Blackhawks Come Back Late, Lehner Beats Jackets In Shootout

Another game without Brent Seabrook, Calvin de Haan, Brandon Saad or Andrew Shaw. On Sunday night the Blackhawks replaced Olli Maatta with Adam Boqvist on the blue line as well; Maatta was a healthy scratch, with Jeremy Colliton again looking for more from one of the veterans Stan Bowman brought in to fix the Hawks’ glaring issues over the summer.

But hey, at least Slater Koekkoek was getting run in another game… right?

Chicago was coming off an inspired blasting of the New York Islanders. And, when these two teams met in October, the Hawks won 3-2 in overtime. Would they ride momentum into Columbus?

The Jackets entered the game with 41 points (17-14-7), ahead of only the Devils in the Metropolitan Division.

In the opening 20 minutes of play the Blackhawks put four shots on net. The Blue Jackets scored twice on nine shots against Robin Lehner.

Because why would anything make sense for the Hawks this year?

Riley Nash scored at 6:54 and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored at 18:40 in the first. Erik Gustafsson had a particularly brutal turnover that led to a goal, and the Hawks looked as flat as their shot total would indicate.

Chicago doubled their first period shot total in the second, but allowed 13 against Robin Lehner. Neither team scored, and Chicago was still chasing two after 40 minutes of hockey. Alex Nylander took only two shifts in the second period.

Sunday night was just ninth time this season Blue Jackets held a lead through two periods. On the other hand, Chicago was 1-15-0 when trailing after two periods.

The start of the third didn’t show much jump from the Hawks but Dylan Strome got Chicago on the board at 7:33 into the final frame.

Strome had been one of few Blackhawks who looked good during the game to that point and his work was rewarded with his eighth of the season. Connor Murphy and Alex DeBrincat picked up the assists.

Alexander Wennberg took a penalty at 13:51. The Hawks did nothing with the advantage. The Blackhawks had two shots on net – combined – to show for their first three power plays of the night.

Chicago got another chance with the “advantage” quickly after the Wennberg penalty ended. Seth Jones took at penalty at 16:16. The Hawks actually did something this time! Gustafsson tied the game at at 17:58.

Duncan Keith and Dominik Kubalik picked up the assists on the Gustafsson goal.

After showing almost nothing offensively for 45 minutes the Blackhawks rallied to force overtime with two goals in the third period.

Columbus out-shot the Hawks 30-23 in regulation. Robin Lehner didn’t have an awesome first period but held the fort and his skaters turned it on when they needed it late.

Nick Foligno took a penalty 65 seconds into overtime but Chicago wasted the power play.

However, by the end of the OT advantage Chicago had already put seven shots on net in the bonus period.

With 18 seconds left in overtime the Blackhawks got caught with too many men on the ice.

Zach Werenski scored for Columbus as time expired. THe officials ruled the clock had expired before the goal went in, so the dreaded Lehner-shootout scenario began.

Jonathan Toews beat Joonas Korpisalo to open the shootout for the Hawks and appeared literally break the Columbus netminder. Korpisalo was replaced with Elvis Merzlikins, who was beated by Patrick Kane in the second round of the shootout.

The two goals were enough and Lehner picked up a desperately needed shootout victory for the Hawks’ top goaltender.

Toews skated 24:05 and won 16 of 28 faceoffs. Kane skated 24:14. Both had three shots on net.

DeBrincat led the Hawks with four shots on net in 24:08. Strome skated 21:14 and won five of 12 at the dot.

Boqvist returned to the lineup and skated 20:19 with two blocked shots. Keith also blocked two shots in 28:23.

Nylander didn’t take a shift after the middle of the second period. He finished with 7:19 of ice time.

47 thoughts on “Blackhawks Come Back Late, Lehner Beats Jackets In Shootout

  • December 29, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Across the board the announcers, Tab, etc can all plainly see Nylander is a dog.

    Queneville still at on the top line, nice.

    Gustafson’s offensive skill set is elite. We all see he sucks defensively. When you have Nylander and Queneville playing, why not play Gustafson at forward? The guy can’t backskate, but he shoots well, passes well, great screen in front of net. It solves a major problem and gets him away from playing D.

    We ll take the victory.

  • December 29, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    It’s an interesting idea Iceman but my hope re Gus is simply that gets red hot and pumps up his trade value. Of course, that assumes that Stan would be smart enough to deal him this time and that is far from certain.

