After an absolute dumpster fire of a game on Sunday evening, it was going to be interesting to see what kind of effort the Blackhawks brought to a Tuesday evening game against the visiting Anaheim Ducks.
Corey Crawford was back in net and the Hawks came out on the offensive end of the ice – something rarely seen in the final 40 minutes of Sunday’s loss. The Hawks out-shot the Ducks 16-6 in the opening 20 minutes, and a powerplay goal from Brandon Saad gave Chicago a 1-0 lead.
Rickard Rakell scored the only goal of the second period, leaving the score tied at one after 40 minutes. But after the Hawks allowed a stunning 33 shots on goal in the second period on Sunday, it was good to see them out-shoot the Ducks 12-11 in the middle period on Tuesday.
Crawford continued to play well between the pipes. All the Hawks needed was the offense to wake up.
It did precisely that seven minutes into the third period. Erik Gustafsson made a terrific play to find Patrick Kane in space and the Hawks’ superstar forward made a late night deposit.
Kane’s eighth of the year gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
It is worth noting here that Ryan Kesler is still a huge douchebag.
Just to keep things interesting, Marcus Kruger went to the box with 2:31 left in regulation while the Hawks were hanging onto a one-goal lead.
With 33.8 seconds left in the game, Saad and Jonathan Toews combined for a nice turnover and Saad was off to the races. Saad showed up to play just as he did on Sunday and scored his second goal of the night to put the nail in the coffin.
The Blackhawks have asked Saad for more and he’s answered the bell in the last two contests, showing that he’s ready to be a contributing factor in the Hawks’ offense and defense.
The final seconds ticked off the clock and Crawford picks up a home victory in regulation. He stopped 24 of 25 to earn the win – another strong sign that he’s back to elite form.
Luke Johnson, recalled on Tuesday before the game, won six of nine faceoffs and led the Hawks with five hits.
Toews won 10 of 22 faceoffs and Nick Schmaltz won half of his eight opportunities at the dot.
Saad was the story again, however. He led the Hawks with seven shots on net and skated 18:56 impactful minutes.
Gustafsson led Hawks defensemen with four shots on net and picked up the pretty assist on Kane’s goal.
Alex DeBrincat, Dominik Kahun and Brent Seabrook joined Gustafsson in having assists in the victory.