The Blackhawks found a way to win a goaltender battle on Wednesday Night. Kevin Lankinen made 29 saves in his first career shutout and Philipp Kurashev scored his fifth goal of the season on a highlight reel play.
Both Ryan Carpenter and Adam Boqvist returned to the lineup for the first time since both players were placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol list.
Both teams traded chances in the first period. The Blackhawks outshot the Red Wings in the first half of the opening period, but the Red Wings finished with a good push and created multiple scoring chances before the first intermission. Both Lankinen and Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier turned aside all nine shots each faced.
The second period saw both teams have power play opportunities. Minutes in, Pius Suter took a penalty sending the Red Wings to their first power play of the game. They spent the majority of the two minutes in the Blackhawks’ end, but Lankinen stopped all five shots he saw.
Kurashev Scores a Beauty
On the Blackhawks’ second power play chance of the period, after their first was negated by a too-many-men penalty, Philipp Kurashev danced his way through the Red Wings’ defense and beat Bernier five-hole for the game’s first goal. Kurashev now has five goals on the season and only trails teammate Pius Suter for most goals by a rookie this season.
Lankinen and Teammates Seal the Win
With a one-goal lead to start the third period, the Blackhawks played aggressive and outshot the Red Wings in the first six minutes. The Wings were awarded their third power play with under ten minutes to play, but Lankinen stood tall once again.
Nearing the end of the game, the Red Wings had their best chance of the game when Lankinen found himself way outside of his crease. All five skaters on the ice for the Blackhawks collapsed around their net and somehow kept the puck from crossing the goal line.
Alex DeBrincat put one into the empty net in the final minute and the Blackhawks won 2-0. They are now 9-5-4 overall and 7-2-1 in their last ten games.
Adam Boqvist returned to the lineup for the first time since January 24. He had 12:50 of ice time and two shots on goal while playing the majority of his time with veteran Duncan Keith. At even strength, Boqvist was also on-ice for just two shots against, an area where he typically struggles.
Kevin Lankinen’s name is now written in Sharpie as the Blackhawks’ starting goaltender. He stopped all 29 shots he faced, including 10 while shorthanded, on his way to earning the first shutout of his career.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Blackhawks travel to Carolina to play the Hurricanes for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. Both games are scheduled to start at 6:00 PM CST. The Blackhawks are 1-1 against the Hurricanes, and won the last meeting between the two teams 6-4.