Blackhawks Tap Oilers For OT Win

We expected some emotions on Thursday night at the United Center. And, respectfully, they had nothing to do with the Blackhawks naming a new general manager a couple days ago.

Niklas Hjalmarsson was in the house to celebrate his terrific career. And Duncan Keith was back at the UC — for the first time — as a visitor.

Before the game began, Hjalmarsson offered the ceremonial puck drop. Instead of a center or their captain joining Jonathan Toews at center ice, Keith came out. And he didn’t let Toews win the draw easily.

The Blackhawks got off to the quick start they needed. Sam Lafferty got Chicago on the board at 2:34 into the first period. Sloppy play with the puck bit the Oilers in the backside and Lafferty did what smart players do — he went to the front of the net, found a loose puck, and made the deposit.

About seven minutes after Lafferty’s goal, there was a break in the action. And most fans who watched Keith’s incredible career in Chicago grabbed a tissue as the tribute video rolled.

There was a terrific standing ovation from the crowd. The Blackhawks and Oilers benches tapped their sticks on the boards or ice. The respect was real — and well deserved.

But then the hockey game had to continue. And the speed and skill of the Oilers showed up. Leon Draisaitl scored a power play goal for the Oilers at 14:35 to tie the game. Of course, the easiest advice in the National Hockey League is “don’t take penalties against the Oilers,” but that’s easier said than done.

Chicago came back and scored the next one, however. Caleb Jones did a great job keeping the puck in the zone and Dylan Strome made a neat play catching the puck and dropping it to his stick, where he quickly moved it to a wide open Kane for the snipe.

You know what kills mediocre teams? Play a really good period, do everything right, and then one bad moment costs you dearly. The Blackhawks had a chance to take some momentum and a lead to the room, but they gave up a goal to Evander Kane with 34 seconds left in the period to tie the game.

The Hawks were out-shot 11-8 in the first period but there was a lot to like on the ice. The returns of Toews, Calvin de Haan, Riley Stillman and Tyler Johnson were making a difference. But you cannot take two too many men penalties in one period against this team (even if the Hawks escaped one of the penalties). And, if you have a lead, you need to skate the entire 20 minutes — not 19.

Chicago came out of the room and had a marvelous second period. They out-shot Edmonton 12-5 even though they were short-handed twice in the period with de Haan and Connor Murphy in the box.

But neither team scored in the second. So we headed to the third period with a tie game.

Dominik Kubalik had a few chances with good looks at the net in the first two periods but it just looked like his confidence wasn’t there. That wasn’t the case less than three minutes into the third period when he received a gift of a turnover and gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

The goal is officially unassisted, but Mikko Koskinen could have picked up the helper for the awful turnover.

With about 80 seconds left in regulation and an offensive zone draw coming, Edmonton pulled their goaltender. Kirby Dach lost the defensive zone faceoffs (surprise!) but the Oilers weren’t able to get a good, clean shot on net. The stoppage came about 10 seconds later and Chicago was able to get different skaters on the ice for the final 69 seconds of regulation after the Oilers used their timeout.

Chicago won this faceoff, but Seth Jones whiffed on a clearing attempt. Of course the Oilers kept the puck in the zone and Evander Kane threw a puck toward the middle of the ice that bounced off at least one body in front of Marc-André Fleury and into the net to tie the game with 49 seconds left in regulation.

Just as was the case late in the first period, another final-minute goal stole what could have been a solid period. This time, it took a win off the board and took us to overtime. The Oilers out-shot the Blackhawks 16-10 in the third period.

Draisaitl took the skates out from under Caleb Jones 59 seconds into overtime, giving the Blackhawks a huge opportunity to pick up a second point on the night and a desperately needed home win.

Chicago started the 4-on-3 with Dylan Strome taking the faceoffs with Kane, Alex DeBrincat and Seth Jones on the ice. Kane wanted it; he was firing at will. And after about his fifth attempt was blocked, it came right back to Kane who whipped a pass across the ice to DeBrincat who ripped home the game-winner.

In their returned from injuries:

  • Jonathan Toews skated 16:21, won nine of 16 faceoffs and was credited with one shot on net and one takeaway.
  • Tyler Johnson skated 11:10 with one shot on net.
  • Calvin de Haan skated 22:35 (second among defensemen) with two shots on net, three hits and two blocked shots.
  • Riley Stillman skated 13:38 with five hits and one blocked shot.

Here’s the ceremony celebrating Hjalmarsson before the game began:

24 thoughts on “Blackhawks Tap Oilers For OT Win

  • March 3, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    Yessss DCat ..again ..30 goals and counting.
    Was a special night for Hammer , Keith , who deserve those applause.
    Nice Win for the Hawks and for Fleury.

    Will my message disappeared?