  • December 29, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Byfuglien was a force for the 2010 Cup run at forward. They don’t win the Cup without his stellar play up front. He’s never been a great D man since, his offense always remained high end. When he hasn’t been hurt.

    Gustafson is durable, he would make a fine top nine forward. From an offensive standpoint, he sees the ice well and has natural offensive skills and instincts. How many times has he fallen backskating on D? Multiple. Enough is enough.

    It’s worth a shot. He can still run the power play point as well.

  • December 29, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Didn’t see the game. Taking advantage of 58 degree weather in illinois, out golfing. Heard about Giveaway Gus. You are right Jordy he needs to get red hot so we can at least get a 3rd rounder. Probably end up with Mr. Irrelevant if not. Making him a winger not a bad idea. I’ll watch the game at 6am tomorrow.

  • December 29, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Agree with Ice….make Gus a forward

  • December 29, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    Iceman not saying it wouldn’t work, but if plan is to move him by tdl, likely selling him as D is what happens at this point, Buff plays a physical game, Gus a finesse game might be big adjustment for him, after being used to seeing play develop in front to this point in his career. If planning on keeping him wouldn’t be against trying it anymore, seeing him stumble around back there so much lately.

    Torts pissed over refs and league refusing to look at clock when too many men called at end of ot. Saying they lost their goalie injured in shotout because a second should of been added there and goal at end of ot would’ve been good.

    One of those games Columbus let Blackhawks hang around and they found a way to tie it up in 3rd and good on Lehner in shootout. See where they go with Nylander on west trip.

  • December 29, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Hawks played like it was a 4 PM game on a NFL Sunday.Sleepwalking through the first 45 minutes before playing with urgency.You can get away with that against bad teams so hey take the win.We can all hope for an announcement tomorrow sending 92 and maybe 47 down and bringing up Wedin,Hagel,and or Fortin.Still maintain that I have not seen this supposed elite skating speed from 27.Nice to see the Coach finally opening up the doghouse on the bench.

  • December 29, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    Latest rumor has Edmonton hot on the trail of Saad.Offering 2 defensive prospects,not their top 2.

  • December 29, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Torts is right on everything he ranted aboot. They got screwed big time.

  • December 29, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    I agree with the idea of trying Gus on the wing. He has an offensive touch. The Tortorella meltdown after the game is hilarious.

  • December 29, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Very telling comment by Pat Foley in the first period when the puck was shot in : “Nylander with no interest in that battle “, Columbus clears.

    Having said that, Buffalo is in a tailspin and my friends back in my hometown are livid that their GM cannot trade for more scoring to help Eichel. Jokiharju has been decent but this NOT Hasek for Beauregard.

    Pittsburgh would love to have Maatta back. Toronto could use him. Florida certainly could. As could Boston and Montreal. Yikes. Lots of teams in the East in need of a bottom 6 defenseman with experience. Could Stan possibly both this .?

  • December 29, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Missed the game driving to FLA for some RNR but sounds like mostly a typical unengaged effort after a good game but somehow they comeback

    Good for Lehner winning a shoot out – that could be the best thing to come out of the game if it increases his confidence in future shootouts

    Will be interesting to see how 92 responds – I don’t think they send him down yet but maybe they will if JC doesn’t get the response he wants

    Nice to see Strome have a second strong game in a row and to see Boqvist with the tippable point shot – a more difficult skill than one might imagine

  • December 29, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Ahhhh, BUFF was 260lbs and a force for the Hawks up front for Toews and Kane. And a force on D for the last decade! We need a power forward and a 3rd line centre! Gus at forward? We have enough soft players up front. Leave him where he is, he gives them offence from the back end. I can take watching 22 get all that ice time! Seri0usly! SOOOOOO SLOW! If we need a patch job then get Sam Gagner for Sikura and reunite Gagner with Kane while Dach gets ready to be a centre next year!
    So Kane is one of the hottest players in the NHL for almost a month and his reward tonight was to play with 92, 22, 36 & 47? Sorry, but this head coach needs to go!
    Tonight, Columbus was playing without 5 regulars (and let’s not forget no more Duchenes, no more Panarin, no more Dzingel (Bowman was not interested in him either), and they got outplayed for 2 periods. Gilbert and Kookoo were awful all night. Gilbert has no idea where to go! How pathethic is Rockford? Meanwhile how does a team like Vegas bring up forwards every year , the latest Stephenson who is big and skates like the wind! Columbus has Anderson, San Jose has Evander Kane and Hertl, we have ????? Saad and that’s it!

