Blackhawks

Five Things: Blackhawks' Marian Hossa is still a tremendous two-way player

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Five Things: Blackhawks' Marian Hossa is still a tremendous two-way player

Once upon a time I received an email that started off, “You’re good, you’re not great.”

Besides being the greatest start of any email ever, that could also describe the Blackhawks on Saturday night: good, not great. As we’ve written here a few times already, however, that’s to be expected after all the offseason changes. Still, the Blackhawks did a few more things right in their 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

[MORE: Blackhawks offense wakes up in win over Blue Jackets]

So while we all try to get past good and onto great, let’s look at the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory.

1. Marian Hossa is still a tremendous two-way player. Speaking of great… Hossa was already having a strong game on Saturday when he picked Matt Calvert’s pocket and scored a 5-on-3 goal that gave the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead at the time. The ageless Hossa never ceases to amaze those who see it on a nightly basis. “That was a pretty special play,” Corey Crawford said. “He didn’t quit on that one. We lost the puck at the blue line and he came back and did the rest.”

2. Brandon Saad’s emotional night. You wondered what the reaction would be when Saad returned to the United Center. He and the Blackhawks couldn’t work out a deal but Blackhawks fans greeted him with loud applause and a standing ovation during a first-period video tribute. Saad’s in a much different place now, playing for a Columbus team that’s gotten off to a surprisingly bad start. But Saad did some tremendous things in his time in Chicago, and fans showed how much they appreciated that on Saturday.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. A nice debut for Mr. Hinostroza. Vinnie Hinostroza was probably a jumble of nerves when he made his NHL debut on Saturday night but he looked pretty calm on the ice. He brought some stability and a threat to that third line, which had been mediocre through this early season. We’ll see if Hinostroza’s in the lineup when the Blackhawks play on Florida, but he certainly had an energetic start on Saturday.

4. Anisimov answers again. Artem Anisimov gets overshadowed playing with Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane. He’s the non-flashy, non-showy portion of that line. But he’s a steady part of that trio, a big body who will go to the net. He did that again on Saturday and earned his second goal of the season on another backhand shot.

5. Bickell “OK” on the top line. If you’ve listened to coach Joel Quenneville for any amount of time, you know that when he says a player is “OK,” as he said Bryan Bickell was on the top line on Saturday, he means player was not good. So, who’s next at that left-wing spot with Jonathan Toews and Hossa?

Instant reaction: Blackhawks squander late lead, fall to Golden Knights in shootout

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USA Today

Instant reaction: Blackhawks squander late lead, fall to Golden Knights in shootout

FINAL SCORE:

Golden Knights 2, Blackhawks 1 (SO)

Snap judgments:

— The Blackhawks played a Golden Knights team that was on the second of a back-to-back and coming off an ugly 6-2 loss in Philadelphia on Monday. They knew the visiting team would come in desperate and it was an even battle, except in the third period when the Golden Knights took control and tied it up at 1-1 with 1:33 left in regulation.

— It took just two games for Kirby Dach to score his first career NHL goal, which will be the first of many. Olli Maatta's pass went off Dach's leg and in, to which Dach said on NBC Sports Chicago during first intermission: "It wasn't the prettiest goal, but I'll take it."

— This was a straight goaltending battle between two of the league's best in Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner. Fleury was coming off a 29-save shutout against Pittsburgh on Saturday and he followed that up by stopping 31 of 32 shots for a save percentage of .969 against the Blackhawks. Lehner was just as good, if not better, turning aside 33 of 34 shots for a save percentage of .971. He's now 1-0-2 on the season .

Three stars:

1. Golden Knights G Marc-Andre Fleury — Stopped 31 of 32 shots for .969 save percentage

2. Blackhawks C Kirby Dach — First career NHL goal

3. Blackhawks G Robin Lehner — Stopped 33 of 34 shots for .971 save percentage

Must-see highlights:

— Dach's first career NHL goal

— Lehner's desperation save in overtime

What's next:

The Blackhawks host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago.

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 make minor league trade with Panthers, acquire defenseman Ian McCoshen

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USA Today

Blackhawks make minor league trade with Panthers, acquire defenseman Ian McCoshen

The Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Ian McCoshen from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward prospect Aleksi Saarela, the team announced Tuesday. He will report to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

McCoshen is on a one-year contract that runs through the end of the 2019-20 season. His cap hit is $700,000 and he's set to become a restricted free agent.

Originally drafted by the Panthers in the second round (No. 31 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, McCoshen has appeared in 60 career NHL games and has seven points (four goals, three assists) and an ice time average of 14:26 per game. He has four assists in seven games with the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL this season.

The motive behind the move appears to be giving each player a fresh start elsewhere, although Saarela's time with the Blackhawks was short-lived. He was acquired by the Blackhawks in June, along with Calvin de Haan, for goaltender Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forsling and had one assist in five games with the Rockford IceHogs.

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.