Crawford, DeBrincat Earn Comeback Victory For Blackhawks

There were rumors earlier in the afternoon that the Hawks had made a deal with the New York Islanders, but that would have been tough on the team in Chicago; the Blackhawks had no healthy bodies up front if they had traded an NHL roster forward in that deal. The only healthy scratch was on Friday night at the United Center was Erik Gustafsson.

After replacing an on-ice practice with a film session and some conversations about being ready to play, the Blackhawks came out and looked pretty impressive in the game’s opening minutes. In fact, while Matt Duchene sat in the penalty box beginning at 2:47 into the first, Chicago put seven shots on net during an power play that saw the puck in the Nashville end of the ice for almost the entire two minutes.

Pekka Rinne was exceptional all night, though. He stood on his head while the Hawks ran out to a big early shot total and kept Chicago off the scoreboard.

Slowly, his teammates started to take control of the momentum. And Nashville started to dominate the puck.

At one point in the first period the Blackhawks had a 12-2 shot advantage. At the end of the first period Chicago had out-shot Nashville 12-10. Neither team scored.

In the opening 40 minutes both teams had a parade to the penalty box. Following Duchene’s early penalty, Nashville served one more penalties in the first period; the Blackhawks were short-handed once. During the Blackhawks’ penalty kill Brandon Saad was awarded a short-handed penalty shot that was stopped by Rinne.

The second period saw the Blackhawks short-handed three times. Duncan Keith went to the box twice in the period; he hadn’t been called for a penalty since Nov. 21 – a stretch of 29 games.

Nashville was all over the Hawks in the second and Mattias Ekholm scored the game’s first goal. It came at even strength at 14:56, just a few seconds after Rinne made a huge save on a Jonathan Toews opportunity.

The Preds out-shot the Hawks 20-9 in the second period. It didn’t feel that close.

Early in the third period three penalties were called in a span of 102 seconds. Slater Koekkoek went to the box for the third time in three periods to start. Ryan Johansen leveled the playing field with a penalty of his own 31 seconds later. And then Filip Forsberg joined Johansen 1:09 later to give the Blackhawks a brief two-man advantage.

The Blackhawks scored on the power play.

Repeating: the Blackhawks scored on the power play.

Alex DeBrincat tipped a Patrick Kane shot in to tie the game.

The second assist gave Keith 600 career regular season points. Kane’s assist moved him in front of Pat LaFontaine into sole possession of 86th place on the NHL’s all-time list with 1,014 career regular season points.

For as good as Rinne was on one end of the ice, Corey Crawford was equally exceptional for Chicago. Both made huge saves in the third period, perhaps none bigger than a couple from Rinne inside the final 30 seconds against Toews and Drake Cagguila.

Regulation ended with the score tied at one. Crawford had made 39 saves in 60 minutes. Rinne was credited with 36 saves.

In the final minutes of overtime Keith made a terrific defensive play and got the puck up the ice to a streaking DeBrincat. The struggling forward deposited his second of the night and 16th of the season to win the game for Chicago.

Crawford finished the night with 42 saves.

DeBrincat appeared to be determined to shoot himself out of his recent streak. He was credited with a team-leading eight shots on net.

Chicago’s blue line was physical all night. Koekkoek, Olli Maatta and Connor Murphy were credited with five hits each. Koekoek also blocked three shots and spent six minutes in the penalty box.

48 thoughts on “Crawford, DeBrincat Earn Comeback Victory For Blackhawks

  1. Vintage Crawford. Still going strong playing behind a shaky defense. If Crawford is healthy he’s second to none in the league. Dependable and clutch.

    I’m afraid what Bowman might do re the goalies the next few days. Nice victory regardless. Maybe Crawford can lead the Hawks to the playoffs playing the rest of the games like he did in 2011 taking over for Turco?

    We’ll see.

  2. re: “Maybe Crawford can lead the Hawks to the playoffs playing the rest of the games like he did in 2011 taking over for Turco?”

    LOL no. That ship has sailed.

  3. Crawford special, D-Cat determined. Perhaps he’s not totally washed up, as some jumped on to say, after half of a bad season in his early 20s-lol.

  4. Geez i wish Keith would score that 200th goal, deserving of it. Vintage Crow kept them in the game. See what next few days bring or don’t.

  5. I agree lol re my post, just trying to be positive. You never know in life, and sports as well. Maybe it’s meant to be….

