We knew a couple things heading into Thursday night.
Brent Seabrook was going to play in his 1,000th career regular season NHL game.
And Dylan Sikura would make his NHL debut.
After Anton Forsberg injured himself during warmups, Collin Delia jumped into action and made his NHL debut.
And, when Delia got hurt with 14 minutes left in regulation, 36-year-old Scott Foster threw on a red #90 sweater and made his NHL debut.
Thankfully by the time Foster was called into service the Blackhawks had already scored six times and had a four-goal lead. But this sums up the 2017-18 Blackhawks season perfectly: scoring well, honoring a franchise legend, and you’ve got no clue what the hell is going on between the pipes.
After a terrific ceremony celebrating the career of Seabrook, the Hawks went to work on Winnipeg’s backup goaltender, Eric Comrie. At 3:44 into the first, Patrick Kane got things started.
Kane’s goal was unassisted, but he picked up an assist – as did Nick Schmaltz – when Brandon Saad made the score 2-0.
Both teams put 14 shots on net in the first, and the Hawks got a late power play that carried over into the second period.
Chicago didn’t score during their power play, but both teams got busy in the second.
Tomas Jurco scored his fifth and sixth of the season at 4:26 and 11:13 into the period, respectively, to give the Blackhawks a 4-0 lead. Bryan Little ended Delia’s shutout bid at 14:24, but the Hawks weren’t done offensively.
Alex DeBrincat found Erik Gustafsson breaking up the middle and the Hawks were up 5-1.
Sikura picked up his first career NHL point with an assist on the Gustafsson goal.
Kyle Connor, the fantastic rookie in Winnipeg, made a nice play to set up Mark Scheifele for a goal in the final couple minutes of the second and, when the dust settled, Chicago took a 5-2 lead to the dressing room for the second intermission.
The Blackhawks out-shot the Jets 15-9 in the second and Delia was terrific when he needed to be.
Chicago extended the lead back to four when DeBrincat scored his 27th of the season.
On the DeBrincat goal, rookie Victor Ejdsell picked up the first point of his career with an assist; Sikura picked up his second assist in his debut.
With 14 minutes left in the third it got really interesting. After making 25 saves against 27 shots in his NHL debut, Delia suffered a lower-body injury and needed assistance to get off the ice. Out came Foster, who apparently played at Western Michigan.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 30, 2018
Emergency goalie Scott Foster is now in net for the #Blackhawks
He last played a competitive hockey game on Oct 15, 2005 for Western Michigan allowing 3 goals in relief vs Robert Morris U
Attendance was 2,520
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 30, 2018
Foster made a few nice saves and received standing ovations for each one. He made a really nice stop of a Paul Stastny shot while Winnipeg was finishing a power play late in the third and the crowd began chanting his name. A far cry from the men’s league at Johnny’s for sure.
When Foster sucked up a shot with 1:43 left in regulation, the entire Blackhawks bench was on its feet tapping sticks on the ice.
In the final minute, coach Joel Quenneville send Sikura, Ejdsell and Sikura into the game. The clock went to zero and, though Delia gets credit for the win, the Blackhawks mobbed Foster in the net. Foster stopped all seven shots he faced.
Sikura skated 13:52 and put four shots on net, picking up two assists. Saad led Chicago with eight shots on net.
Foster was named the #1 star of the game.