RECAP: Chicago defeats Vegas 5–3 in entertaining fashion


The Chicago Blackhawks entered tonight’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights on a three-game point streak. The visitors have been playing their best hockey in those three games and have been rewarded. In all honesty though, allowing 50-plus shots in a game will not be a recipe for success the rest of the season.

Drake Caggiula was held out of tonight’s game for concussion protocol, while Corey Crawford started in net, attempting to win the franchise’s first game against Vegas (0–5–2).

Chicago Blackhawks lines and pairings

Brandon Saad — Jonathan Toews — Alexander Nylander
Alex DeBrincat — Dylan Strome — Patrick Kane
Andrew Shaw — David Kampf — Dominik Kubalik
Ryan Carpenter — Kirby Dach — Zack Smith

Duncan Keith — Erik Gustafsson
Calvin de Haan — Brent Seabrook
Olli Maatta — Adam Boqvist

First period
Within the first minute of action, Zack Smith was awarded a penalty shot, which rang off the crossbar after beating Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The penalty shot was followed up by an excellent save by Crawford on forward Reilly Smith’s backhand attempt. Only 90 seconds into the first period and both teams had top-notch chances to take the early lead.

At the 2:58 mark, Vegas fourth-line forward William Carrier deflected a shot from defenseman Nicolas Hague in front, beating Crawford for the first goal of the game. The goal, Carrier’s third goal of the season, was assisted by Hague and center Nicolas Roy for a 1–0 Vegas lead.

Chicago’s Andrew Shaw was called for a hooking violation at the 5:31 mark, resulting in the Golden Knights’ first power play of the game. Vegas took advantage. Forward William Karlsson scored his fifth goal of the season, doubling Vegas’s lead to 2–0.

Only 16 seconds later, Patrick Kane put Chicago on the board after he beat Fleury with a pretty one-time goal. The goal extends Kane’s point streak to seven games. Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat assisted on the tally, which cut the Vegas advantage in half at 2–1.

A few moments later, Jonathan Toews had a breakaway that was denied by Fleury. Toews’ five-hole attempt to tie the score continued a wave of offensive chances for both teams, as both struggled to show any signs of defensive responsibility. After an entertaining first period of play, Vegas led in shots 16–7.

Second period
After a Calvin de Haan turnover, Vegas forward Alex Tuch beat Crawford for what appeared to be the Golden Knights’ third goal of the game. However, after video review, it was determined that the puck did not cross the goal line, hitting the crossbar and then left post. The video review was an obvious call even to the most casual viewer.

At the 15:51 mark, de Haan ripped a shot past Fleury, beating the goaltender glove side. The goal gave the first-year Blackhawks’ defenseman his first marker on the season and evened the score at 2–2. Zack Smith and Kirby Dach assisted on the play. The assist gave Smith 100 helpers for his 12-year career.

Erik Gustafsson gave Chicago its first lead of the game at 3–2 after beating Fleury for his first goal this season. Gustafsson did an excellent job of finding ice in the middle of the defense in the offensive zone, allowing Strome to feed him with a slick pass.

Adding to the wildness of the first 30 minutes of the game, a questionable penalty given to Crawford for throwing his stick at Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault resulted in the second penalty shot of the game. However, Marchessault could not beat Crawford after a half-hearted fake and shot.

After two periods of play, Chicago led the game 3–2 while being outshot 31–17.

Third period
Chicago’s fourth consecutive goal came off of the stick of Dach at the 3:57 mark of the period. The 18-year-old rookie took an errant shot from Ryan Carpenter and beat Fleury for this third goal this season, doubling Chicago’s lead at 4–2. Smith earned his second assist of the game on the play.

Not much action occurred until Adam Boqvist was called for interference at the 11:20 mark in the period. The ensuing power play gave Vegas a jump in their step and some momentum, but the home team could not solve the Chicago penalty kill.

Strome extended the Chicago lead after taking a nice saucer pass from DeBrincat before beating Fleury over the glove for Strome’s fourth goal this season, putting the game out of reach at 5–2. Kane also assisted on the play.

In what could have been the most entertaining game of the season, the craziness was not over quite yet, as Vegas cut into the Chicago lead at the 18:59 mark when Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt beat Crawford to bring the score to 5–3.

Vegas pulled Fleury for the extra attacker, but Chicago held tough and defeated Vegas for the first time in their short existence.

The good
Chicago came back from a 2–0 deficit and scored five unanswered goals.

Head coach Jeremy Colliton had mentioned in past weeks about the importance of playing well in the second period. Crawford was outstanding with 15 saves and the defense chipped in with two goals from the back end.

Kirby Dach, Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane, Zack Smith and Dylan Strome had multi-point games.

Crawford was spectacular tonight. The 34-year-old veteran stopped 39 shots. This performance gives him three straight strong appearances.

The bad
The defense allowed 31 shots through two periods and allowed 42 for the game. With average goaltending, this game could have had a completely different outcome.

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Center Ice Forums RECAP: Chicago defeats Vegas 5–3 in entertaining fashion

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