  6. Debrincat should be playing with that type of urgency every night.He could have had more as he passed up chances in the 1st 2 periods.Crawford has looked great for a while now.The defense was a little scrambly in the 2nd but given that everybody had a new partner it was not bad.Strome and Nylander provided very little.I would anticipate a new G.M and Coach would not be so patient with their nightly efforts and results.Let us see what is going on with Gus and Lehner now. Hopefully they are both scratched or gone by Sunday.

  7. -After all these years, I still think PekkaRinne sounds like it should be the name of a noodle.
    -Holy goalies that was a show. Fun to watch. Happy for the Cat.
    -Now let’s get more than a bag of pucks for Gus.
    -Just please no more talk of trading the Captain. He ain’t goin’ nowhere. He is the face of the franchise like Stosh was back in the day. He will spend his entire career in the Indian Head. And IMHO, its just fine that way.

    Cheers, all!

  8. What in the F are we doing. Were suppose to lose every game, now we determined the season was over and we cant win a playoff round. The season was over since we went 2-6-2 since 10 day layover.

  9. Maybe we decide who make the playoffs by beating certain teams, like CAG NAS and losing to EDM VAN WIN other.

  10. That’s a preview of what the D will look like without Gus – not bad, not enough puck skill overall but some honest workers

    Also hoping for Gus and Lehner to be traded for good returns

    I’d rather Strome play centre for Kane than Carpenter

    Saad had enough chances on his own to win the game – would have been nice to convert one of them

  11. Just reading elsewhere that the Cody Eakin trade was made on the VGK end to free up cap space to add – maybe Gus?

  12. Wraparound: “Also hoping…Lehner to be traded for good returns” — WHY?

    Maybe the Hawks should sign Lehner – he could be a solid-PLUS #1 with Delia (signed for next year, inexpensive) or whoever after next season as a backup for years to come. Why do you think that would be a problem?

  13. This team needs too much to be giving out a mega contract for a Goalie.Lehner,s play predictably has leveled off.The Western Conference teams are getting a book on him now realizing that he does not handle the puck well and has difficulty with rebound control and keeping his stick on the ice.You do not build a team from the Goalie out.

  14. Once again, Crawford shows off his clutch play! The battles he and Renne have are great to watch. Sorry, but Lehner is not and will never be in that league. Why did the Islanders not sign him?
    Tim is bang on, Lehner is weak handling the puck, bad rebound control and his attitude is not what makes you a champion and a clutch one at that. Crawford is elite when games mean something. Always has been. Players love him!
    The usual suspects have always kept their side of the bargain, performing at their highest level, meaning 19, 88, 20, 2, 50, 7, 20. The only one that has let the team down is Bowman. Plain and simple.
    Colliton had Carpenter once again centering Kane and Saad. We had Cagg on the wing with Kubalik and Toews. How hard is it to draft wingers Mr. Bowman in 10 years? Mr. Kelley? Oh yeah, we traded Panarin, then replaced Sharp and Hossa by Cagg and Nylander? Bouma and Kunitz? Highmore and Sikura? Wow! Thx Stan!
    Dcat can play, no doubt. He is a shooter! Strome is a PP player and that’s it. Can’t keep up! But his hockey IQ would still be a better option than an AHLer like Carpenter at center for Kane. Dach would be better as well.
    8 19 88
    20 77 91
    12 17 92
    36 64 22

    STOP THE NONSENSE COLLITON and put Carpenter where he belongs which is on the 4th line or on waivers.
    I would not trade GUS because he is an elite skilled dman and because you know Stan will botch any trade. This is a player who had 61 points last season. Would have 40 points by now if 12 & 17 would have produced on the PP. Unless we get a real forward prospect!
    But we don’t need Lehner, trade him to Carolina or the Avalanche! Or back to Buffalo or the Islanders!

  15. Lehner wont come back with these coaches and or GM. Trade the players we know we should at deadline. Then get the new coachs/team system and GM at draft. Then Lehner will see the new/a identity and come back as ufa for a fair caphit.

  16. Talked to some dude in VT that was a COL fan. He was excited about this yr, I told him you guys need a goalie. He said the goalies they have have been good, I said hes hurt, you need one for this yr. Said I think its TB yr but the next few yrs COL could be the top team. He thinks Makar is best Defensemen in league.

    Everybody there was a BOS fan, they were turning there heads when I said TOEWS, and then later said KANER.

