The Blackhawks are now 5-2-1 at home after Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets opened the scoring seven minutes into the game. Patrick Laine, who now has six goals on the season, beat Kevin Lankinen with a shot from the top of the right circle. When you play against Laine, it is bound to happen at some point.
Even though they were trailing by one, the Blackhawks were generating quality scoring chances and were credited with eight shots in the first half of the opening period. The Blackhawks had two power plays in the first and were unable to convert despite recording five scoring chances between the two opportunities.
With five minutes left in the period, Brandon Hagel dropped the gloves with the Laine and ultimately dropped the Columbus goal scorer. Hagel continues to impress.
Early in the second period, Nicolas Beaudin scored his second goal in as many games to tie the game at one goal apiece. He jumped on a loose puck after a Patrick Kane shot hit traffic in front. Just like his first career goal on Thursday night, Beaudin displayed soft hands to corral and shoot the puck all in one motion. His two goals are tied for most by a Blackhawks defenseman this season with Connor Murphy.
The rest of the second period was mostly dominated by the Blackhawks, but the Jackets would retake the lead off a redirection on a point shot. Trailing 2-1 after two periods, the Blackhawks were outshooting and out-chancing the Jackets and needed to find a way to beat Joonas Korpisalo again.
Despite being outshot 12-4, the Blackhawks scored late in the third period to send the game to overtime. Philipp Kurashev made a heads-up play to poke-check the puck to Carl Soderberg who beat Korpisalo stick side for his first goal as a Blackhawk.
The Cat and Kane Connect Again
During the first shift of the overtime period, Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat criss-crossed as they entered the Jackets’ zone. DeBrincat went to the net and Kane fed him a beauty of a saucer pass. DeBrincat displayed unreal hand-eye coordination to bat the puck out of midair and over the goalie’s glove hand for the game-winner and a 3-2 Blackhawks’ win.
The Blackhawks are now 7-5-4 with 18 out of a possible 32 points. Their points percentage of .562 is tied for fifth in the Discover Central Division.
Ian Mitchell showed tonight that he is capable of playing top-pair minutes alongside Duncan Keith. The pair played 14:19 at 5v5 and had positive possession numbers in all categories. By himself, Mitchell played 19:29 in the game, the most of his young career. He also recorded one shot on goal, one hit, and an on-ice shots for percentage of 65% at even strength.
In Friday’s 6-5 loss, Kevin Lankinen allowed more than two goals for the first time in his previous five starts. Tonight he allowed just two goals on 31 shots for a .935 save percentage. The Blackhawks now have full confidence in the young net-minder to bounce back after a sub-par performance.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Blackhawks are back on the road and in Detroit to play the Red Wings on Monday, February 15 at 6:30 PM CST. The Blackhawks are 2-0 against the Red Wings this season.
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