For the third time in as many games it required overtime for the Blackhawks game to be decided.
After ugly starts in their first two games, the Blackhawks started their season at the United Center with a strong offensive attack. And nine minutes into the contest Jonathan Toews scored his fifth goal already on the young season.
Dominik Kahun picked up an assist on the goal for his first career NHL point.
Three minutes after the Toews goal, Alex DeBrincat scored his second of the season – and Kahun picked up his second career assist.
The goal is the 30th of DeBrincat’s young career, a mark he reached faster than Toews or Patrick Kane.
Games to reach 30 career NHL goals
Alex DeBrincat: 85 (scored #30 tonight)
Jonathan Toews: 88 (also scored #31 that game)
Patrick Kane: 100 (also scored #31 that game)#Blackhawks
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) October 8, 2018
Apparently this year we won’t be allowed to have nice things – or a lead. Because the Leafs Kasperi Kapanen and Auston Matthews each scored (and assisted for each other) in a 34 second span to tie the game at two.
At the end of one, the game was tied.
Almost four minutes into the second period, Toronto’s new addition – John Tavares – gave the Leafs a 3-2 lead. But John Hayden, making his 2018-19 debut, tied the game a few minutes later.
Henri Jokiharju was credited with his third career assist on the Hayden goal.
Unfortunately, Tavares was only getting started. He added a power play goal exactly two minutes after Hayden’s goal to give the Leafs a 4-3 lead.
Less than 90 seconds after Tavares gave Toronto the lead again, Chicago got a great opportunity (in theory). Andreas Johnsson was sent to the box for four minutes.
During the two minor penalties, the Hawks managed to put zero shots on net. The power play remains an absolutely clown show, and the wasted four minutes hurt on Sunday night.
The score would rest at 4-3 in favor of the visitors after 40 minutes.
Brandon Manning looked better in the first two periods, and he was rewarded two minutes into the third when he tied the game at four.
At 9:29 into the third, Tavares completed the hat trick capping a dominant performance for the expensive new top line center of the Leafs.
For nine minutes, the score remained 5-4 in favor of Toronto.
Then things went crazy at the United Center.
Kane scored his third of the year to tie the game at 18:36.
Matthews answered the Kane goal 22 seconds later.
But there was no way Kane was letting Matthews steal the stage. So Chicago’s star scored his second goal in 55 seconds to tie the game at six with 29 seconds left in regulation.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) October 8, 2018
The assists on Kane’s two goals went to Jokiharju and Nick Schmaltz, giving Jokiharju his first career three-point night.
Unfortunately, the Blackhawks’ streak of winning 44 straight games in which Toews and Kane both score a goal ended. Morgan Reilly scored 19 seconds into the extra session to give Toronto the hard-fought victory.
Duncan Keith (three assists), Kahun (two assists) and Schmaltz (two assists) joined Kane and Jokiharju in having multi-point games.
Jokiharju put five shots on net, blocked two shots and was credited with two hits in addition to his three assists in 20:10 on the ice (19:50 at even strength).
Kane led Chicago with seven shots on net. Toews put six shots on net and won 12 of 18 faceoffs.
Before the game the Blackhawks honored Stan Mikita.