The Blackhawks began their four-game home stand with a bang last night, overcoming a two-goal deficit in the second period to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2. Instead of the usual heroes Patrick Kane and Robin Lehner, the Hawks were led by their young guns — namely, Adam Boqvist and Dylan Sikura, who scored his first-ever NHL goal.
Just as the “Detroit Sucks” chants materialized from the United Center faithful, Filip Zadina quickly silenced the crowd by capitalizing on a power play early in the first period, lasering a wrist shot over Corey Crawford’s shoulder for an early Red Wings lead. Luke Glendening would make it 2-0 late in the first period for Detroit after Ryan Carpenter lost a faceoff and Matthew Highmore lost the puck on the boards. Glendening was able to neatly deflect the puck, even as Duncan Keith checked him to the ice.
Glenny makes it 2-0! pic.twitter.com/k7Aup5cR4H
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 6, 2020
Fortunately, Glendening’s tally would be the last for the Red Wings, as Chicago would score four unanswered goals to earn the victory. Dylan Strome began the Hawks’ rally after a beautiful set-up by longtime line mate Alex Debrincat, who collected a loose puck in the Hawks’ zone and quickly transitioned up ice with Strome.
In the 44th game of a career spanning the last three seasons, Dylan Sikura would finally score his first-ever NHL goal, tying the game 2-2 just 45 seconds after Strome’s goal. The young forward was in the right place at the right time, as defenseman Erik Gustafsson’s shot ricocheted off Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard’s pad directly to Sikura, who easily deposited the puck in the open net.
“I waited a long time for that,” Sikura said. “As much as I tried to not let it affect me, obviously at the end of the day it’s going to and it’s going to hurt your confidence a little. Sometimes when you’re not scoring it kind of feels like you’re not doing much out there even if maybe you are. It’s nice to get that weight off my back and hopefully get a couple more here.”
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 6, 2020
Rookie Adam Boqvist would follow suit by scoring the second goal of his career, giving the Hawks a 3-2 lead midway through the third period. Boqvist utilized his incredible skating ability, blowing past Detroit forward Darren Helm to rocket a shot past Howard’s glove.
“[Boqvist’s] got the green light to try to create, especially on the offensive blue line and to jump in off the rush,” Colliton said. “We’re always going to want him to defend well and be sharp with his puck plays and all those things, but the play he made tonight… it’s part of what makes him special and ended up winning the game for us.”
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 6, 2020
Dominik Kubalik would score an empty-net goal with 20 seconds left to complete the Blackhawks’ comeback. It was the fourth win in the last five games for the Hawks, who now sit five points out of playoff spot. Both Calgary and Nashville — whom the Hawks will face in this current home stand — are five points and one point ahead of the Hawks, respectively.
Last night was Corey Crawford’s first start since December 23rd, which was an embarrassing 7-1 loss against the New Jersey Devils. Robin Lehner was held out of practice on Saturday and listed as day-to-day after suffering a knee injury against Vancouver. Crawford made 19 saves on 21 shots against — a pleasant surprise, considering how regularly the Blackhawks defense has allowed 30-40 shots per game this season. With Lehner’s uncertainty, the Hawks will need to rely on Crawford during the most important home stretch of the season for the Hawks.
“We have to be really good at home, we talked about that,” Crawford said. “These are big points coming up, so just got to take care of home ice.”