Blackhawks Survive, Beat Pittsburgh In Shootout

After an exciting win in Derek King’s first game as the head coach, the Chicago Blackhawks welcomed the Pittsburgh Penguins into the United Center.

The Hawks were without Tyler Johnson, Brandon Hagel and MacKenzie Entwistle, who were out injured. Henrik Borgstrom was still sick (non-COVID, however). And Wyatt Kalynuk was activated off LTIR but wasn’t ready for game action yet. So Chicago was short-handed.

Pittsburgh was without… Sidney Crosby. And Evgeni Malkin. And half of their blue line. So the injuries leveled the field a bit, right?

With two banged up rosters coming in, the hope was that the Blackhawks would show the same energy they did against Nashville.

Marc-André Fleury got the start for the second time in as many games against his original team and was hoping to last longer than the 11 minutes and change he survived before getting the hook in Pittsburgh.

In the first period, the Hawks matched the energy they brought over the weekend. Neither side scored but Chicago held a 14-11 shot advantage after 20 minutes. Fleury looked good and the defensive effort was once again improved from the Colliton Era.

Someone had to score a goal at some point, and the good news is that it came from a Blackhawks skater. Two minutes into the second, Jonathan Toews made a magnificent pass to set up Juhjar Khaira for his first goal as a member of the Blackhawks.

Dominik Kubalik picked up the second assist on the Khaira goal.

In the middle of the second period, Calvin de Haan was dropped by a shot on consecutive shifts, the second of which came in the closing seconds of a really good penalty kill and required assistance getting him to the bench. de Haan was able to return, but he’ll feel those two shifts tomorrow.

Almost 16 minutes into the second period, at the end of another lengthy period without a stoppage (a trend this season for the Blackhawks), Patrick Kane set up Seth Jones for his first goal as a member of the Hawks.

Kane and DeBrincat were credited with the helpers on Jones’ first of the year.

At the end of 40 minutes of hockey, the Hawks led 2-0. They were out-shooting the Pens 26-22. And, perhaps most importantly, Dylan Strome had won six of seven faceoffs. Chicago desperately needs someone other than Toews to start winning faceoffs consistently and Strome had 8:19 of decent ice time over the first two periods.

Unfortunately, Fleury’s shutout bid ended at 5:34 into the third when Jeff Carter got behind Jones and redirected a shot into the net. At that point, the Blackhawks were getting out-shot 5-1 in the third period and had spent the overwhelming majority of the time in their defensive zone.

Chicago stayed in neutral offensively, playing with fire for 15 minutes of the third period. After Mike Hardman missed on a breakaway, Pittsburgh came the other direction and Carter scored his second of the night to tie the game with 4:17 left in regulation. At the time of Carter’s second goal, the Penguins were out-shooting the Blackhawks 15-5 in the period.

This became the third, two-goal lead the Blackhawks have squandered this season. They lost to Toronto in overtime and to Carolina in regulation. Could they find a way to come up with a game-winning goal this time?

The final five shots of the third period also came off Pittsburgh sticks but Fleury somehow survived the final four minutes and the game went to overtime. Fleury stopped 40 of 42 in regulation.

Chicago started overtime with the same three skaters as Sunday: Kane, DeBrincat and Jones. DeBrincat got a nice shot off in a 3-on-2 but couldn’t convert. The second group on the ice for the Hawks was Toews, Kirby Dach and Connor Murphy.

In the middle of the overtime period, the Hawks got a takeaway and Jones made a perfect outlet pass to DeBrincat who had a 2-on-none with Kane. The two passed it back and forth a couple times before Kane had a gorgeous look and hit the pipe. And so the game continued.

With a little more than one minute left in overtime, after Fleury made a save, Carter decided to take a couple whacks at Chicago’s goaltender. Which Fleury and Murphy didn’t appreciate. The three exchanged pleasantries around the net and the result was minor penalties on Carter, Fleury and Murphy.