  • March 3, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    We all watched in Canada as it was shown Coast to Coast on T.V. ! Hawks looked good at the U.C. , Now comes the rebuild , trade deadline and the Wirtz Show and a lot of comments from people Associated with the team that think they know everything about Hockey ! I’ll come again after Covid is subdued and enjoy that atmosphere at the arena watching who’s great and who’s just average as they work their way back into the playoffs , POPS 4

  • March 3, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Lots to like tonight except the too many men penalties – 2 in one period is rare

    Lafferty his best game as a Hawk – seemed like we had a good 4 th line for once

    All 4 players back were noticeable – the team feels different with Toews back – lots of calm smart plays – they’ve been missing that – TJ too

    Dach and his line did a nice job on McDavid and and I like the way Kirby is playing right now – he looks more dangerous he’s shooting more and playing good defense

    I think one maybe both of 8 or 17 get traded – don’t give either away but I think Kubalik might bring back a good return – he’s getting showcased obviously

    Reichel can take his roster spot next year

    McCabe and Murphy both good games as did all the D but noticed that those two limited their mistakes

    I hoping one gets traded but maybe not until summer but maybe TDL

    MAF keeps upping his value – EDM should be all in even though they aren’t good enough to win it all they have to make an effort for 97 and 29

    So MAF and Kub to EDM for a first and a forward prospect – who’s in?

  • March 4, 2022 at 12:30 am

    My wife had the best one liner at my house: During the Edzo-KD interview between periods the wife says “Wow, that Ed Olcyzk sure is tall”, he’s 6′ 1″. LOL!!! Let’s hope the new guy is done now with interviews and such and gets back to work.

  • March 4, 2022 at 5:57 am

    Without Kane the Cat might get 15 goals. Be careful what you wish for. Thought Dach played his best overall game this year, actually saw him with the tablet talking to Toews

  • March 4, 2022 at 6:07 am

    Great game to attend. Was watching 9 rows behind MAF. Yes the Hawks skated and played well, with a purpose. Finishing their checks. Kirby had a nice hit. Were snake bit on some shots. Kubalik a few times before the gift.
    The four that returned played well and made it a different feel. TJ was the least noticeable but expected that after neck surgery. Leadership showed when JT was on the ice. Had some nice words to EKane during a draw and didn’t back off. Agree with the calmness comment.

    Wrap MAF & Kub retaining half on each for #1 in 23 Koskinen, McLeod and either Lavoie or Holloway.

    McLeod was fast and big.

  • March 4, 2022 at 6:43 am

    Well deserved ovations for Hammer and Keith, thx for posting them here so we all get a chance to see it. Pretty good overall effort, be easier to watch from here on out if all games were that competitive but not likely to happen for different reasons. Agreeinus Kane there is a probably a big drop in Cats production.

    Wrap sounding like Fleury may not want to move, think if he does it’s Avs he goes to. Legit chance for a cup run this year and next if he wants to sign/play another year like was reported. MAF, half salary retained for Francouz and Ranto( Avs no 1st pick). Oilers want goal scoring wingers though, so Kubalik salary retained with Francouz for Oilers 1st and a prospect, plus pick next year. Oilers get help for next year from those 2 as well if they want to extend them.

    Hearing lots of positive comments on KD, hope he gets his team in place quick and ownership is a 100% behind getting a winning team on the ice and off ice personnel are the right crew to get it done. No doubt some good potential talent will be available to them in next couple of years, lets hope KD and crew are up to it and the bottom line from above supports it.

  • March 4, 2022 at 7:46 am

    Oilers with players like McDavid,Draysaitl, Kane can’t win against the Hawks, wow
    Imagine iff some fans here where Oilers fans they would probably ask to trade Evan Bouchard for a round pick ..hahahah

  • March 4, 2022 at 8:23 am

    That was one of the more entertaining games that I have watched the Blackhawks play. Kane, Seth, DeBrincat, Strome, and even Kubalik were excellent last night, and MAF was his stellar self. Now, that their trade value is high, trade them! ;-)

  • March 4, 2022 at 8:45 am

    the team certainly played with more pace and purpose versus the oilers, you can tell a two man team like mcdavid and drasatail with no line support does not make for a winning combination. with that said if they were to go after maf and i doubt he would consider going there with the teams in the east needing help and him being more familar, the oilers would need to part with a high pick and a soilid prospect, i dont think gm holland will be on board with that loss. as for strome nd kubalik, a second for each one of them based on how the league is viewing that level of experience, maybe a prospect. we need to keep some players around, lets not lose debrincat and hagel when kane and toews mentorship off our young players is desperatly needed for the next couple of years. in closing, dach good game tonite just wish the coach would not put him in for faceoffs when a win in our end of the rink is so critical

  • March 4, 2022 at 9:40 am

    Late game faceoff in defensive zone with Dach was a result of an icing. Nothing a coach can do to fix that situation unless Dach falls to ice and is helped off.

    Overall I thought that was one of Dach’s best NHL games. Clearly given the task of defending against McDavid. Not a task many would enjoy or excel at. He played faster, more physical and really appeared engaged. The offense will come via confidence.

    Shout out to Kane for a lot more hustle last night. Frequently backchecked and made a difference in the defensive zone. I really like that player. Makes a serious impact defensively when he want to. An engaged Kane helps our defensive core tremendously.

