Game 45: Hawks 4, Wings 0
Malcolm Subban earned his 2nd shutout of the season as he blanked the Red Wings on 29 saves. The Blackhawks win plus the Hurricanes beating the Predators closed the gap from 4 points to 2 out of 4th place.
The starting lineup with Subban as the starter but no other changes from the prior game:
And the starters for the opening shift:
1st Goal: Kane (1-0)
After Patrick Kane flipped the puck out of his end, Troy Stecher recovered it but Vincent Hinostroza picked his pocket, gained the zone, and backhanded a feed to Kane on the opposite wing for the goal.
2nd Goal: DeBrincat (2-0)
Kirby Dach moved the puck from low to high for Connor Murphy to fire a shot on net that unfortunately hit Brandon Hagel in the gut but fortunately landed on Alex DeBrincat's blade to tuck into an open net.
3rd Goal: Kalynuk (3-0)
Kane, Hinostroza, and Wyatt Kalynuk executed a textbook 3-player breakout from their own end to their net. The trio's quick short passes ended with Hinostroza setting up Kalynuk for his 2nd career goal.
4th Goal: Suter (4-0) EN
Pius Suter chipped a puck out of the zone to register a long-range empty netter. The play was made possible by diligent battling for the puck by Hinostroza who racked up his 3rd apple on the night.
Detroit had the edge on metrics for shooting and scoring chances -- especially the high danger chances besting Chicago by a 3-to-1 ratio -- yet couldn't solve Subban who was a stone wall between the pipes.
The Blackhawks rang up 5 penalties including a 4-minute minor for high sticking by Duncan Keith and a 5-on-3 late in the 3rd. However, the penalty killers nullified the Wings power play that went 0-for-6.
Mitchell & Kalynuk
Rookies Ian Mitchell and Kalynuk were paired up in the final minutes of the game for a few shifts. Both were generally dependable defensively the entire game providing net-front coverage and managing gaps well.
Even though he's not denting the scoresheet, Dach has contributed to a couple of goals during recent games due to his playmaking and competitiveness. He looks much better than his 5 points in 11 games.
1st Goal: Johnson (1-0)
After a Wolves player whiffed on a slapshot from the point, D.J. Busdeker stole the puck and rushed the other way with Reese Johnson for a 2-on-1. Busdeker ultimately fed Johnson for the opening tally.
2nd Goal: Smith (1-1)
Ivan Nalimov lost his stick playing the puck behind the net then Isaak Phillips got pickpocketed as he tried to skate the puck out of danger. The Wolves eventually scored as Cole Smith tipped in a point shot.
3rd Goal: Cotton (1-2) PP
While on the power play, the Wolves won the draw and moved the puck around the top of the umbrella before getting a shot on net that David Cotton had several uncontested whacks at before banking it in.
4th Goal: Altybarmakian (2-2)
Andrei Altybarmakian and Busdeker used their aggressive forecheck to pepper shots on Wolves goalie Connor Ingram. Busdeker's second shot of the sequence bounced onto Altybarmakian's stick for an easy marker.
5th Goal: Smith (2-3)
Phillips stuck with Sean Malone around the perimeter of the defensive zone but couldn't contain him enough as he shoveled a pass to between the circles where Smith was able to score his 2nd of the game.
6th Goal: Entwistle (3-3)
With the extra attacker, the Hogs made several desperation attempts to keep the play alive before MacKenzie Entwistle capped off the team grit by banking the puck off of a Wolves player in the crease for the GTG.
Shootout: Pirri (4-3)
* Soderlund (goal)
* Pirri (goal)
* Harper (miss)
* Cotton (miss)
Alec Regula used his body to pin players against the wall, cut off their skating lanes, or body them off of pucks. His gap management is improved. He also makes a solid first pass.
Cole Moberg also flexed his muscles in the Hogs end with pins and body checks as well as quick breakout passes to clear the zone.
Picking up 2 assists, Busdeker was busting tail all game with a heavy forecheck and a relentlessness to maintain momentum for his team.
Hogs captain Garrett Mitchell got into a pair of fights with both taking a toll on him has he had to head to the locker room after each tilt.
Like older brother Jaccob, Josiah Slavin is known as a devout Christian and was seen kneeling in prayer at center ice after the game ended.
Apparently Entwistle contracted COVID earlier in the season and had a tough time with it.
See you on the boards!