In the closing five seconds of overtime, Jones got the puck ahead to Kane for one final breakaway but Kane shot it wide (again) so we headed to the shootout.

Toews started the shootout with a goal. He’s still got it (at least in the shootout). Fleury stopped Jake Guentzel.

Kane was stopped by Tristan Jarry. Fleury stopped Kris Letang.

DeBrincat shot third and ended the game with a goal.

The Blackhawks have not lost — or trailed — since Jeremy Colliton was fired.

It’s worth saying again: the Blackhawks are undefeated with Derek King as head coach.

Jones had a really good game. He scored his first goal, put five shots on net, blocked three shots and was credited with two hits in a team-leading 31:24 on the ice.

Erik Gustafsson skated 8:06 and did nothing. He should be off the roster — out of the organization — as soon as Kalynuk is ready to return to the lineup. His contract was a wasted roster spot in the first place and now he’s taking ice time away from younger players. He sure as hell shouldn’t waste a spot in Rockford, too.

Toews won 16 of 25 faceoffs and put three shots on net with another assist in 20:58.

Strome only skated 11:16 and failed to put a shot on net but he won seven of nine faceoffs in the game. Dach, on the other hand, put four shots on net and was credited with three takeaways in 25:46 but won only four of 16 at the dot.

DeBrincat led Blackhawks forwards with 27:29 on the ice and led the entire roster with eight shots on net.

35 thoughts on “Blackhawks Survive, Beat Pittsburgh In Shootout

  • November 9, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    I usually rag on deHaan because he’s so injury prone but he took some blasts tonight. Bet he’ll feel good in the morning. Hawks win!!!

  • November 9, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Meh. Shouldn’t have been so difficult to get 2 points from this Pittsburgh team missing so many key players. Once again the Hawks show they can’t hold multi-goal leads, and they got absolutely dominated after the first two periods. I can’t feel all that good about this game.

  • November 9, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    Thought the Blackhawks brought Hammer back for a minute there. A defenseman blocking a slapshot, barely able to limp off the ice, then come back out next shift and do it again. Great game by Dehaan. Beautiful set up by Toews to Khaira, then his line hemmed the Pens in on 2nd goal and allowed Kane to exploit a tired bunch of Pens and feed Jones for a nice snipe. Got away with a pretty bad third except for Fleury, that part didn’t go away, good to see them happy on the bench again.

  • November 9, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    The third line with Strome. gave us nothing although I think once players are back we could roll with Strome between TJ and Borg and that might make some contribution – no doubt Hagel and Kalynuk can’t get back fast enough

    The 4th line wasn’t really any better – there are depth issues with 4 forwards out

    Khaira did better than expected with Toews – if Hagel can go Friday put Khaira on Strome’s line

    Toews with a good game – still has no shot but was passing better and seemed stronger with better stamina- good sign

    Jones was a beast

    Unusual for Kane to miss 3 chances to end it

    Fleury still makes me nervous but he did the job – neither Pens goal was on him

    With the exception of Gus all the Hawks D had very good games so with Kalynuk hopefully back Friday Gus can take a seat

    A winning streak!!

  • November 10, 2021 at 12:41 am

    I also rip DeHaan regularly but tonight he stepped up and had a great game all the way around. I also enjoyed Seth Jones performance tonight except the Carter goal but those things happen.The whole team seems to now be willing to block shots and fallback hard to the center of their own zone when in trouble. That type of play usually keeps you in games. I also have been very down on Toews but tonight he played a solid game all the way around and hopefully can start to be an offensive threat. The 3rd period was bad with the Hawks going into the turtle to try and coast in with a 2 goal lead. Hopefully King addresses that and puts an end to it. The problem with the Hawks roster right now is that they have no power forwards with skill that are dynamic and can create offense out of nothing. Absolutely nothing out of the bottom 6 tonight besides the Hardman breakaway and decent shot on net from the high slot. Strome,Gaudette,Kurashev,Carpenter, were not very noticeable. You would think that a couple of them would step up with a new coach behind the bench.