  • March 4, 2022 at 9:50 am

    @ss agree on full on Kane. I also think it helps his offensive game. Gets him more involved rather than floating around out there. TBH, last night is the team I thought we would see. In most games, good compete level. More please

  • March 4, 2022 at 10:06 am

    TSN’s trade tracker lists Hagel at #13 (trading our second best young player makes no sense), Fleury at #27 (and as KD will honor the gentlemans agreement not to move him he may well stay), and CDH at #40 (we might get a late second or more likely third for that). This will be a good early test for KD to see if he can wring something out of what is not a particularly strong hand.

    For anyone who will miss CDH don’t despair, you can still watch McCabe (a worse version of him) for another 3 years.

    I have not given up on Dach, but his next deal shouldn’t be for very much. He simply hasn’t earned it.

  • March 4, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Just spent probably an hour scrolling through Cap Friendly’s Arm Chair GM trades. It’s a good read clicking only when I see the Indian Head. Made it to page 14. Don’t know how many were left. Nice to see the offers from people wanting our players.

    Biggest one I saw was Kane and Hagel to Leafs for Kerfoot Holl Robertson and someone else with #1&#2 in ’22 & ’23. So 2 players for 4 players and their four highest picks.

  • March 4, 2022 at 10:57 am

    Hammer and Keith, it will be a long time coming to replace those 2. Add in Seabs and it’s easy to see how good those 2010-16 Hawk teams really were.

    For some odd reason the Hawks match up well against the Oilers, And Koskinnen gifted us a couple but overall a well played game.

    I could see Strome going to the Oil, I think him and McDavid would be awesome

  • March 4, 2022 at 11:13 am


    can’t find it in me to praise kane for playing the game the way it should be played. this guy knows every angle and potential passing lane on the ice. no one expects him to be a physical player, but if he would just hustle to defend passing lanes and have a good stick he would be a very good defender. annoys me greatly that more often than not he isn’t of a mind to be that guy.

  • March 4, 2022 at 11:31 am

    Hawks29 I understand your point. I take plenty of shots at Kane and have for quite a while. I also take some serious incoming for those remarks.

    But I also feel it is necessary to admit when he actually plays the way I like. I hope it lasts the rest of his career, but that is on him – not me. I love being proved wrong by him.

    I don’t cut much slack for professional athletes who CHOOSE to not be the best player they can be for their team.

  • March 4, 2022 at 11:36 am

    Like that article Ian.

  • March 4, 2022 at 11:56 am

    DollarBill i saw that, he seems to be. Also through out the question what does the rebuild really mean, which i wonder too. Does it mean try to get a generational lotto pick in next year or 2 and develop some good young prospects, use drafts restock the prospect pool. KD made the comment to reporters yesterday he doesn’t believe in cleaning house. Seems like the players feel it may not be a long process despite the rebuild label. Still so far all we’ve seen actually happen is cost cutting off ice personnel and a cranked up pr blitz.

    JR those draft picks are no. 30 and 60 overall picks give or take, good to help your prospect pool and have potential players to develop for few years down the road. Not good odds there will be a big game changer found there. Robertson only player has long term potential benefit and may become a decent winger. Holl of no long term value and Kerfoot adds a veteran to the hard working bottom 6 group. Was moved to to wing in for Kampf, so value as 3 C is limited.

  • March 4, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    Heard it mentioned on radio about how CAL and MTL have benefited from hiring a new coach from outside the organization – Boudreau and St. Louis respectively – while teams like WPG and PHA who promoted from within have mostly tread water

    I guess the Hawks fall somewhere in between – King has about .500 record since replacing JC but I for one don’t think he’s really NHL coach material

    I dread the possibility of KD bringing him back in the name of continuity – that’s how KD got his gig as GM so you have to think that it’s more than a passing fancy when he says that King is a candidate for permanent coach

    There will be lots of markers between now and opening night 2022-23 to judge KD by such as TDL and the draft but who he hires as head coach will be another one – if it’s KIng then I’m afraid that KD will have popped whatever balloon of optimism there may have been that he knows what he’s doing

    Hire a proper coach – doesn’t have to be a retread like Boudreau but someone with the chops to be a difference maker as a coach – please!!

  • March 4, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    re: Wrap’s comment about coaches inside vs outside the organization – a few things…

    First, the Blackhawks needed to install a permanent GM before they hired a head coach. Because no good coach is going to take a job for 4 months before he gets a new boss. So King got the interim job and has been okay (basically a .500 team under King).

    Secondly, I’m not sure the “right” coach was out there for this collection of mismatched puzzle pieces. Davidson needs to do some serious housecleaning with the roster and then find a head coach who has a specific vision for what he wants the Chicago Blackhawks to play like – and then build a roster that fits what the coach wants to do.

    The non-interim head coach hire was always going to happen in the summer because of the roster & no GM. Had Bowman done the right thing & hired Gerard Gallant last summer, we might be having a different conversation right now. But he didn’t. He spent money building a roster that doesn’t work. So now his replacement gets to define what the reset button looks like and start the rebuild over again.

  • March 4, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    Agree naming a coach prior to naming a Gm is the cart before the horse type of move. If King is going to be naned coach why not just say it now instead of the he’s in the running routine again for next few months.

  • March 4, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    lets hope kd has a sound hockey person in mind for actual hockey operations, any thoughts there

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