Blackhawks

Lucas Carlsson out to prove he belongs with Blackhawks

Lucas Carlsson out to prove he belongs with Blackhawks

DALLAS — The Blackhawks have gotten extended looks this season at two of their coveted defensemen prospects in Adam Boqvist and Dennis Gilbert, the latter of whom is better known for his defensive game than offensive prowess. 

On Sunday, it was Lucas Carlsson's turn.

With Erik Gustafsson being held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons ahead of Monday's trade deadline, the Blackhawks called up Carlsson for their four-game road trip that kicked off in Dallas. They wasted no time in throwing their 2016 fourth-round pick into action despite having no practice session or a morning skate for him to get acclimated to the group.

"Maybe it's easier for me to just get right into it, I don't know," a smiling Carlsson said following a 2-1 loss to the Stars. "It was fun, obviously. I was a bit nervous at the start, but I think I got into it pretty quickly. I just try and play my game, don't change anything. Obviously you have to adjust a little bit, everything's much faster here, so it's good."

Head coach Jeremy Colliton said before the game he wanted Carlsson to be clean with the puck, have a tight gap and be physical when he needed to. And Carlsson did exactly that.

The 22-year-old Swedish blue liner had one shot attempt, one blocked shot and three hits in 14:55 of ice time while playing on the second pairing with Connor Murphy. He wasn't too noticeable, but that's not intended to sound negative. He kept it simple, played his game and didn't make any glaring mistakes in his NHL debut.

"I thought he was good," Colliton said. "He was assertive, physical, made plays, skated the puck. He did well for himself, so [I'm] happy for him in his first game."

The one noticeable offensive play Carlsson did make came in the third period when he delivered a nifty backhand pass between his legs in the slot to Dominik Kubalik, who looked surprised it even got to him. It nearly created a prime scoring chance, but the puck got away from Kubalik.

Carlsson clearly wasn't lacking confidence, which is always a good thing as younger players tend to play timid while they try figuring out the league. He's a sound defender with some offensive upside — he led all Rockford IceHogs defensemen in goals (five), assists (21) and points (26) — and is out to prove he belongs at the NHL level.

"Of course," Carlsson said. "I still have one more year on my contract, so I want to show what I can do and hopefully play a few more games here and see what happens."

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Hawks Rewind: 2010 Blackhawks close in on Stanley Cup Final

Hawks Rewind: 2010 Blackhawks close in on Stanley Cup Final

Tuesday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago, watch the Blackhawks take on the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of the 2010 Western Conference finals. 

Two of the Hawks' top playoff performers in 2010 would keep it going for Game 3 in San Jose.

Dustin Byfuglien scored in overtime to give Chicago a 3-0 series lead and bring the team incredibly close to the Stanley Cup Final. The Blackhawks hadn't been to the big dance since 1992.

Patrick Sharp stayed hot by scoring a power play goal in the second period.

Another player who regularly checked in during the 2010 postseason, Dave Bolland, scored in the third period.

Bolland's goal came on a breakaway and put Chicago ahead 2-1, but Patrick Marleau tied it up with 4:23 left in regulation to force overtime.

Byfuglien scored his seventh goal of the playoffs 12:24 into overtime for the 3-2 victory. 

Antti Niemi had a stellar 44-save game for the Blackhawks, with five stops in overtime. Niemi and Chicago's penalty kill held San Jose to just one goal in six power play attempts, including the Hawks stopping all three in the third period. 

Jonathan Toews grabbed two assists in Game 3, giving him a point in 12 straight playoff games and setting a Blackhawks record. Stan Mikita had an 11-game streak in 1962.

The Hawks were set for the Sharks to visit the United Center for Game 4.

Full Hawks Rewind schedule

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Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device. 

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with former Blackhawk Brian Campbell

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with former Blackhawk Brian Campbell

Pat Boyle is joined by former Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell to discuss the impact of the 2010 champion Blackhawks on Chicago hockey, his issues with former coach Joel Quenneville and how he's using his experience as a champion to help young players.

(1:14) - Being a part of the rebirth of hockey in Chicago

(4:20) - Not getting along with Joel Quenneville in the beginning

(11:00) - The moment Campbell knew the Hawks could win the Cup

(16:10) - Coming back from a tough injury in 2010 due to a hit by Alex Ovechkin

Listen here or below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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(19:18) - Theories on where the 2010 game winning puck is