  • November 10, 2021 at 12:48 am

    I found Pat Foley,s mid game rant on the Hawks upcoming schedule very interesting. He clearly pointed out that the Hawks game against Arizona will not be viewable to Chicago Fans who do not purchase the ESPN Plus service even if you have the NHL Center Ice Package. He pointed out that Eddie would be on TNT doing 1 of the games next week. He further announced that he would not be back on the air until the Hawks November 28th game at home and that he would not be on the western Canada trip with the team but he would be doing games the whole month of December so we would not be done with him yet. Little bite to his minute rant. I dont think he is going to go quietly into that goodnight.

  • November 10, 2021 at 1:25 am

    Was a much more enjoyable viewing experience than the first several games this year. I like seeing the team find a way to beat a team they should (Crosby-less Pens should be beatable) rather than finding a way to lose against a team they shouldn’t.

    Loved that they kept Pitt to 2 goals. Hated that they gave up both goals in the third and could not bag that elusive third goal to close it out in regulation.

    Was not happy that the third period was played completely defensively. But I will take it as progress that they did not give up a goal in the last 0.5 seconds of regulation to lose a game they should have won. Take it as a baby step in the healing process of this roster and move on.

    It was fun watching these guys smile on the podium. Fleury was downright charming in his post game presser and Jones and the rest were just beaming. Two games in a row is the smallest win streak you can have, but it beats the alternative, right?

    Let’s not have a let down against AZ, can’t wait til Friday. Two wins, is two wins. Let’s make it three.

  • November 10, 2021 at 5:46 am

    I have to admit that I only watched the first two periods. Damn time change! I thought that was the best game that deHaan has played this year, and McCabe too. If we can get these two guys playing to their optimal best, then we have a chance defensively every night. Seth Jones is a beast! Now, we just need to get Kirby Dach to beast-mode, there are glimmers. It’s just nice to get a win and not talk about firing the coach or GM, and just talk hockey!

  • November 10, 2021 at 6:14 am

    Two good periods of Blackhawks hockey one not so good. Could be conditioning still early in the season. Maybe distribute the ice time more earlier in the game. Did see Gaudette with a great door step chance. Give him more ice time.

    Could have Pitt saved energy in the first two periods to bring it in the 3rd?

    Believe that both of Kane’s shots were not complete misses but replays show they hit iron and the goalie. Usually both do go in. Tireness?

    Just wondering if anyone heard the game on radio and how did Nick Olyck sound.

  • November 10, 2021 at 6:36 am

    MAF- looked like star in shoot out/composed. does he still have it? or was he that good -cuz he has practiced vs. pens for years?

    MAF- lost the net horribly- few times. Reminded me of the SB signing of the “should have retired- Turco”
    Really bad

    team – is playing much better brand/style of hockey- since the end of SB/JC era

  • November 10, 2021 at 6:55 am

    When Kalynuk and C. Jones healthy, have to think Gus is gone, maybe waive him and being exempt would give somebody incentive to give up a later round pick to have his depth in minors or something. Could waive him and not send him down, then have him as a pressbox body for minor injuries until then too.

    Stillman would likely be pressbox body if C. Jones and Kalynuk slot in. The way King has been leaning on S. Jones and Murphy, likely see S. Jones double shift a few with his brother and Murphy double shift a few shifts with Kalynuk. Kalynuk 2nd pp and C. Jones pk duty, plus some shifts together to give them as much ice time as he feels comfortable with giving them. Hope Kalynuk is able to pick up where he left off last year and play an impact role again with less pressure on him against opposing teams top lines like he faced last season.

  • November 10, 2021 at 6:56 am

    Kubalik Toews Dach
    Let Dach learn from Toews how to win draws and other facets of the game.

