Monday, Feb. 15: Blackhawks steal another overtime win and Malcolm Subban earns his second win of the season
In a game where the Chicago Blackhawks were outplayed for the majority of the contest, the Hawks somehow found a way to win it in overtime. Despite being outshot and outplayed, the Blackhawks capitalized on two Red Wing miscues. The Wings’ first mistake was when three of their defensemen followed Carl Soderberg in their own zone. Soderberg then completed a between-the-legs backward pass to Mattias Janmark for the early goal.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) February 16, 2021
Later in the first period, the Blackhawks extended the lead with a Dominik Kubalík tap-in goal. With the Hawks seemingly contractually obligated to play in overtime, they forfeited the lead in the third period with a goal from the Red Wings’ Christian Djoos to tie the game at 2–2.
In overtime, Kubalík was sprung by a Nicolas Beaudin pass for the game-winning goal. Kubalík finished with two even-strength goals to propel the Blackhawks to their sixth win in their last eight games.
Wednesday, Feb. 17: Kevin Lankinen earns his first NHL shutout in a regulation victory
In a goalie duel between Kevin Lankinen and Jonathan Bernier, the Blackhawks came out victorious. Once again, Chicago was propelled to victory by their outstanding power play. While credit can be given to their new positioning this season, in this contest, it was all Philipp Kurashev.
Philipp Kurashev with some filth pic.twitter.com/b4nKgCk2LY
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 18, 2021
In the third period with the Red Wings trying to come back, Alex DeBrincat tapped in an empty-net goal to seal the victory. This was the first regulation win for the Blackhawks in their last six games and their fourth win against the Red Wings this season.
In another milestone this season, Lankiken recorded his first NHL shutout and improved his numbers to a .931 save percentage, 2.29 goals against average and a record of 7–2–3 on the season.
Friday, Feb. 19: Carolina Hurricanes overwhelm the Blackhawks
After defeating the Red Wings twice this week, the Blackhawks rolled into Raleigh brimming with confidence to face a red-hot Hurricanes team. The Canes overwhelmed the Blackhawks in the contest with two goals and an assist from Nino Niederreiter.
The Blackhawks still put up a good fight with Patrick Kane leading the charge.
The Patrick Kane spin-o-rama has returned pic.twitter.com/XIZ2C1q770
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 20, 2021
In the end, the more talented Hurricanes put the game out of reach with two power play goals in the third period. The loss ended the Blackhawks’ three-game winning streak and extended the Canes’ winning streak to four games.
Other highlights from the matchup included Blackhawks defenseman Ian Mitchell registering his first NHL goal.
Players returning from COVID-19 list
The Blackhawks got back Adam Boqvist, Ryan Carpenter and Lucas Wallmark from the COVID-19 list this week.
The curious case of Adam Boqvist
After returning from the COVID-19 list, Boqvist was not sent down to the Rockford IceHogs to condition and regain confidence. Instead, he was re-inserted into the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. He played 12:50 in the game, as the Blackhawks once again carried seven active defensemen. Head Coach Jeremy Colliton called it one of Boqvist’s best games of his career. Colliton gushed over Boqvist’s confidence level and playmaking ability in a limited role.
In his next game against Carolina, Boqvist regressed to his old ways and looked completely lost when trying to defend the Carolina forwards. It begs the question, should the young defenseman add more AHL games to resume? It seems like he excels in lesser roles, yet has trouble handling more aggressive teams. It appears, for now, the Blackhawks are willing to try to work on his defensive game in the NHL, but at what point does it start to hurt a young defenseman? Only time will answer these questions.
Rescheduled game on Saturday
Being a unique season, the Blackhawks’ game against the Hurricanes on Saturday was rescheduled to allow for the Hurricanes to face the Tampa Bay Lightning, as both teams needed to make up contests. The Blackhawks chose to remain in Raleigh and practice for their upcoming game in Columbus.