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Stumble Til You Crawl: Blackhawks 4, Coyotes 3 in OT

Finally, the Blackhawks are back to .500 against the Coyotes this season.

Chicago Blackhawks v Arizona Coyotes
Philipp Kurashev of the Chicago Blackhawks battles for a loose puck against Nick Schmaltz of the Arizona Coyotes in NHL action
Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks drew back to ,500 against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday with a 4-3 victory in overtime after establishing a 2-0 lead in the first period.

The Blackhawks scored quickly, as Jake McCabe tapped in a rebound off of Karl Vejmelka just 42 seconds into the game:

Later in the first period, Kubalik also cashed in on a rebound off of Vejmelka, after Jonathan Toews — who got the primary assist on the McCabe goal — got a shot off from the crease:

The Blackhawks allowed a goal to the Coyotes more than halfway through the second period, one that Kevin Lankinen would probably like to have back, as Lankinen allowed the goal on a rebound and got a piece of the puck. Barrett Hayton scored the goal for Arizona.

The Blackhawks got their two-goal lead back before the end of the middle frame, as Alex Vlasic scored his first career goal, banking a shot from the point off Vejmelka’s pad:

Nathan Smith scored in the third period for the Coyotes to make it 3-2, after Phil Kessel broke the puck into the zone. Anton Stralman would make it 3-3 four minutes later, also assisted by Kessel.

In overtime, Patrick Kane collected his own rebound off of Vejmelka and found Alex DeBrincat at the other side of the net, with DeBrincat able to tap the goal into an empty cage for the game-winning goal, his 40th of the season:

Notes

  • This was game number 1,000 for two-time former Blackhawk Andrew Ladd, now with the Coyotes. Ladd won the Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010 and played 203 of his games with the Blackhawks.
  • These late games are hard, especially when involving these two teams. This was unequivocally a good game for the Blackhawks, despite the fact that the team ultimately blew a two-goal lead, as the Blackhawks had 3.16 expected goals at even strength to 1.95 against, and yet, tiring.
  • At even strength, the Blackhawks also had 33 shots to 29 and the teams tied in high-danger chances with 14. For Chicago, which struggled in possession against Arizona in previous games, this was a good turnaround that eventually led to a good result.
  • A good result that could have come a lot sooner if the Blackhawks’ power play had done ... anything. The Blackhawks had 10 minutes of man-advantage time in this game, including four minutes in both the first and third periods, and came away with seven shots to six against and 0.78 expected goals to 0.37 against. Not a great game, despite the plentiful opportunities.
  • On the other end, the Blackhawks did not allow a shot to the Coyotes on the penalty kill in two minutes and generated 0.22 expected goals to zero against. The Blackhawks generated a high-danger chance, as Boris Katchouk had a shorthanded breakaway that resulted in a chance from high danger, although he missed the net.
  • The trio of Dylan Strome, DeBrincat and Kane was back to the positive in this game, picking up a 53.93% expected goal share and generating 11 shots on goal to just seven against. However, they weren’t as positive as the trio of Dominik Kubalik, Jonathan Toews and Tyler Johnson, on ice for two goals at 5-on-5, or the trio of Taylor Raddysh, Philipp Kurashev and Sam Lafferty, which allowed just 0.04 expected goals against and had a 94.14 xGF%.
  • Not the most memorable first-ever goal for Alex Vlasic, but one that counts nonetheless. Vlasic had two shots, a high-danger chance and a takeaway in 13:51 against the Coyotes and allowed just four shots against and 0.17 expected goals at 5-on-5.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Alex DeBrincat (CHI) — GWG, 1 A
  2. Dominik Kubalik (CHI) — 1 G, 1 A
  3. Phil Kessel (ARI) — 2 A

What’s next

The Blackhawks head to Los Angeles to take on the Kings on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. CT at Crypto.com Arena.