Blackhawks One Point out of Wild Card With Insane Win Over Senators

Chicago Blackhawks inch closer to Wild Card spot with wild win.

Photo from the Seattle Times

Often times hockey scores don’t exceed six or seven goals between the two teams playing. That wasn’t the case when the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Ottawa Senators 8-7 Monday night in the United Center.

After just one period the Hawks had found the back of the net five times and the Senators scored four of their own. They almost broke the record of most goals scored in one period which was set in 1981 when the Maple Leafs and Sabres scored 12 goals in the second period, with nine coming from Toronto.

Let the Insanity Begin! 

So how did the BlackHawks nearly replicate that performance? Alex DeBrincat, otherwise referred to as “The Cat” scored twice for Chicago in the early stages of the first period. Prior to that point, Chicago had been put in a two-goal hole and things were looking bleak. As quick as the Senators took the early advantage, DeBrincat knotted things up before Ottawa scored again on a misplaced save attempt by Collin Delia. The Hawks made the move to sub in Cam Ward just eight minutes into the game, but the scoring didn’t end there as both teams found success with their top lines.

A trio of goals scored by Patrick Kane, Dylan Strome, and Brandon Saad put the Hawks up 5-3 but another response by the Senators’ Mark Stone closed the gap back to one goal. Following the goal by Strome, Ottawa followed the Hawks’ move by pulling their starting goalie. In his place they subbed in Craig Anderson, who recorded his 600th game played in and did so in his home state. The Senators scored again just over 90 seconds into the second period to tie it back up before Strome hooked up with DeBrincat for a hat trick midway through the period.

Gustav Forsling tacked on a goal midway through the second period and then, finally, things started to calm down. Compared to the first period, the remaining two seemed rather pedestrian. Three goals were scored apiece in each period, compared to the nine to open the game. Jonathan Toews tallied another goal on a power play opportunity, giving the Hawks some breathing room with an 8-5 lead.

Inches from OT

Even down three with half a period remaining, Ottawa remained aggressive, and it paid off in a big way. Thomas Chabot scored not just once, but twice in the waning minutes. To make things worse, and nearly resulted in the perfect storm for the Senators, Slater Koekkoek of the BlackHawks was penalized for hooking with just under two minutes left. Ottawa had a man advantage and added another when they pulled Anderson from the net. It nearly worked. A perfect pass through the crease had a wide-open net for the waiting Senator, but a crucial deflection by Duncan Keith changed the puck’s path and most likely saved a goal. That was one of Keith’s biggest plays this season.

Ward also had a couple stellar saves late. Toews nearly converted on an empty net and the Hawks defense weathered the storm and survived in front of their fan base. With the win, they increase their odds of making the playoffs. Currently, they’re trailing the Wild by one point for the second Wild Card spot.

Stat Leaders

  • Alex DeBrincat: 5 points (three goals, two assists)
  • Patrick Kane: 3 points (one goal, two assists)
  • Dylan Strome: 3 points (one goal, two assists)
  • Jonathon Toews & Brandon Saad: 2 points apiece (one goal, one assist each)
  • Cam Ward (winning goalie): 24 saves on 28 shot attempts

Up Next 

They have a number of key games remaining with several against Western Conference opponents. They close out the week at the Detroit Red Wings (Feb. 21) which is always a classic, and home games against the Colorado Avalanche (Feb. 23) and Dallas Stars (Feb. 24).

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