  17. Hull 65-about Lehner how do you know these things? (see below) Do you guess?

    “and his attitude is not what makes you a champion and a clutch one at that”

  18. If Lehner were to stay he obviously has to agree to and so far he hasn’t

    If he wants a huge payday he’ll have to get it somewhere other than CHI – if he’s happy with market value he probably would have already signed in CHI

    I don’t think you can go past Monday without either signing him or trading him

    Apparently talks have not gone great lately with the Hawks (I don’t know what each side is asking for) – I’m assuming that he won’t be signing in CHI at this point so you have to trade him IMO

  19. Wrap wouldn’t rule out him signing yet. When both sides go silent on negotiations, people are left to speculate what that really means. We all know bad news articles sell more so the sky is falling side of it tends to get more mileaage. Maybe talks were more feeling out process first and more to come yet.

  20. Agreed Ian – maybe – but if he’s not signed by Monday he has to be traded IMO

    I guess we’ll see…

  21. kubalik 3 assists on jan 2nd. 3 total in 20 games prior to that. 3 total in 19 games since that. anyone explain that for me?

  22. If you have a number that you are willing to give Lehner give it to him when he is an UFA. So trade him now. If you get a bag of pucks for him that’s a bag of pucks more that you have if you didn’t trade him. You are really not negotiating with Lehner. You are negotiating against the other teams in the league that would want him. Same goes for Crow but I think there is a hometown discount with him where as Lehner said no. Not saying Lehner is a Darling but close. I do believe Lehner is stronger willed than Darling. 4yrs @ 5 maybe 6mil a year is my top dollar.

    Another thought that came to mind is why wouldn’t a hockey team carry extra bodies or have them nearby in the event a trade is made. Tab mentioned we didn’t have any forwards to play if one was moved. I would bring two or three forwards from Rockford on the Dallas trip and also 2 extra Dmen. Unless rules state otherwise that they can’t travel with the team.

  23. Career sv%:

    Crawford 9.18%
    Lehner 9.18%

    But Hull knows everything. Crawford great, Lehner average.

    Back to reality. It’s going to cost more than $5M per to sign Lehner so Bowman needs to get a good prospect, late 1st rounder, or some other good value for him.

  24. Saader surely leads the league in ‘chances’. He’s been good, but if he could elevate to consistently being VERY good…this is a totally different team

    Nice win. CC still special to me.

  25. Fun night at the UC. Watched the past 3 weeks on delay as I was in Europe and would get up and watch the games at day break with some fast forward benefits and not knowing scores in advance. Drinking coffee and watching Hawks hockey is an unusual experience I can tell you. It was a very entertaining game against Preds and it moved by quickly as it seemed there were less whistle stoppages due to frequent back and forth of both teams keeping pucks in play. As stated by others both keepers were very much dialed in last night. Hawks should have had a better result in the 1st as they dominated, but one could say the same for the Preds in the 2nd. Hawks PK very good and wtf they actually managed a PP goal that was pivotal. Both teams deserved something out of that game and good on Dcat to finally put a few in the net. If that guy were having a 30% better season Hawks would likely be 5-7 points better imo. Despite the fact that playoffs aren’t in the picture, I respect the work ethic this team put in last night. It was a packed house at the UC as well which also says something about the passion of Hawks fans being there to support their team.

    Trading deadline in our face and this team should be sellers. It feels as though Lehner is gone so trade him and get something in return. Key to the future then is a healthy Crow which sadly we just don’t know given how goalies get banged around. His play though overall remains at a high level. If Lehner and Crow were just having average years this team would be knocking on the cellar door. Healthy scratch Gus last night appears to point to him being moved. I am pleased the Hawks didn’t bite on moving Saader out, especially to Boston. That deal looked like complete crap. He IS one of our few quality forwards and he is still well in his prime. Yes RD, Saad like Dcat gets a boat load of chances. Don’t know why he doesn’t elevate shots more as he gets keepers out of position when he makes power moves to net. Who do you replace him with anyway? Hawks imo are still thin with forwards. I hope they keep Kampf and Highmore as 4th liners. They play hard every game. Caggs is a bottom 6 guy, but I like his play. Strome has upside, but overall he has been a disappointment and needs a very intense off season skating program. Dach will just keep getting better. That kid is faster than he looks in that lanky frame and his instincts very good too. Dcat seems unlikely to struggle like he has this season. He keeps getting quality chances which means pucks will eventually go in. His problem to me is his loss of focus sometimes with dumb passes on the wrong part of the ice. Toews and Kane remain very good players. I’d like to see this team get a little bigger and faster up front.

    Defense is another story, but I do think that group is better than last year. I know that isn’t saying much.

