It was an emotional night in the United Center as Brent Seabrook looked on from the press box after announcing his retirement on Friday. After losing a heartbreaker on Thursday in the final second of overtime, the Blackhawks were hoping for a better result in the rematch vs. Tampa Bay to honor their former teammate.
The first ten minutes did not go as planned for the home team. Tampa Bay scored once at even strength and another on the power play. The Blackhawks had just four shots at the halfway point of the opening period, but then the NHL’s best power play got its first opportunity of the game.
DeBrincat Scores 100th Career Goal
Halfway through the man advantage, Alex DeBrincat walked off the half wall and stepped into a laser to beat Curtis McElhinney. It was DeBrincat’s 13th goal of the season and 100th goal of his career. He has answered all of the offseason concerns surrounding his ability to be a legitimate goal-scorer in the NHL. He leads the Blackhawks in goals and is in the middle of an eight-game point streak.
In the second period, the Blackhawks were heavily outplayed. They allowed 24 shot attempts while only recording nine themselves. But just like much of this season for the Hawks, things just seem to work out in their favor.
Patrick Kane, the new member of the 400-goal club, displayed his sweet passing skills to set up linemate Alex DeBrincat to tie the game at two goals apiece.
DeBrincat and Kane have now been on the ice together for 36 goals this season and continue to provide offense on a nightly basis.
The Blackhawks Force Overtime
Malcolm Subban allowed two goals on 11 shots in the first period but was tremendous the rest of the game. He saved all 11 shots he faced in the second period and made timely saves in the third to keep his team in the game.
Seconds into the final period, Subban stopped Lightning forward Brayden Point on a breakaway. The Blackhawks took a penalty minutes later and the Lightning scored to take a 3-2 lead.
With 14 minutes remaining in regulation, Dominik Kubalik buried a rebound on the team’s first shot of the period. Kubalik now has nine goals on the season, with six of them coming in his last nine games.
The final six minutes of regulation saw Steven Stamkos hit the post and Malcolm Subban make a pad save off a one-timer with a minute left to force overtime.
Subban Stands Tall
In extra time, Subban turned aside all five Lightning shots and the Blackhawks created multiple scoring chances but neither team found the back of the net, sending the game to a shootout.
Subban stopped all three Lightning shootout attempts and Philipp Kurashev beat McElhinney high glove to give the Blackhawks the two points.
The Hawks are now 13-7-5 with 31 out of a possible 50 points and sit in fourth place of the Discover Central Division.
Malcolm Subban earned his fourth win of the season and stopped 39 of the 42 shots he faced. The Lightning were credited with 18 high-danger scoring chances, but Subban did well to smother pucks in and around the blue paint. He has given the Blackhawks confidence in playing a more two-goalie system as he and Kevin Lankinen still adapt to NHL life.
Alex DeBrincat now has 14 goals this season, tied for second-most in the league. His shooting percentage of 19.18% is one of the best on the Blackhawks while his 28 points in 21 games average out to 1.3 points/game.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Blackhawks wrap up their three-game set with the Lightning on Sunday at 1:30 PM CT. That contest will conclude a five-game homestand before the Hawks embark on a six-game road swing that includes this same Tampa Bay team at the tail end. Tune in to the Four Feathers Podcast for further Blackhawks analysis and commentary all season.