  • December 29, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    What makes Gus a point producing defenseman is the latitude he’s given to roam. It becomes an odd man situation. The idea was talked about last year in a Scott powers piece

    “Carl Dahlstrom pointed out that Gustafsson wouldn’t get nearly the same amount of space to bring the puck up ice that he gets as a defenseman.”

    “Oh, man, I’d love to play up there,” he said. “It’s fun to play up there.”

    One problem, though.

    “I can’t play,” he added with a laugh. “Not at this level. No way.”

  • December 29, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Jackets shoot as time expires… And Keith doesn’t EVEN TRY TO BLOCK shot…
    HOF all day…
    He will never play a team game.
    Great win For Hawks!
    Hopefully we can build on this one!
    Go Hawks!

  • December 29, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    Tim the 2 guys i’d be interested in from Oilers is Bouchard although one of top 2 defensive prpspects, but him and Boqvist paired together in juniors might be chemistry as pros and Pulijarvi a big, fast physical winger, no memory lane moves, future help.

  • December 29, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    What Keith has done his entire career entitles him to block a shot or not! If this was game 1 of the playoffs, maybe he does it but if he gets hurt, HAWKS LOSE a HALL OF FAMER! He can play until he’s 40! Problem Hawks roster thanks to this GM may force him to retire sooner rather than later!
    88, 19, 2, 7, 50 deserve one more kick at the can but not before Bowman and his staff get kicked out of Chicago. Same for Rockford’s Marc Bernard and the gang!
    All the top teams who have had a 1 or max 2 year to rebuild like Boston, Anaheim, Pens, even LA, after missing a playoff year have kept the star players together, and had a quick turnaround through the draft and solid trades. Meanwhile Bowman has nothing in the pipeline and there is no excuse. Jack Wise? Evan Barrett? Graham K? Iacopelli? Anthony Louis? Peeters? Nalimov? All those Russian picks? Trades Jimmy Hayes and of course loses Kevin Hayes way back when! Where is the next power forward in their system???
    Let’s see Kane back with Toews please!
    And if Dach was drafted as a center, than let him be the 3rd line center until the end of the year. Trade Carpenter and his bogus salary. Kampf is the number 4 center for now. Atleast he can skate with some speed. Nylander? Well, we all no the answer to that lazy thought!

  • December 30, 2019 at 12:09 am

    I’m sorry, how many coaches has LA had since they won a cup? Where are they in the standing? Ditto for Anaheim.

    Kings won in 2014. Since then theyve had Sutter, Stevens, Desjardins and McLellan. They’ve won exactly 1 playoff game since winning the cup. They’re last in the west. I wouldn’t call their rebuild complete.

    Ryan Carpenter’s salary is 300k above league minimum.

    You realize Jimmy Hayes is unemployed, and he’s unemployed for a reason. Hes hot garbage.

    Im willing to adjust my previous trade scenario with Boston. Saad for Backes plus Studnicka and Vaakanainen.

  • December 30, 2019 at 12:30 am

    Am I missing something? Hawks have won four of their last five games, without some of their regular starters, and people are complaining! Seems to me that the organization has some depth. 8 out of a possible 10 points is very good under the circumstances. Sure, they are still low in the standings but at least they’re starting to win. Glass half full.

  • December 30, 2019 at 1:34 am

    After 2 shit games VEG ARI, we played good in 4 of 5 games. With these 2 games, thats good 6 of 9. That is better then 5 of 10. What going on we usually only ‘play’ in half the games.

    6 good in 9 games. On the verge, just when people were thinking we were close to 6th pick.

  • December 30, 2019 at 3:41 am

    Ian,Saad is going to be a valuable chip in the game.His injury will force any movement of him to the deadline when you may get your wish.The Islanders want him badly also.Maata and Gus are coming up repeatedly already.Just hope they can get into that draft lottery.

  • December 30, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Keith does some good stuff on the ice… Sad he never skates hard on the rush and Always Passes the puck.. WON’T play as coach may want him to in our D zone… Afraid of Contact for last 3-5 years… out of position, roaming all over the place….wonder why he Can’t keep puck in Off. zone? SLOWS the game down…Icer of puck & turn over machine..He used to be Very Good! Too bad we traded away some Good Young defensive players in recent years. Lets go HAWKS!

