Alex DeBrincat Will Be Vital to Blackhawks’ Success in Game 3
Blackhawks’ forward Alex DeBrincat has yet to score in the team’s Qualifying Round series against the Oilers, but he is poised to score his first-career postseason goal in Game 3.
The Blackhawks have scored nine goals in their first two games against the Oilers. Dominik Kubalik has three, Jonathan Toews has two, and Patrick Kane, Dylan Strome, Olli Maatta, and Slater Koekkoek each have one.
Is it Alex DeBrincat’s time to join that list in game three?
DeBrincat in Games 1 and 2
It’s been a tale of two games for Alex DeBrincat so far in the Blackhawks’ Qualifying Round series against the Oilers. In game one, DeBrincat was credited with five shots on goal in just over 13 minutes of ice time. He didn’t find the back of the net, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. On a line with Dylan Strome and Drake Caggiula, the trio generated six shots on goal and five scoring chances (Strome did have a goal, but Patrick Kane and Alex Nylander were on the ice).
In game two, DeBrincat again played just over 13 minutes. Due to Caggiula’s absence (one-game suspension), DeBrincat spent most of the game with Kirby Dach and Patrick Kane. Halfway through the first period, DeBrincat picked up a puck in the corner to the right of Oilers’ netminder Mikko Koskinen, was strong on his backhand, and fed a perfect pass to Kane in front for the Blackhawks’ first goal.
DeBrincat’s playmaking ability was on display once again five minutes into the second period. After Kirby Dach forced a turnover, DeBrincat secured the puck in the corner and instantly had his head up. He found Slater Koekkoek behind the Oilers’ defense and dished his second assist of the game.
The new line was on the ice once again for Olli Maatta’s goal later in the second, and DeBrincat was in front making life difficult for Koskinen. DeBrincat finished the game with two assists and a plus/minus rating of +3.
Can DeBrincat put it all together and get his first career postseason goal in game three?
DeBrincat’s Regular Season
After netting 41 goals in 2018-19, DeBrincat was unable to recapture the magic this season.
In 70 games, DeBrincat finished with 18 goals on 207 shots for a shooting percentage of 8.7% (his shooting percentage in 2018-19 was 18.6%).
Even though DeBrincat’s scoring touch was lacking, he still generated a lot of offense. He picked up 27 assists with 19 of those being primary helpers. He was also on the ice for 694 scoring chances, the fourth-most on the team.
Now it’s time for DeBrincat to put it all together. He needs to get back to putting pucks on net as he did in game one while continuing to set up teammates as he did in game two. Look for him to see more time with centerman Kirby Dach and winger Patrick Kane, as they were the team’s best line in Monday’s 6-3 loss.
Game three of the Qualifying Round series between the Blackhawks and Oilers will get underway at 9:30 PM CT tonight.