Before the Blackhawks took off for a two-game road swing in Nashville, Alex DeBrincat and Adam Boqvist were both placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol List. This was a huge blow added the to list of players already not dressing. Boqvist has been adequate in his second year while DeBrincat is playing at a point-per-game pace.
Lucas Carlsson entered the lineup for the first time this season and Matthew Highmore returned to the forward corps after being a healthy scratch the past three games. Malcolm Subban made his first start in net since allowing five goals in the Blackhawks’ season-opening loss to the Lightning.
The Blackhawks’ power play has scored in each of the team’s first six games of the season, and it didn’t take long to extend the streak to seven. Three minutes in, Dylan Strome scored off a nice feed from Andrew Shaw in front of the net.
This tally marked Strome’s second goal and fourth point of the season. With the absences of Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach, Strome has fared well as the team’s first center. He has been on-ice at 5v5 for ten goals and only six goals against, the best ratio by a forward on the team.
Subban stopped all 17 shots he faced in the first period and was further peppered with shots early in the second. The Predators finally broke through to tie the game and the Blackhawks were reeling. The shots were 22-10 in favor of the Predators when Mattias Janmark scored on a breakaway to retake the lead for the Hawks. The former Dallas Star now has a goal in each of his past three games.
The Blackhawks held on to their one-goal lead until the 11:06 mark of the third period when the Predators capitalized on a defensive zone turnover. The Blackhawks recorded a measly four shots in the final period.
The Predators scored on their second shot in overtime and took the two points. The Blackhawks’ record now sits at 2-3-2.
Including tonight’s game, Mattias Janmark has played the third-most minutes by a Blackhawks forward this season. When he signed in Chicago this offseason, it was mostly due to his defensive soundness. But seven games into the season, Janmark is tied for the team lead in goals with three. He has also played the most minutes by a forward on the penalty kill.
Even though it will go down as a loss, Malcolm Subban played well in his second start of the season. He stopped 36 of the 39 shots he faced and finished with a .923 save percentage. His sharp play kept the Blackhawks in a game where they were being outshot terribly. That is precisely the kind of goaltending the team will need this season.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Blackhawks are back in action on Wednesday night against the Predators. Puck drop is set for 6:30 PM CT on NBCSN. For further takeaways from this contest, postgame shows after every Blackhawks game, and additional analysis and commentary, tune in to the Four Feathers Podcast.