    DCat Strome Kane
    Before I get my head ripped off here is my rational. Strome is winng draws. You want your offensive threats with the puck. Dach is losing draws. Are DCat and Kane wasting energy chasing the puck in the beginning of their shifts and then have little left when they finally get the puck?
    Also in OT can we employ the Kampf face off strategy with someone for that same reason. Win the OT draw and get off then Kane jump on. If they lose it stay on then Kane can come on with Toews on the second face off.

    Hagel Gaudette Borgstrom/Johnson
    Offense and some physicality. Not as big as Cutterbuck Cizikas Martin (best energy line) but could be point producing.

    Khaira Borgstrom/Carpenter/Entwistle Hardman/Kurashev
    Many choices there. Have a preference for Entwistle Borgstrom Khaira/Hardman
    Most likely Carpenter going in a trade at TDL but gotta play him to show case. Kurashev probably a sweetener to get something.

  • November 10, 2021 at 7:14 am

    Tim W: I don’t know what I was doing but I missed that Foley rant. Certainly expected crap like that from ESPN, I shuddered when it was announced they won the NHL contract. I checked NHL and they said its also on HULU but of course I don’t have that either. Corporate greed continues. Oh well its a Friday night so at least there’s plenty of other things to do and/or watch. I’m sure their ratings will be a smash!!! I’m sure whenever the Hawks will get back to respectability ESPN will move more games over there so nobody can watch them.

  • November 10, 2021 at 7:26 am

    JR – I’m of the mind to keep these top 2 lines together for a few more games yet especially if Hagel is back sooner than later

    Dach had a better game last night I thought – still can’t win FOs but he’s much better defensively than Strome – I cringe at the thought of Cat Strome Kane being trapped in their own zone

    The problem right now is the bottom 6

    If Hagel is back for Friday slot him back with 8 and 19

    then Khaira Strome Borgstrom
    Hardman Carp Gaudette

    When everyone is back

    TJ Strome Borg
    Carp Entwistle Gaudette/Kurashev

    I wouldn’t be trading away Kurashev yet – lots of unlocked potential there still IMO

  • November 10, 2021 at 8:06 am

    lots of issues

    like Strom over Dach with 12/88 in O zone- hate them in D zone
    Don’t like Dach in O zone w/ 12/88… handles puck too much/ and play making isn’t his thing
    But Dach is better in D w/ 12/88 – more responsible and tries harder over Strome

    Dach – should Center 3rd/4th lines- cuz he would do better “over handling puck versus lower end Opponents

    Toews- I actually liked w/ Khaira… Khaira has decent speed- and bull dozes net- Toews can’t carry play or shoot- but still good passer- so let Khaira do some of the muscle work- and benefit from 19’s IQ/passing/FO wins.

    That leaves line of Hagel/Dach and TJ/Hardman- for a solid 3rd line

    U can always double shift 12/88 on Dach/Hagel 3rd line when situations allow

  • November 10, 2021 at 8:12 am

    Dach- kid is improving…. but his game is NOT there for 1st/2nd line play Kane/Dcat

    Kind of reminds me of Young TT… u could see by Body language that Vets like Hossa/Toews would be frustrated playing with TT ( who I Love)- but was too young and quick to give up possessions in his early years… which left 81/19 with the body language — of– ” I hustled/worked my ass off… for that play kid?”

    Seeing same thing w Kane- watching Dach over handle the puck w/ head down

  • November 10, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Much better D in front of the net- many potentially dangerous pucks from rebounds and odd bounces were defused by tying up sticks/Pens
    Something has to be done about Dach’s FOs or get him on the wing- 25% won’t hack it; it says something that the coach sent Khaira out with Toews for OT FO to swap out with Dach once the FO was won

  • November 10, 2021 at 8:20 am

    I forgot Khaira on my revamped 3rd and 4th

    Khaira Strome Borg
    TJ Enwistle Carpenter

  • November 10, 2021 at 8:41 am

    49 years- agree- clearing front of net and minimizing shooting lanes… seems to be most noticeable Difference in D zone.

