the grouping of Borgstrom, Toews and Raddysh, so maybe keep that trio together if Dominik Kubalik is scratched again or gets hurt.
- Despite 83 shot attempts from the Kings to 47 for the Blackhawks across all strengths and 46 shots to 31, as well as 38 to 27 at 5-on-5 (35.71 to 28.53 when score and venue adjusted), the Blackhawks’ lines got some good chances, as seen by the fact that three, including both Toews lines and the Kane group had expected goal shares above 65%.
- Can’t believe they were talking about trading Strome for a middling pick just a short time ago. Guy is showing up again.
- This feels like a much better game than it was because of the result and the fact that Delia just stood on his head throughout the contest. Even score and venue adjusted, the Blackhawks had just a 44.41% shot share and 38.58% Corsi, although to be fair the Blackhawks controlled quality with a SVA expected goal share of 55.43%, which falls to a 51.63 xGF% when not adjusted, which is still, in context, good.
- Alex DeBrincat (CHI) — 1 G, 1 A, GWG
- Phillip Danault (LAK) — 2 G
- Collin Delia (CHI) — 43 SV, .935 SV%
The Blackhawks head to Las Vegas to face the Golden Knights, who have fallen on hard times. The game takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.