RECAP: Blackhawks edge Devils in the shootout, 2–1


After a thrilling win in Boston that almost never was, the Blackhawks traveled to nearby New Jersey to take on the lowly Devils. The Blackhawks were riding into Friday’s matchup after defeating the NHL’s second-best team in the standings. 

News broke on Friday that both Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw were sent to the IR, retroactively. What does that mean? It means that Keith could technically return any day now, and Shaw can return after Friday’s game. It ultimately frees a roster spot if they can make the cap situation work.

With the aforementioned injuries, the Blackhawks trotted out the following lines against the Devils.


DeBrincat StromeKane

Kubalik Kampf Wedin


Koekkoek Murphy

de HaanSeabrook




First period

The opening frame as a whole was a quiet one. Neither team was truly able to get too much working in their favor early on. 

The first action occurred with about 13 minutes remaining in the period. Dennis Gilbert, playing his second game in a row due to Olli Maatta’s illness, laid a big hit on prized rookie and first overall pick Jack Hughes. The hit sparked Wayne Simmonds to respond, as he and Gilbert squared off. 

The biggest mistake of the first period for the Hawks was a lack of discipline. With just over seven minutes remaining, Zack Smith was called for an elbowing penalty against Nikita Gusev

On the powerplay, the Devils cycled the puck around the point and circles in the offensive zone. After Sami Vatanen passed the puck to Gusev on the left circle, he returned the puck to Vatanen at the point. Vatanen delivered the exact same pass, this time to Taylor Hall on the opposite circle and the former MVP fired a wicked shot past Crawford to give the Devils the lead.

The most notable chance of the period for the visitors was a Kirby Dach grade-A chance that he simply missed on. It’s safe to say he knew it too, given his reaction on the play, as he looked to the sky in disbelief. 

The Devils took their 1-0 lead into the first intermission at home. The Devils outshot the Blackhawks 10-7 in the opening frame.


Second period

The second period began in a similar fashion to the first. There were not a ton of scoring opportunities for either side, but a few decent missed chances were exchanged. 

However, fortunes changed for the visitors. A Sami Vatanen hooking penalty on Patrick Kane sent the Blackhawks to a much needed powerplay. 

On the powerplay, the Blackhawks generated a grade-A chance after Dylan Strome found Patrick Kane. Kane’s bid was initially stopped, but the puck was still free. The rebound bounced to the left wing side of the ice and Alex DeBrincat, for the second game in a row, buried the rebound to tie the game.

The last great chance of the period came on a Devils breakaway. However, Crawford made a huge save and kept the game tied as the game entered the second intermission. 


Third period

The third period was fast, but quiet. Both teams had some chances, as the Hawks had a power play, but could not capitalize on the chance. The Devils had some chances as well, but neither team could crack the other’s goaltender. 

Neither team could convert on their chances and the third period ended the way it began, with both teams tied at one after 60 minutes of play. 



Talk about chances. The Hawks had numerous chances, as did the Devils. Both goalies stood tall as their teams needed and kept the other team from capitalizing in the 3-on-3 overtime period. 

However, the game would require a shootout as neither team could convert.



In the shootout, the first four shooters scored. Kane and Toews both scored for the Blackhawks and Nikita Gusev and Jesper Boqvist scores for the Devils.

After that, the goalies stood tall and sent the shootout to sudden death.

In the fifth round, the Blackhawks sent Kirby Dach to shoot. Dach converted on his first ever NHL shootout attempt and put the Hawks up 3-2.

On the other side, number one pick Jack Hughes took the 5th attempt for the Devils, but was denied by Corey Crawford, sealing the win for the Blackhawks. The Hawks won in the shootout 2-1.


Quick hits

  • 250 for Crow: Friday’s game marked the 250th career victory for Corey Crawford in the NHL. Given the number of goaltenders to accomplish that in NHL history, dare I say it could be a topic of discussion for Corey Crawford to be a hall of famer. 
  • The youngster: Kirby Dach converted on his first ever NHL shootout attempt. It makes a lot of sense that Dach would be successful given his skillset. He has great hands, works well in tight on goaltenders, and normally scores out in front of the net. He did an excellent job to help the Blackhawks get a much needed victory in New Jersey. Also, how about the reaction from the youngster’s mom?


The Blackhawks will play host to the pacific leading Arizona Coyotes on Sunday night at the United Center. Puck drop is scheduled for “one of those great six o’clock starts” as the great Eddie Olcyzk would say.


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