  • December 30, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Tim all sorts of options if going to sell hard at tdl, could get those guys from Oilers deal for Saad, retain salary and maybe another body. Craig mentioned Pens like Maatta back, need to move cap do a one up for Galchenyuk. Gus and Lehner for picks. Then either resign Lehner in summer or maybe a Kreider if not. Who knows what could happen. Young blood on blueline, with Bouchard, Boqvist, Mitchell and Gilbert a solid 6th 7th guy. Have Keith, Murphy with question marks in Seabrook and Dehaan.

    Revamp forwards with Galchenyuk, Pulijarvi maybe fa for Saad, gotta address goalie situation, who is no.1 of future. Add some picks for draft. Could be interesting.

  • December 30, 2019 at 10:04 am

    I think within the context of what we have seen so far this season with the present rendition of the Chicago Blackhawks is to expect the unexpected, and to not get to up or down about what this team is capable of doing. We have seen some really inspiring play at times give way to bizarre levels of ineptness and just piss poor hockey. What has been an unfortunate constant are the poor starts. Yes, some games the Hawks come out and grab an early lead, but seldom have we seen this team come out and just take to the opposition, especially at UC home games.

    Goaltending and PK are improved from last year. PP has dare I say struggled, and often has actually helped boost the morale of opposing teams. Team offensive output in general is under performing with a few exceptions. Defensively there is much room for improvement given the high quality chances this team gives up game in and game out. Speaking of quality chances the Hawks are missing the net waaaay to much with pucks coming out of the O zone as a result. Thank you yet again to our stellar goaltending duo that have been pretty much amazing just about every game.

    I like what I am seeing from new guys Dach, Kubalik, Gilbert. Adds of Carpenter and Smith have not hurt, but apart from the usual suspects such as Kane Toews, Saad, and perhaps D cat, this Hawks lineup still has some serious holes to fill as Caggs and Shaw are 3rd-4th line guys. I don’t know where goal scorers are going to come from this season, but certainly Dcat and Strome could easily heat up. Seabs is probably done. de Haan a bright spot is out. Keith can still play at a high level when motivated, Gus forgets how to play defense too often, Boqvist is an ongoing project, Gilbert a keeper(!), and did he pop a shoulder last night?, Murphy very serviceable, Motta the same way.

    So we are going to likely keep getting some fun hockey to watch along side of games that are very painful to be a part of. I don’t expect this team to make playoffs, but I hope they at least show up and play hard most games. When they do that good things have happened, and it just gets down to how much do they give a damn. Nice to see them beat Isles and Jackets. Hawks win in Denver was very impressive, but illustrates how this team can play when they want to.

    Don’t you love to watch Torts vent his spleen??

    I haven’t looked at the stats, but Hawks seem to struggle in Calgary.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  • December 30, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Rusty good return in Boston deal you mention, just see too many reasons the Bruins wouldn’t do it for it to happen.

  • December 30, 2019 at 10:10 am

    You aren’t going to win many games with this few shots on net during regulation. That said, the recent come from behind wins are encouraging and they are learning how to do that. For the most part, the PP remains beyond abysmal. Yeah, they scored one but their recent percentage is very poor. Not only the fact that they don’t score is poor, but looking so hapless is disheartening.

    Tortorella is a baby. Without the interference on Dach, there would not have been a too many men penalty. There was obvious obstruction as Dach was going to the bench.

    This team LOVES Lehner. The stick tapping after the first save in the SO and that mob scene at the end of the shoot-out was not just a team happy to get an extra point. It went far beyond that. It was personal. You have to think that with a chemistry like this, he might be interested in staying.

    This makes 3 times that Nylander has been benched for lack of effort.

    Gus has to have at least one egregious play per game. He is so much fun to have around to cause frustration and jubilation. I agree with those who think he won’t bring that much at the trade deadline. Maybe the Hawks will extend him for $4 mil. It would be highly amusing to read the blogs if they did that. There would be meltdowns that make Tortorella’s look mild.

  • December 30, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Gus’s value is not in playing a regular shift. It’s on the PP and playing a few additional sheltered minutes. For a team looking to make a run and which already has 5 reliable defenders but that needs help on the PP Gus could add a lot of value even as a rental (keep in mind that in 2010 and 2015 our sixth defenders were Nick Boynton and Kimo) so you can get shorten the bench and still win).

    I’m not saying he necessarily will, but there is a scenario where we might be able to get a decent return for him.

  • December 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Ian those are some creative ideas there.

  • December 30, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    I see 56 like Leddy was. A decent 3rd pair OFF Defensemen that has speed and can score. Leddy sat the bench every 3rd period, well most of the 3rd every? playoff game when Q was here.