    Hard to believe- it is same JC – D system… if it is… seems like the players off of the actual puck carrier are doing much better job of tracking puck/lanes- and are therefore in better position to Help
    versus JC- seemed like every man was chasing/focusing on their individual assignment w/ much less regard for the actual puck.

  • November 10, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Great for the team to get a win but the 3rd period was ugly. Ice times were crazy, 25-27 for Dcat, Kane, Dach and 5-7 for Gaudette, Johnson and Hardman. Not a recipe for longer term success. The bottom 6 group handled the puck like it was a hand grenade. No possession whatsoever. R. Johnson is just not an NHL player – try someone else from the Hogs if we need a body. I like Khaira he can be pretty versatile. I agree that it seems clear Foley is not happy to be “retiring” although he and Eddie seem a bit more focused on hockey this year.

  • November 10, 2021 at 8:59 am

    The Hawks of the 1st/2nd periods resembled a team who could be a team on the cusp of getting into the playoffs. The Hawks of the 3rd period resembled a team who would be competing with AZ for the worst record in the league. The bottom line is that a 2-game winning streak doesn’t mask the fact they are a long way from being a good team. A long way.

    Seth Jones may not be in the same class as Roman Josi or Victor Hedman, but I don’t think any Hawks fans still doubt he is a legit #1 d-man. If he overpaid? Sure, he’s one of many overpaid NHL players.

    Memo to Pat Foley: no one cares which games you will or won’t be calling because Hawks fans tune in to watch the Hawks – not to listen to any particular announcer versus another. Get over yourself and retire already. He’s droned on about upcoming announcers several times like he thinks it makes a difference that we know ahead of time. Mercy!

  • November 10, 2021 at 9:02 am

    A good 2 periods then a disaster. King is coaching the same as way as JC did. Play the stars until they drop and drop they did in the 3rd period.

    3 forwards had less than 8 minutes of ice time
    3 other forwards had less than 12 minutes of ice time.
    Jones played over 31 minutes and Murphy over 28.
    Toews played 20, Kane and Dach over 26 and Cat with over 27.
    I don’t believe playing 6 guys almost half a game is a formula for long term success.

    This is not a good team but a team with some good players.

    Pitt was missing Crosby/Malkin and 3 of it’s top D men and the best we could muster was 2 goals.

  • November 10, 2021 at 9:33 am

    I’m just stopping by to say how damn refreshing it is to watch a coach who knows how to manage *players* and not a system.
    Complete baller move to put 19’s line out there again right after the first goal. Good coaching & in-game management takes flexibility & knowledge; gives players confidence in their boss. Imagine that.
    Stick tap to deHaan who put his body on the line all night long.
    19 continues to be the faceoff and shootout beast we know & love.
    And whomever asked about Nick Olczyk:
    He sounds so much like Edzo that it’s scary–in a good way. Not saccharinely sweet. Honest. Has some great one liners. He’s smart, does his homework and highly recommend finding some recordings of past Fuel games if you want to hear more.

  • November 10, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Dollar – agree it’s a recipe for long term success and probably those workhorses tired down the stretch but the bottom 6 we’re giving you nothing so to try and win one game I’m ok with it but over the long haul

    Hopefully Hagel and Borgstrom are back Friday giving them a little more depth

  • November 10, 2021 at 9:34 am

    *NOT a recipe for long term success *

  • November 10, 2021 at 10:14 am


    It’s hard for the bottom 6 to contribute if they only get 3-4 shifts a period if that. Derek like JC doesn’t know who to play with who. Khaira w/Toews is criminal, ya he scored but still. Carpenter on the first unit PP.

    Everyone thought Strome was in jail, I feel sorry for Gaudette who seems to work hard every shift and then gets benched or press boxed.

    Yep it’s nice to win but the future doesn’t look bright from where I’m sitting.

