Blackhawks keep rolling, slide past Canadiens 3–2

  

The Chicago Blackhawks were back in action on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens, coming back home after a road trip that saw them win two out of three and were looking to bring that momentum into the night’s action. They were coming off of a victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, with the Blackhawks winning 4–2 in that affair. Kirby Dach and Dylan Strome were placed in COVID-19 protocol before the game, with Lukas Reichel and Sam Lafferty drawing in for their first time with the Blackhawks, and Brandon Hagel coming back off of the COVID-19 list as well.

It was a great night for hockey, as the Blackhawks honored Andrew Shaw with a legacy night, and Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk were on the call for the broadcast for the first time in a while.

First period

The Blackhawks started off strong in this game, controlling the pace and not allowing many chances at all by their opponent. With just over 12 minutes to go in the period, Riley Stillman made a good defensive play, getting the puck to Jonathan Toews, who sprung Dominik Kubalik. Kubalik skated right through the Montreal defense and tucked the puck past Sam Montembeault, giving the Blackhawks the lead 1–0.

Toews got called for a hold against Cole Caufield, which gave the Canadiens their first power play of the evening. The Blackhawks were able to kill it with relatively few problems, and as the first period came to an end, the Blackhawks retained their 1–0 lead with a one-sided shot total.

Second period

The ending of the second period was a rough one, to say the least. The Blackhawks allowed a goal on a bounce off the boards on an Alexander Romanov shot that went right to Jeff Petry, allowing him to tie up the game at 1–1.

Then, a little later in the period, Romanov dished out a hard hit on Lafferty, which sparked Ryan Carpenter to take a run at Romanov, starting a fight with him and earning a 10-minute misconduct and an instigator call in addition to the five for fighting. On that power play, the Canadiens connected, with Mike Hoffman being in the right place in front to put the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury and give Montreal a 2–1 edge.

With 42 seconds left in the frame, Stillman took a delay of game penalty, giving the Canadiens yet another opportunity on the man advantage. The period ended without them scoring on that power play, but that would carry on into the third period. The Blackhawks would have their work cut out for them to begin the final frame after being outshot 17–6 in the second.

Third period

The Blackhawks came out of the gate looking like they had some fight left in them, getting the remainder of the penalty kill taken care of, and then drawing a penalty almost immediately after, with Brandon Hagel drawing a tripping call. Just a few seconds into the power play, Patrick Kane got the puck, faked out Montembeault and shot it past him to tie the game up 2–2.

The Blackhawks would get another power play opportunity with just under 13 minutes remaining in the frame when Caleb Jones took a stick up high. The Blackhawks were not able to convert on that opportunity, but Alex DeBrincat got a couple of good shots on goal, with one of them getting all of the post despite beating the goaltender. With just over four minutes remaining in the frame, both teams had opportunities to break the tie, but could not do so. Kane took a high stick with just over three minutes to go, putting the Blackhawks back on the power play once more. They could not do anything on that opportunity, sending the game to the overtime period.

Overtime

Both teams began to trade chances to start off the period, with both teams getting chances to end the game early on in the overtime. Philipp Kurashev got a break into the Montreal zone, getting taken down by Hoffman and drawing what would have been a penalty on his drive to the net. But, in a very strange twist of fate, the puck was determined to have legally crossed the line, and Kurashev was determined to have been onside by the slimmest of margins. Nevertheless, the Blackhawks kept the good times rolling and got the victory, winning this one by a score of 3–2.

The Blackhawks are back in action on Saturday night against the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center. Game time is 7:30 p.m. CST on NBC Sports Chicago.

Center Ice Forums Blackhawks keep rolling, slide past Canadiens 3–2

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