  • December 30, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    So a Cup team should want a Gusto, like Leddy, kind of player for depth and ODD speed scoring.

  • December 30, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Maatta for Ceci and Bracco?

  • December 30, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    The key to the strome for schmaltz trade is which player makes others better. Considering that strome has had the benefit of playing with dcat and kane it would be good for hawks to see what he can do with others. Or at least keep him with dcat and dach and see how he does. But as of now i dont see how hawks pay him more that a little over 4 million per year.

  • December 30, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Doesnt Strome go to corners, in front of net, play center with size. Things Schmaltz doesnt do. Not sure you can go by pt per pt basis.

  • December 30, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Both teams would make the Strome Schmaltz trade again.

  • December 30, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Dylan Strome is a prime candidate for a Bridge type of Contract.He is a smart hockey player who follows the game closely.His shortcomings as a 2nd line Center are not only obvious to us but to him also.He has to improve his skating,yes it can be done,powerskating school in the summer has to happen for him.If it has been good enough for Gretzky,Messier,Coffey,Anderson,McDavid,McKinnon etc it will work for him.He has to work much harder on defensive zone faceoffs.Must be harder on the puck and take pride in d zone coverage.Be a center that can make everyone on his line better and not just his buddy.As he is today,he does not warrant the 5 Million Dollar Contract.

  • December 30, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    3m 2 yrs.

  • December 30, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    Kreider any day but Pulijarvi Galchenyuk? Both too soft and head cases! We need guys like Evander Kane, Kreider, Marchand! Players with speed, skill, and grit!
    Look, Hawks got outplayed the last two games and won! Good for the vets and the fans. But, they have nothing to compete against the top teams and dominate them! No roster! Still a one man team 88 with Kane and goalies making 40 saves a night! I will take Nick Schmaltz any day over Strome! And by the way, when Strome does not play with DCat, he is non existent in points. We have seen that the last 2 seasons.

  • December 31, 2019 at 12:43 am

    Both teams would probably make the Strome/Schmaltz trade again, which is why Bowman needs to go.

    Strome going to skating school? He worked on his skating over the summer and it doesn’t appear to have done much. Looks like he will need to compensate with his good passing and play around the net. Poor defensively.

  • December 31, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Former Hawk draft pick Justin Holl extended for 3 years by Leafs at $2 million per.
    Late bloomer who fills a nice whole (no pun intended). Has gone from gangly and uninspiring to solid shutdown defender. Good for him.

  • December 31, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Tim interesting you use Gretzky’s skating, watch his old clips he never won too many foot races, in todays league that would be alot more noticeable. Also he was not a strong faceoff guy either, always Messier or MacTavish took bulk of draws but in typical Gretzky like fashion he used his hand eye to swat a dropped puck out of the air and score off a faceoff, most likely be whistled down today or linesman double clutch on dropping it.

    Jordy really good on Holl, great to see.

    Hull Pulijarvi not soft at all, plays a physical game. He got caught up in Chirelli crap in Edmonton and wants out, think he’d be a real asset for someone to get on their roster.

  • December 31, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Looks like Stan Bowman and a scout from the Hawks have been seen at the last 4 Boston Bruin games.Saad for 2 of their defense prospects is the interest.

  • December 31, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    He has been looking at Buffalo again also.Grab Bogosians expiring contract and a couple of picks.The Sabres are not making the playoffs even with Saad.

  • December 31, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    92 is having a seat in the press box tonight in Calgary.Sikura and Maata into the lineup with Lehner in the net.

  • December 31, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Which means we should get bigger return from BOS is they, need, Saad more then BUF does.

    Like the Lehner to CAR for some high picks. 56 can go anywhere on his own or add to a trade to make it better/at least to get what we really want in trade. Do not settle just to do it, make sure yuo do it though. Thats were you add a 56 to eh trade to make sure it happens, for our good.

    Lehner can resign in summer. Same with Crow. Not sure of Saad would come back though.

  • December 31, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    If Bowman scouting last 4 games, sounds like talking right now, Bruins need help on blueline now, Saad would be a later on type deal after he is healthy again.

  • December 31, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    The Bostonian’s speculated the Lauzon emergency recall was part of trade speculation.


    In that order.

    Personally I’d rather have Studnicka than Zboril. I think the Hawks have as pressing a need at forward as they do at the blue line.

  • December 31, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Boston, of course, doesn’t like to trade picks or prospects.

    Also, the Blackhawks have too many blue line prospects already. So… unless Chad Krys can play wing….

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