Hawks Insider

10 observations: Hawks beat Kraken for first road win

/ by Charlie Roumeliotis
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Hawks Insider
Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks defeated the Seattle Kraken 4-2 at Climate Pledge Arena on Wednesday for their fourth straight victory and first road win of the season.

Here are 10 observations from the win:

1. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury squared off against last season's Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer, both of whom have had underwhelming starts to the season. But the former got the better of his counterpart. Fleury was sensational, turning aside the first 25 shots he faced and finishing with 31 saves on 33 shots for a save percentage of .939.

2. The Blackhawks have not given up a goal in the first period for four consecutive games now under interim head coach Derek King. The encouraging streak continues.

3. Chicago's three American-born stars teamed up for a beautiful goal to open the scoring: Patrick Kane started the play with the zone entry and pass to Alex DeBrincat, who quickly found Seth Jones at the doorstep for his second goal of the season. Jones has recorded at least one point in 13 of 16 games this season, including seven straight, which is a new career-high point streak.

4. The Kraken dominated the second period in shot attempts (29-10), shots on goal (15-6), scoring chances (14-6) and high-danger chances (7-2), according to Natural Stat Trick. The Blackhawks were fortunate to get out of that with a 2-0 lead. They weathered the storm, thanks to Fleury.

5. DeBrincat completed the Gordie Howe hat trick: A goal, an assist and a fight. And we won the scrap, handily. He was cross-checked by Yanni Gourde on the power play and took matters into his own hands by dropping the gloves with the two-time Stanley Cup champion.

6. Patrick Kane has been on a tear since returning from COVID-19 protocol. He had another multi-point outing, giving him 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the last seven games.

7. The Blackhawks allowed only one scoring chance off the rush and two odd-man rushes, according to Sportlogiq. They had been giving up an average of 6.8 rush chances per game, which ranks 28th. Another positive step.

 

8. The second line of Jujhar Khaira, Dominik Kubalik and Jonathan Toews had an off night. When the three of them were on the ice at even strength, the Kraken led in shot attempts (14-5), shots on goal (9-2), scoring chances (8-3) and high-danger chances (4-0).

9. After missing the first 15 games with a wrist injury, Caleb Jones made his season debut for the Blackhawks. He was paired with his older brother Seth on his very first shift, which was a cool moment. Caleb finished with one shot on goal and one blocked shot in 9:53 of ice time.

10. Mike Hardman did not play due to a non-COVID-19-related illness. The Blackhawks rolled with 11 forwards and seven defensemen for the first time this season. 

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