Blackhawks

Teravainen nets winner as Blackhawks edge Wild in Game 1

blackhawks-wild-game-1-5-01-15.png

Teravainen nets winner as Blackhawks edge Wild in Game 1

The Blackhawks know what it’s like to overcome a big deficit and win a playoff game.

They did it twice against the Nashville Predators, erasing two- and three-goal deficits en route to victories. On Friday night, they almost got a taste of their own medicine.

Almost.

The Blackhawks blew a 3-0 lead but Teuvo Teravainen’s late second-period goal, his first career postseason score, proved the winner in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks take the early lead in this second-round series, which continues at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Corey Crawford stopped 30 of 33 shots for the victory. Marcus Kruger scored his first of the postseason and Duncan Keith had two assists. Devan Dubnyk stopped 31 of 35 shots in the loss. Zach Parise had a goal and an assist and Thomas Vanek had two assists for the Wild.

[MORE: Blackhawks agree to terms with Artemi Panarin]

There was more a sense of relief than anything for the Blackhawks, who had a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period but watched the Wild tie them up in about nine minutes in the second period.

“Yeah it’s frustrating,” Patrick Sharp said. “They came out in the second period, I don’t know if it was a combination of us taking our foot off the gas and them pushing forward that much harder, but it was nice to see us use the crowd to our advantage at the start. I wish we could put our finger on it. Hopefully we can play more of a 60-minute game.”

The Blackhawks had a great opening 20 minutes, when the Wild were making the mistakes. Brandon Saad scored just 1:15 into the game and Patrick Kane and Kruger later added goals. The Wild reversed things in the second, and took advantage of Blackhawks mistakes, en route to tying the game just 9:30 into the period. Jason Zucker and Mikael Granlund, along with Parise, scored during the comeback.

“They had a pretty good second period and we were sitting back way too much and letting them do pretty much whatever they wanted to in the first 10 minutes,” Niklas Hjalmarsson said. “That’s not how you can play in the playoffs when you’re up three goals. They’re going to take advantage of it.”

Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks should’ve known the Wild would push back.

[SHOP: Get the latest Blackhawks gear here]

“No lead is safe this year,” he said. “Certainly we have to be better in that period. They’re a dangerous team, so expect every shift to be important.”

Then came Teravainen’s late-period goal. The Finnish forward, who was back into the lineup after being scratched the final four first-round games against Nashville, fired from near the boards and his shot escaped Dubnyk’s glove.

“I think that wasn't the biggest shot,” Teravainen said. “But sometimes good things happen when I shoot.”

The Blackhawks didn’t get the 60-minute effort they wanted on Friday night. They know any team can come back from any deficit at this time of year; they already did it twice this postseason. The Wild almost turned the tables on them. Almost.

“To tell you the truth, we don’t like to do that,” Marian Hossa said of the Blackhawks’ ability to come back late. “If we do it, it shows we have a lot of strong players with a lot of experience. We never quit. But it doesn’t happen all the time. We’re lucky we got this one but we have to be better in the second.”

 

After snapping 12-game goal drought, Alex DeBrincat hoping 'I can get hot again'

alex_debrincat_ap.jpg
AP

After snapping 12-game goal drought, Alex DeBrincat hoping 'I can get hot again'

BOSTON — Alex DeBrincat isn't used to going through long stretches without scoring a goal. He found the back of the net 41 times last season, which was tied for sixth amongst all skaters.

But the offense hasn't come as naturally for him this season. 

While he's dishing out assists at a career-high rate (0.50 per game), DeBrincat had only five goals through 27 games going into Thursday and was on pace to finish the season with 15. The longest goal drought of his NHL career is 13 games, which came during his rookie season, and he was on the verge of tying that mark.

But after breaking through in the third period of Thursday's 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins, DeBrincat ended a 12-game drought for his first goal since Nov. 7. And he's hoping it will open the floodgates.

"It was a long time between goals," DeBrincat said. "But hopefully I can get hot again and keep going."

