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Here Is No Why: Blackhawks 5, Senators 0

... Ottawa’s still a joke.

Ottawa Senators v Chicago Blackhawks
Lukas Reichel of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates after scoring a third-period goal
Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks swept Alex DeBrincat’s new team.

The Blackhawks toppled the Ottawa Senators, 5-0 on Monday night at the United Center, a team that looked to be making a push for the playoffs heading into the night. It’s the second game the Blackhawks took from the Senators this season, following a 4-3 overtime win on Feb. 17 — a win that sparked a five-game winning streak for Chicago.

The Blackhawks began the scoring on Monday as Philipp Kurashev grabbed the puck in the neutral zone, skated into the offensive zone, waited for a diving Jake Sanderson to slide out of the way and then sniped a puck past Senators backup Mads Sogaard.

To start the second period, Seth Jones scored two goals less than four minutes apart, as Jones extended his goal streak to three games. Anders Bjork — newly acquired from Buffalo — picked up the primary assist on each of Jones’s goals. Jones now has 10 goals on the season and is the leading scorer remaining for the Blackhawks.

Bjork got another primary assist about halfway through the second period, as Bjork skated behind the net and then found Jason Dickinson in the slot. Dickinson then scored past Sogaard (with Cam Talbot injured, Ottawa was relying on Scott Foster as the emergency backup goaltender).

Finally, in the third period, Lukas Reichel — arguably the most important player remaining on the Blackhawks’ current roster — scored his second NHL goal as Andreas Athanasiou picked up his second assist by launching Reichel on a breakaway opportunity.

Reichel’s goal made it a 5-0 game, where the scoring would end.

Just astounding that these Blackhawks, filled with players many hadn’t heard of heading into this season, pulled off a five-goal win.

[Editor’s note: Those who’ve been at this site for a long time know what this means. And if you’re one of those people, this is for you, probably for the final time at this particular version of Second City Hockey]


  • This was a story of goaltending. The Blackhawks got completely smoked in possession and didn’t generate that much on net. But Alex Stalock was just that much better than the young Mads Sogaard after returning from yet another injury. Stalock stopped 35 shots, including six from high-danger, facing 3.08 expected goals against. Sogaard stopped just 16 of the 21 shots he faced, although he also faced 2.69 goals against. Still, a minus-2.31 goals saved above expected mark for an individual game is not gonna win you the contest.
  • Speaking of smoked, the Blackhawks were held to just 16 shots at 5-on-5, although the Blackhawks dominated in quality of possession, with advantages of 1.9-1.5 in expected goals and 8-4 in high-danger chances. In other words, the Blackhawks played about as well as can be expected out of this ragtag ensemble.
  • Given the Blackhawks current circumstances, forward lines are going to look weird for the remainder of the season, but one line proved worthy of more time together: Kurashev, Reichel and Athanasiou. The line generated two goals in their 9:27 together and owned a 59.04 percent share of the expected goals while on ice at 5-on-5. With two of the most important forwards moving into the future for the Blackhawks among that group, that’s a very good thing.
  • Seth and Caleb Jones had a good game, largely together, as they each were on ice for four goals apiece and both had expected goal shares of over 55 percent (Seth 69.28, Caleb 58.56). There’s probably going to be some bad games down the stretch here, especially for the younger Jones, but they were very good Monday.
  • Andreas Englund was hurt partway through the game and exited with just 5:31 played at 5-on-5 (6:46 overall). His injury likely re-opens a spot for one of the younger defensemen for the Blackhawks, although whether the Blackhawks want to interrupt the IceHogs attempting to mesh again at this point is questionable. More news on Englund’s status won’t come til Tuesday:
  • This team is really supposed to be bad now and the fact that Ottawa gave up five goals and scored none to this squad is super embarrassing for the Senators.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Alex Stalock (CHI) — 3.08 xGA, 35 SV
  2. Anders Bjork (CHI) — 3 A
  3. Seth Jones (CHI) — 2 G

What’s next

The Blackhawks head to the Motor City for a matchup with long-time rivals in the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.