The Blackhawks didn’t have their best night, but they found a way to come back from two- and one-goal deficits to take a shootout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night at the United Center, 4-3.
Alex DeBrincat scored twice in the win, pushing his current point streak to eight games, and Dominik Kubalik found the third period equalizer to earn at least a point for the second night in a row. Rookie Philipp Kurashev and netminder Malcolm Subban snagged the second in the shootout, the forward with the winning snipe and the goalie with three key stops. Subban totaled 39 saves in the victory.
“A big two points for us, no question. We weren’t as good as we want to be, we can play much better. And give them credit, they came out hard,” head coach Jeremy Colliton said. “It was a challenge for us.”
“This was a great team win,” said Adam Boqvist, who had two assists on the night. “I think we played better last night, but obviously good goaltending and I think we played pretty good overall. These are two huge points for us, but now we’re going to just reset for Sunday. Tampa’s going to come out really hard like they did tonight. We’ve got to be ready for it.”
Here are three takeaways from the shootout win:
Just 24 hours after the Blackhawks saw a two-goal lead evaporate before falling in overtime to the Lightning, they returned the favor on Friday night. Tampa Bay raced out to a 2-0 lead on eight shots in the opening half of the first period, but Chicago climbed back to tie things at 2-2, and later 3-3. Another back-and-forth overtime didn’t produce a last-tenth-of-a-second-goal this time around and the home side captured their first win of the season over Tampa Bay.
“We showed a resiliency and an ability to bounce back,” Colliton said. “We go down 2-0 and find a way to crawl back into the game. They go up 3-2 and we find a way to manufacture a goal. A couple big kills late in the third and then in overtime, guys just paying the price and doing the little things that allow you to have a chance to win games… We didn’t really play that well, but we just found a way. That’s what good teams do.”
“We’re not giving up games,” DeBrincat said. “You go down to a team like that 3-2, a lot of teams will just fold, but we’re out there working hard. Kuby had a nice goal at the end, just hard-working goal, gets to the net and put one in. That’s huge for us.”
No team has picked up at least a point in back-to-back meetings against the Lightning since Columbus lost in overtime on Jan. 21 and then won in regulation two nights later.
Not only did Alex DeBrincat‘s two goals on the night push his current point streak to eight games (6G, 6A), one off his career best (Jan. 17-Feb. 12, 2019), but they marked the 100th and 101st goals of his career.
Needing just 255 games to reach the century mark, DeBrincat became just the 14th Blackhawk to reach 100 in less than 300 games, and is now the eighth fastest to do so.
FASTEST HAWKS TO REACH 100 GOALS
Bill Mosienko – 190
Steve Larmer – 203
Jeremy Roenick – 207
Darryl Sutter – 217
Max Bentley – 217
Denis Savard – 241
Alex DeBrincat – 255
Jonathan Toews – 267
“It obviously doesn’t happen without my teammates passing me the puck,” DeBrincat said. “I’m just there at the right time and lucky enough to have them go in.”
“He’s been a big-time player for us this year,” Colliton said. “He, too, kind of fought the puck tonight, but he works so hard away from it.. he puts himself in a spot where he can contribute.”
It also was the seventh goal out of the last 12 Chicago has scored that the winger has either scored or assisted on.
SALUTE FOR SEABS
Following the announcement earlier Friday that Brent Seabrook was calling it a career, highlights from his 15 seasons in Chicago played across the video board during the first TV timeout of the opening frame.
Teammates, friends and even foes watched intently from both benches, as well as the scratched and injured Blackhawks in the suite alongside the 35-year-old and before play resumed, all were standing and applauding the three-time Cup winner.
“He’s obviously a great leader, a great teammate,” DeBrincat said. “My time here, he’s made me feel like nothing but home here and from the second I got in the locker room. He’s one of those guys that’s always there to cheer you up when you’re down. It’s tough to see, but he’s a great friend and he’s a great person off the ice and was a great player. Seeing that tribute, he scored a lot of key goals for the Hawks, overtime goals and stuff like that, so he’s a legend here for sure. I was lucky enough to play with him for a few years and get to know him. Pretty sad today.”
“One-hundred percent,” Subban said the motivation to win for Seabrook. “You know how much he’s done for the organization and to end on an injury, you never want to end like that. I can only imagine how tough that is for him. We wanted to get the win for him tonight and it wasn’t easy against a team like this, but just happy we could pull it out.”