DeBrincat didn't show it, but the frustration was brewing inside. In Saturday's 7-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche he couldn't convert on an open backdoor chance and took out his anger on Samuel Girard by picking a fight with the 5-foot-10, 170-pound defenseman.

DeBrincat is a goal scorer and he wasn't scoring. With the monkey off his back, perhaps this could propel his offensive production.

"He's been playing well, getting chances," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "They just haven't gone in for him. Hopefully this is the little boost that he needs."

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

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 pick up marquee overtime win in Boston, but will it serve as jump-start to something bigger?

blackhawks_toews.jpg
USA Today

Blackhawks pick up marquee overtime win in Boston, but will it serve as jump-start to something bigger?

BOSTON — The Blackhawks knew Thursday's matchup against the Boston Bruins was going to be a serious test. They had lost three in a row (0-3-0) and six of their past seven games (1-5-1) and were running into a Bruins team that was aiming for their ninth consecutive win.

To make things more challenging, the Blackhawks were without Duncan Keith (groin) for the fourth straight game, Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol) for the second time and Olli Maatta (flu-like symptoms). It was going to be a measuring stick kind of game for the Blackhawks against the reigning Eastern Conference champions, especially after getting blown out 4-0 to the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in their previous outing.

The Blackhawks were slightly the better team through the first 40 minutes, capitalizing on a couple of chances and killing off four penalties against the NHL's second-ranked power play unit to take a 2-0 lead into the second intermission. But you knew the Bruins, who had yet to lose in regulation at home this season (12-0-4), were going to push back hard in their own building and they did.

After Alex DeBrincat scored 17 seconds — how fitting? — into the third period to make it 3-0, the Bruins responded 1:32 later and that's when the ride turned in a hurry.

The Bruins peppered the Blackhawks with 11 even-strength scoring chances in the third period, according to Natural Stat Trick, after having 12 in the first two periods combined and scored three straight to force overtime. Chris Wagner took advantage of an Erik Gustafsson tire blowout on a 2-on-1 opportunity by scoring a shorthanded goal to cut the Blackhawks' lead to 3-2 with 4:59 left in regulation and Torey Krug tied it up at 3-3 just 2:26 later.

But Jonathan Toews salvaged the second point for the Blackhawks by scoring on a breakaway 54 seconds into overtime to give his club a much-needed 4-3 victory against arguably the NHL's best team.

"I think we did a good job of hanging in there," Toews said of the Bruins' third-period push. "We're not happy with giving up the lead for sure. ... But it's nice to get the win even though they turned the momentum late in the game."

It was a win the Blackhawks can feel good about from the perspective that every guy played an important role. 

Ryan Carpenter scored a shorthanded goal for his first of the season, DeBrincat (12 games) and Toews (seven) each ended their goal droughts, Dylan Strome had a multi-point effort after missing four games with a concussion, Connor Murphy had a two-assist night, Calvin de Haan led all skaters with 25:26 of ice time and Robin Lehner stopped 37 of 40 shots for a save percentage of .925 after getting pulled in his last start.

The Blackhawks were desperate for a win and they got it, even though it was an ugly finish.

"We knew it was a great opportunity because we haven't played up to par for a long period of time," Lehner said. "We know we have to change the tide and this was a great opportunity to do so. As I've said before we've shown in spurts we're a good team, we've just got to start doing it consistently. It's the same thing in the third period today. We were doing some things that were unacceptable that we need to just take out of our game and then we'll be fine. We have the right personnel on this team to be a good team."

While they will certainly take the two points on the road, the Blackhawks know it won't matter unless they turn this into something larger. They've slipped near the bottom of the Western Conference and are trying to climb their way back up yet again.

And there's an opportunity for the Blackhawks to earn four points in a 48-hour span on Friday against a New Jersey Devils squad that has the second-fewest points (22) of any team and second-worst goal differential (minus-32).

"We had a little run there after we had a big win in Nashville," Toews said. "Whether we win a string of games together, we can build off games like this. We had the start we needed tonight and carried it through 60 for the most part. It's got to be a confidence builder when you beat a team like Boston in their own building but what matters is what we do next. We got another chance to build off it tomorrow night."

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

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.