Blackhawks

Blackhawks bonus: Defense has a 'strong night'

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Blackhawks bonus: Defense has a 'strong night'

Getting points isnt the top priority for defensemen, but any that they can get is certainly a bonus.

And for the Chicago Blackhawks, bonuses abounded on Wednesday night.

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook each had two assists, as the Blackhawks defensemen were prevalent on the score sheet in their 6-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night. Five of the six Blackhawks defensemen got at least a point on Wednesday, as their shots turned into several goals.

But Keith said it was about the guys in front as much as it was the ones in back.

I think the lanes were there; we got our shots on net and we had traffic in front, he said. It was a good job by the D to get our shots through but we have (Andrew Shaw) in front, (Jonathan) Toews in front battling. That makes a difference. We knew we were playing fine. We just stuck with it.

It was Nick Leddys third consecutive game with an assist. Keith, meanwhile, is now fifth in assists (24) and 10th in points (26) among NHL defensemen.

Be it on the power play or even strength, the defensemen were shooting. And the guys in front were turning them into goals.

Our D across the board had one of their better games all year, coach Joel Quenneville said. They were very active in the attack: odd-man breaks, support off the attack. Our shots on the power play were better because we were shooting from the point. It was a strong night.

Robin Lehner got best of 'reverse psychology' with Blackhawks familiarity in Game 1

Robin Lehner got best of 'reverse psychology' with Blackhawks familiarity in Game 1

On Tuesday, former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner and the Vegas Golden Knights got the better of the Hawks in Game 1 of their Round One Stanley Cup Playoff series, winning 4-1.

Lehner saved 19 of 20 shots from Chicago, but his own equipment made him more uncomfortable in net than his former team.

The 29-year-old goalie had to have a skate blade repaired twice in the second period.

"I was pretty frustrated. It's the first time that's ever happened to me," Lehner said following the game. ... "You kind of get into it and I didn't really know what happened there at first, but you have to battle through it. The rule is when we have possession they can blow it. Kind of tough for a goalie with one skate."

The Blackhawks hit a post the first time Lehner had blade trouble, but otherwise didn't capitalize on his skate malfunction.

Chicago got away from what worked in the Oilers series against goalies Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen in creating traffic in front of the net to take away the goalie's eyes and trying for deflections. Vegas' D did a good job of pushing the Hawks to the outside and away from the crease.

According to Lehner, when the Blackahwks did have chances, knowing their tendencies from playing with them earlier in the year — before he was traded to Vegas ahead of the Feb. 24 trade deadline — played to his advantage in Game 1.

"I think I'm foremost a reading goalie. I know a lot of their tendencies, I know what they're trying to do on the power play and etc.," The 2019 Vezina Trophy finalist said. "But it becomes a little bit of reverse psychology. I knew that they know (that) and they were going to mix it up a little bit on me. On all the really in-tight chances today they tried to go five-hole, so I kind of anticipated that before the game and next game they're probably going to try something else."

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Podcast: Blackhawks drop Game 1 to the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1

Podcast: Blackhawks drop Game 1 to the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1

The Blackhawks lose Game 1 to the favorite Vegas Golden Knights and former Hawk Robin Lehner gets credited with the win. Host Pat Boyle is joined by NBCS Blackhawks analyst and 2013 Stanley Cup champ with the Hawks Jamal Mayers to break down Game 1 and talk how the Hawks can come back for Game 2 to tie the series.

(1:00) - Corey Crawford let in a few soft goals

(6:20) - What went wrong and what went right for the Hawks?

(10:32) - How do the Hawks get more offense?

(14:30) - How should the Hawks prepare for Game 2?

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Blackhawks news and analysis.