    Let’s see what SB does. At present this team is his responsibility and in that sense he has let the organization down. I would prefer hockey people in the front office. McD is a marketing guy pure and simple. N. American scouts should be shown the door although Europe scouting has been very good. JC, meh….he just looks like he is on Xanax. Way to laid back, but hey I’m just a fan.

    This season has played out with some good stretches and bad ones. Guess that means this club is near a 500 item when all is said and done. In the end that isn’t good enough and something needs to change.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  26. Wasnt a blogger,If you don,t like or discredit it,cool.Just sharing information.Nobody is forcing you to contemplate it or give it any thought.

  27. Thought you were using hockey buzz again or the blog post from Blackhawk up. Neither are credible.

  28. Kubilik is a goal scorer, so 30/30 would be normal. He might even be that pure of a goal scorer that hes a 35/25 player, where Saader is a 30/30 player.

  29. Theres no way to know now and I am not routeing for it, 65 44 7 might retire so do the ltir thing. Then trade 7 contract like Hoss contract if need be,

  30. No,I just peruse several sites and columnists and try and share a little information or maybe a rumor or 2 with other Hockey fans,didnt know I was under scrutiny from the Hockey Experts and Purists.You must be sitting next to this sites manager who also thinks he has the only insight that should be considered.

  31. Guys with contracts don’t retire. They get paid and you don’t see them except their once a year physical.

  32. There’s just a lot of misinformation in the world today and there’s a huge difference between speculation to get clicks and legitimate rumors. The rumors are very rarely heard about from this club. Take last night for example. Did anyone name the Islanders as a possible landing spot for any of the Hawks trade candidates?

    I love fan rumors. Craig here has some from time to time. He talks to people and shares some of that with us. Blogger speculation is nothing more than fan fodder. If it’s something legitimate from someone that might know something, I’m all for it.

    Throwing Gallant and Babcock’s name for coach isn’t a stretch. Personally I like Gallant better. I think leaguewide the players have soured on Babcock.

    Regarding Hitchcock, I haven’t seen his name whispered or written about ever as a possible general manager so I’m skeptical on the legitimacy of the rumor.

  33. Mo having to clear 2 or 3m at end of season makes taking advantage of ltir for next couple of years a challenge. With ltir you want to sign replacement salaries and take advantage of no salary cap after regular season ends to build your roster. With performance bonuses they need to be under cap ceiling far enough at seasons end to cover them so as not carrying over and cutting to the cap space the following year. So having ltir could be fools gold like this season with them to account for.

  34. Noonan, my brother is a big Islanders fan and he’s follows them closely. Last year, Lehner had a good seasomn but teammates had problems with his attitude when they lost games. So, what I meant is goalies like Crawford or Fleury never blame their defence or forwards for a defeat. This is why those two goalies for example are the most popular teammates on their respective teams. And players play for them,. Thus, trade Lehner and get something back.
    Also, Stan, remove a player from a lineup if a trade has been made. But noooooooo, not Bowman. He removes Gus last night, does not bring him to Dallas, now everyone in the world knows Hawks want to trade him so what do you think teams will give our genius GM? Nothing much! I mean, every other team has players on the block yet they are in the lineup! Krieder, Barrie in Toronto, Jumbo Joe in San Jose, Duclair in Ottawa, Petry in Montreal, Vatanen, …I mean I like Gus but he is not Doughty so why pull him from the lineup if today he still has not been traded?
    His value is sinking because of the GM’s mismanagement once again! Mr. Stan Fax machine Bowman!
    Let’s get Laviolette in here to coach and a real GM that can give Kane a center and Toews a winger to replace 4th liners like Cagg and Carpenter! Sign Crow on a friendly discount deal!

  35. Don’t believe everything you hear, and don’t confuse frustration over results, wearing your emotions on your sleeve with a toxic attitude.
    I’m with you on the trade him if it makes sense.

  36. Pretty sure everyone knew Gustafsson was being shipped. They didn’t need him out of the lineup to figure out he could be had.

  37. Lol Gus not being shopped was the worst kept secret in the league i think. As far as Lehner goes i wouldn’t mind seeing reupped but other options if his ask is too much.

    Like to see big game changer added on blueline, Keith is still a fine minute munching top 4 guy, but his game changer days are behind him. Murphy knows his role and does a fine job as a top 4 shutdown compliment. Boqvist is still a year or 2 away from starting hit his peak stride, ditto for Mitchell. Dehaan and Maatta were decent additions but 2nd or 3rd pair guys not really top pair types.

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