    They might beat the Yotes and then the Kraken for 4 in a row and all will be over their ski’s thinking
    how great everything is…..fools Gold.

    But I’ve been wrong before

  • November 10, 2021 at 10:54 am

    After Coyotes tomorrow, there is 4 off days. King be able to look at some tweaks in how there playing, he said be no time implement much before that. PP working good, likely not a priority wanting to change much with it right now. Khaira has played pretty good with Toews before and gives a worker/grinder type with him like Hagel was, as time goes on he likely tries some different combos no doubt.

    I like his statement by how plays his personnel, that his best players have to be that and his job is to give them that opportunity. Again when he gets more comfortable with his bottom 6 lines, they will get more trust and ice time.

    Strome with Cat and Kane is more of a situational line in my thinking, after a Pk, try to spark offense or out together when goalie pulled etc. A center like Asimov with Panarin and Kane or even Suter with Kane and Cat last season, probably the Hope with TJ there at season start this year. A solid 2way ayer who rdtrieved the puck, giving strong support play without the puck. Dach fits that role, Strome more of a with the puck player like his wingers. Regardless of who is there, that line scoring more goals than the opponents do, preferably alot more goals and driving the offense is what has to be requirement.

  • November 10, 2021 at 10:57 am

    Comments here would make a good Geico Insurance commercial:

    ‘Complaining, conjecture and criticism, it’s what you do.’

    I enjoyed the game. I enjoyed watching the players enjoy themselves. I enjoyed seeing fans celebrating and high-giving each other. I enjoyed seeing Fleury pull off his mask to reveal a huge smile and celebrate with his teammates. I enjoyed seeing King being happy for his team, and them happy for him. I enjoyed knowing we had a chance to win and still would’ve enjoyed the game if we lost.

  • November 10, 2021 at 11:32 am

    What I like the most about the game is that They found a way to win it.

  • November 10, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    Who cares if we had a bad 3rd period, after what we as fans have been subjected too you would think the LAST thing people would be doing is whining about the 3rd period. The main thing is that if Kid Coach was coaching this team, the team would have totally collapsed and handed the Pens the win. I don’t care who he gives playing time to, his job in the interim is to win some games as long as he doesn’t wear out Kane or S. Jones, after Arizona he’s finally going to have some time to work on things he thinks they need. Is King the guy to lead this team?? Heck if I know but he’s here now and all he’s done is win 2 games in a row, something Kid Coach could only dream of, this is an interim season, be grateful for the little things.

  • November 10, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Lol, i guess as long as everybody keeps on whining about Bowman and Colliton and not let that go, all is okay. I would sooner talk about the present myself.

  • November 10, 2021 at 2:23 pm



  • November 10, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    The difference in systems after watching intently the 1st 2 games of the King regime is that when someone loses their check or is late coming back instead of running around like a chicken with its head cutoff they immediately fall back to the middle of the ice/net front-slot areas and work their way out to find their check. I agree Foley,s rant was meant to highlight that he thinks that he is not doing enough games,and that is a bit self centered, but I found his comment about ESPN right on point. Compared to NBCSN last year they are doing very little hockey on the mothership as they are pushing viewers to buying ESPN PLUS. Even with the DirecTV Center Ice package there is usually a good game each night that is unavailable.

  • November 10, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    When are we going to revamp the roster in the summer when we get the new identity with gm.

    Be better for the long run to not win too much we need the 1st or 2nd pick.

    I would be keeping players like Reichel Kurachev others it’s what we donot have that we need to get.

  • November 11, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Haven’t been on here In a while. Some of the same posters. I had a short list of poster I simply skip over. Funny I accidentally read thier post and as usual better to just skip over ebony raptors posts. Memo to raptor Keep typing nobody cares. I see your name and skip reading, only on accident do I read your posts

    Entertaining game at least. Echoing the obvious big minutes isn’t goimg to work for long.

    Watched a few other games this week. Pat Foley is one of the best in the business and will be surely missed by most.

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