RECAP: King gets first win, Hawks beat Preds 2–1

  

The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the visiting Nashville Predators 2–1 in overtime in the debut of Interim Head Coach Derek King on Sunday night at the United Center. Following the termination of former head coach Jeremy Colliton on Saturday, the Hawks started fresh and rode their new bench leadership to their second victory of the season.

In a scoreless first period, Chicago outshot the Preds 10–5.

Near the halfway point of the second period, Brandon Hagel scored his fourth goal of the year, putting the puck up and over Juuse Saros after a Seth Jones shot caromed off the end boards to the front of the net. Jonathan Toews received the secondary assist on the play.

Less than two minutes later, Nashville tied the game when Alexandre Carrier drove to the net and tucked the puck behind Kevin Lankinen to knot the score at 1–1.

The third period showcased some great chances for both sides, but both Lankinen and Saros held firm, including a few show-stopping saves. Though the Hawks outshot the Preds 31–20 through 60 minutes, both teams earned a point and skated into the overtime frame.

In the overtime, Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane connected on a nifty 2-on-1 break. Kane collected a pass from DeBrincat, kicked the puck to his stick and calmly sent a backhand pass back and “the Cat” buried it to seal the 2–1 overtime win. Lankinen not only got his first win of the season with 21 saves, but also tallied the secondary assist on the overtime winner.

Analysis

It is hard to imagine a dramatic turnaround for the Hawks with King now at the helm, but on Sunday night, the compete level was certainly there. Through his initial comments and interviews, it is clear that King is a players’ coach. In a year of turmoil for the team both on and off the ice, he may be just the presence the players need right now. Time will tell as to the results, but based on the effort from the skaters on Sunday night, perhaps the Blackhawks will show a more inspired brand of hockey moving forward, which would certainly be a welcomed change.

Next up, Chicago will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. CST puck drop.

Center Ice Forums RECAP: King gets first win, Hawks beat Preds 2–1

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