Hawks Insider

10 observations: Blackhawks bounce back with win

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

The Blackhawks defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-0 on Saturday at Little Caesars Arena.

Here are 10 observations from the win:

1. Let's be real: The Blackhawks needed two points to have a serious shot at staying in the playoff hunt. Picking up zero out of a possible four points in their series finale against the Red Wings would've been demoralizing, and although it wasn't pretty early on, the Blackhawks should feel pleased with their overall response and the result.

2. Malcolm Subban made his first start since March 28 and you couldn't ask for a better performance. He stopped all 29 shots he faced for his third career NHL shutout and second of the season. One of his best saves of the night came in the second period on Darren Helm.

3. The Blackhawks went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill and killed off all three penalties in the first period, which was crucial because it kept the game scoreless and gave them a chance to open the scoring. And that's exactly what they did.

4. The Blackhawks salvaged a lopsided first period when Vinnie Hinostroza stripped Troy Stecher of the puck then connected with Patrick Kane, who scored his 15th goal of the season with only 20.5 seconds left in the frame. Hinostroza was put on a line with Kane for the rest of the game after that goal and each of them later added an assist; Hinostroza finished with three assists.

 

5. Alex DeBrincat continues to terrorize his hometown team. He put the Blackhawks in front 2-0 when he scored his 22nd goal of the season and upped his point total to 20 in his career against the Red Wings, giving him eight goals and 12 assists over those 14 games.

6. DeBrincat may have scored the goal, but Brandon Hagel deserves his own bullet point for recording what will probably be the most painful primary assist of his NHL career. He took a Connor Murphy slapshot to the midsection and the puck went right to DeBrincat, who made no mistake on his shot. All four teammates on the ice went straight to Hagel after the goal because they knew he paid the price for it.

7. The Blackhawks had only six shots on goal through the first 30 minutes. They finished with 27 total. It was a much better second half than first half for Chicago.

8. The Blackhawks are giving Wyatt Kalynuk more and more responsibility and he keeps taking it in stride. One week ago, he scored his first career NHL goal in a 4-3 win over Columbus. He followed that up by recording a secondary assist on Hagel's overtime winner on Tuesday and logged a career-high 21:14 of ice time. And on Saturday, he scored his second goal in four games and finished with 15:39 of ice time.

9. After experimenting with five forwards on the power play, the Blackhawks went back to four forwards and one defenseman on the first unit: Kirby Dach, DeBrincat, Kane, Dominik Kubalik and Duncan Keith, who manned the point. The Blackhawks generated seven scoring chances on their two power-play opportunities, according to Natural Stat Trick, but did not convert on either one.

10. Kevin Lankinen did not suit up in this game, which was part of the plan all along, according to head coach Jeremy Colliton. The Blackhawks wanted to give him a physical and mental rest day as they prepare for a criticial three-game series against the Nashville Predators, which very likely could decide whether they make the playoffs or not. Collin Delia served as the backup and dressed for the first time since Jan. 17.

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