RECAP: Overtime wins propel Blackhawks to 3–1 week


The Chicago Blackhawks capitalized in overtime three times last week to go 3–1, and collect six points. The Hawks began the week with back-to-back overtime wins on the road against the Dallas Stars, both by a 2–1 margin. On Thursday, the Hawks squandered leads of 4–2 and 5–4 in the third period as the Columbus Blue Jackets stole the contest with two late goals to win 6–5. In the return engagement on Saturday night, the Hawks got their revenge, tying the game late and winning yet again in extra time.

Sunday, Feb. 7: DeBrincat shines and Subban gets first win of the season

Last Sunday, Malcolm Subban stopped 30 shots in the Hawks’ first contest with the Stars. Alex DeBrincat scored twice, including the overtime winner, and the Hawks took two points to open up the two-game series.

The Hawks’ red-hot power play opened the scoring at 12:29 of the second period, when Patrick Kane, Dylan Strome and DeBrincat played tic-tac-toe, with DeBrincat finishing it off with a one-timer from the left post to make it 1–0.

After the Stars’ Jason Robertson tied the score at the 9:31 mark of the third period, the two teams traded chances before the clock ran out.

At 2:56 of overtime, DeBrincat gained the blue line, fed the puck to Kane just inside the zone and No. 88 sauced a brilliant feed to the streaking DeBrincat. “The Cat” deflected it just under the crossbar for the win.

Tuesday, Feb. 9: Young guns give Hawks second straight overtime victory

The rematch on Tuesday was a carbon copy of Sunday’s contest. Kevin Lankinen turned aside 34 shots and the Hawks would win their fourth straight game.

The Hawks would surrender the first goal of the game to Roope Hintz, but would tie the score at 14:04 of the second period. Once again, the power play would show its efficiency. Mattias Janmark deflected in a nifty feed from Dominik Kubalik to tie the game at 1–1. Philipp Kurashev also assisted on the play.

After a scoreless third period, in overtime, Brandan Hagel led an impressive solo rush up the ice, created space just inside the Stars’ blue line and found fellow rookie Pius Suter. Suter made a nifty move around the Dallas defender and sent a low wrist shot past Jake Oettinger. Lankinen also notched an assist on the play.

Thursday, Feb. 11: A wasted opportunity

On Thursday, the Hawks had an exciting night of firsts, only to let the game slip away. After the Blue Jackets took a 1–0 lead, Ian Mitchell scored his first NHL goal off a tap-in on a feed from David Kampf 21 seconds into the second frame. Less than a minute later, it was Nicolas Beaudin’s turn to light the lamp, banging home a rebound off a Nikita Zadorov shot.

Suter would add his second goal of the week to make it 3–1, but the Jackets would score before the end of the period to make it 3–2.

Kane would extend the Hawks’ lead to 4–2 early in the third before Columbus would claw back to tie it 4–4. Kane would find DeBrincat at 13:05 of the third period to make it 5–4, and it seemed like the Hawks would skate away with the victory. But, Columbus would tie it shortly after and Kevin Stenlund would score the game-winning goal at 18:46 of the third period to steal a 6–5 win. Despite three-point nights for DeBrincat and Kane, Lankinen was less than stellar in the loss.

Saturday, Feb. 13: Tie it late and walk it off in overtime

The Hawks fell behind 1–0 after one period of play despite outshooting the Jackets 14–9. Beaudin tied it at 1–1 early in the second, scoring his second goal in as many games. The Jackets would reclaim the lead before the end of the period on Cam Atkinson’s deflection.

Late in the third period, Carl Soderberg tied the game with his first goal as a Blackhawk. Kurashev made a nifty poke check to give Soderberg an open look in the slot. The Swede’s wrist shot beat Joonas Korpisalo low to the stick side.

In the overtime session, Kane and DeBrincat combined again. Kane found DeBrincat alone in front, and DeBrincat, on his second touch of the puck, batted in the game winner, giving the Hawks their fourth win in five games. Lankinen made 28 saves for his seventh victory of the season.

The kids are playing

Rookies Beaudin, Hagel, Kurashev, Lankinen, Mitchell and Suter are all significant contributors to this young team. Lucas Carlsson was in a top-four role on Saturday night, partnered with Calvin de Haan. On most nights, the Hawks have six to seven rookies in their lineup. While there will be speedbumps ahead, and do not expect that these “kids” will propel the Hawks into the playoff picture in 2021, there is a lot to like about their performance to date. If the idea is to “play the kids” during the rebuild, it is happening, and the aforementioned players certainly seem ready for NHL hockey. Rest assured, there will be more to play this season, but for now, it is also important that the Hawks showcase some of their more seasoned NHL regulars to maximize a return on investment should they move players at the trade deadline.

Lost vets

The Hawks lost both Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol) and Connor Murphy (hip) last week. Murphy has been playing his best hockey with the Hawks since his Windy City arrival in 2017. All signs point to him coming back in 10–14 days, and hopefully he will not miss a step upon his return. With Shaw, the outcome may be bleak. He just came back from a long stint on injured reserve after sustaining a head injury in the 2019–20 season. There is a lot we do not know, but after taking an elbow to the chops in the second game against Dallas, Shaw may be out for an extended period of time, and it may be detrimental to the remainder of his career.

Dylan Strome

In the last four games, Strome has four shots on goal, a minus-3 rating and no 5-on-5 points. For a second-line center who recently signed a two-year, $6 million dollar deal, he has been disappointing. The lack of speed in his game has been apparent, and perhaps more so now than ever, considering the Hawks want to push the pace more. He is around for some games and some games not, but the inconsistency in his play should be cause for concern. He is certainly a favorite of General Manager Stan Bowman’s, but as the team continues to build and his limitations as a player become more evident, it is hard to envision Strome ultimately being an integral part of a contender.

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