Wearing their black alternate jerseys from the Winter Classic, the Blackhawks took on the red-hot Islanders on Tuesday night at the United Center.
And all they needed to keep things interesting was an advantage (or two).
New York physically dominated the first period. Valtteri Filppula gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 2:19 and New York controlled most of the rest of the period. The visitors held a 13-9 shot advantage after 20 minutes.
But early in the second, the Blackhawks got a two-man advantage. Cal Clutterbuck slashed Artem Anisimov and then Matt Martin tried to get a piece of John Hayden and was called for roughing.
As they have done so frequently of late, the Hawks took advantage. With Jonathan Toews skating off to replace a broken stick, Dylan Strome got the Hawks on the board.
The game stayed tied for only 1:28 until Matthew Barzal got a breakaway and beat Cam Ward.
But the next time the Hawks got a power play they took advantage again. This time, it was Toews.
Toews’ 22nd goal of the season tied the game at two with 22 seconds left in the second period.
Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat were credited with assists on Strome’s power play goal. DeBrincat and Strome picked up their second points of the night with assists on Toews’ goal.
The Hawks out-shot the Islanders 18-7 in the second period.
With 11 minutes left in the third period, Erik Gustafsson took a goal away from Barzal. Ward failed to control a rebound and Barzal was on the doorstep, but Gustafsson laid out to block the net and Ward was able to cover and stop play in time.
Kane went to the box with 6:46 left in regulation, giving the Islanders their second power play of the night. Thanks to a couple big saves from Ward and a shot block by Brent Seabrook the Hawks escaped.
Regulation wasn’t enough, so we were once again treated to overtime.
There were some great looks in overtime for both sides, but the game couldn’t be decided. So we went to the skills competition.
Chicago finished 65 minutes of hockey with a 40-36 shot advantage.
Toews was up first in the shootout and easily beat Robin Lehner. Ward was able to stop Josh Bailey.
Kane then put Lehner to sleep with his handling and whipped a shot past him. Ward slammed the door on Barzal and the Hawks earned a win heading into the All-Star Break.
Chicago’s defense was active. The Blackhawks blue line generated 16 shots on net, led by four from Connor Murphy. They also blocked 14 shots and were credited with nine hits.
Chris Kunitz was minus-two in 8:38 – the only Hawks skater to be on the ice for both of the Islanders’ goals.
DeBrincat led the Hawks with six shots on net in addition to his two assists. Toews won 13 of 25 faceoffs with his goal and Kane led all Chicago skaters in ice time (25:29).