Winners of three straight following a six-game skid, the Chicago Blackhawks will aim to keep their hot streak going Saturday when they host the Anaheim Ducks to conclude a two-game homestand.
The Blackhawks exhaled with a 3-2 overtime victory against Montreal on Thursday, waiting through a review after Philipp Kurashev scored at 2:24 of OT.
Officials confirmed that Kurashev, racing in on a breakaway, put the puck in the net before rambling into the crease and knocking the net off its moorings. The Blackhawks also were shown to be onside on the play.
“That was quite the lengthy review there,” Chicago’s Calvin de Haan said. “You never think they’re going to go your way. It was nice to get the bounce; I feel like we were due for one of those. At the end of the day, I think they made the right call. We’ll take the two points and move on.”
Dominik Kubalik and Patrick Kane also scored for the Blackhawks. Kane snapped a 13-game goal drought while playing on a line with highly touted Blackhawks prospect Lukas Reichel in his NHL debut.
“‘First game, first win’ — that sounds pretty good,” Reichel said. “The first period was pretty good. In the second, we made a couple of turnovers, let them get the momentum back. In the third, we played pretty good defensively. Overall, [it was] a solid game. And overall for me, too, a solid game.”
Blackhawks interim coach Derek King said “we want to do it right” in terms of gradually bringing Reichel up to NHL speed. The 17th pick of the 2020 draft, Reichel logged 15:55 of ice time with three shots on goal.
Anaheim is looking to regroup from Friday’s 7-3 road loss to the Minnesota Wild, as the Ducks fell to 2-5-2 in their last nine games.
Sonny Milano left in the first period with an upper-body injury following an elbow to the face. The Ducks also skated without leading scorer Troy Terry (22 goals, 36 points), who entered COVID-19 protocol Friday.
Sam Carrick, a recent returnee from the protocol, has replaced Terry in the lineup.
“We have confidence in Sam. … The thing that stands out is how well he prepares and how hard he plays,” Anaheim assistant coach Geoff Ward said. “You win with guys like Sam Carrick.”
Minnesota scored three goals in the first 2:05 of the third period, including a pair of goals in a four-second span. Max Comtois and Trevor Zegras each tallied a goal and assist for the Ducks.
Zegras has three multi-point games over his past five contests.
Saturday marks the first of three scheduled meetings between the Blackhawks and Ducks. The teams are slated to play again in Chicago on March 8 before concluding the regular-season series in Anaheim on March 23.
Considering last season’s divisional realignment due to COVID-19, the clubs haven’t met since March 3, 2020, in Chicago — a 6-2 Blackhawks victory that saw Dylan Strome, Alex Nylander and Kane score on successive shots late in the second period.
–Field Level Media