Hawks Insider

10 observations: Toews, Fleury lead Hawks to win

/ by Charlie Roumeliotis
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Hawks Insider
Jonathan Toews

The Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 at Bell Centre on Thursday.

Here are 10 observations from the win:

1. Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his 500th career NHL win in his hometown of Montreal, becoming just the third goaltender in NHL history to accomplish that feat. He stopped all 30 shots and also earned his 69th career shutout. How fitting, and what a moment it was after the game for the crowd to be chanting his name:

2. Fun fact: Fleury's first NHL win came on Oct. 18, 2003 against Detroit when he stopped 31 shots in a 4-3 victory. Pittsburgh's head coach at the time? Eddie Olczyk.

3. Jonathan Toews finally has the monkey off his back after scoring his first of the season to end a 25-game goal drought. It was his first regular-season goal since March 5, 2020 and first since the Edmonton bubble, on Aug. 18, 2020. 

4. Henrik Borgstrom, who was promoted to the top line with Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane for this game, also ended a drought by scoring his second goal of the season at the 12:00 mark of the third period. It was his first tally since Oct. 24.

5. The Blackhawks allowed only two high-danger chances at even strength, according to Natural Stat Trick. They generated nine of their own.

6. The Blackhawks gave up 12 scoring chances at even strength. It was their fewest against in a game this season.

7. Seth Jones registered a primary assist on Toews' goal, giving him 20 assists on the season. Only Victor Hedman (22) and Adam Fox (22) have more among NHL defensemen.

 

8. Reese Johnson played on the second line while Dylan Strome was a healthy scratch. I don't quite understand that decision, but credit where it's due: Johnson's line with Brandon Hagel and Toews was on the ice for eight shot attempts for and only two against at even strength through two periods. They had zero shot attempts for and six against in the third period, however.

9. Philipp Kurashev was recalled from Rockford and played on a line with Kirby Dach and Dominik Kubalik. He was noticeable all night. He had two shots on goal, a team-high seven controlled exits, two scoring chances off the rush and drew two penalties.

10. Jake McCabe (family reasons) and Connor Murphy (concussion protocol) returned to the lineup after missing the last three games. McCabe revealed on the broadcast that his wife recently gave birth to a baby boy, which explains his absence. Congrats to Jake and his family.

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