DETROIT, Michigan— It seemed like the Monday matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks (8- 5-4) and the Detroit Red Wings (4-10-3) would head to a shootout. With both teams being held scoreless and the puck in Chicago’s end, with around 15 seconds left in the overtime period. However, the Blackhawks caught two Red Wings too deep, turned the mistake into a 2-on-1 opportunity, and Dominik Kubalik put his shot past goaltender Thomas Greiss for the 3-2 victory.
Coming into the game, Kubalik was on a scoring drought; after leading NHL rookies in goals last season, he had scored only once in his previous 12 games. He shook that off in a big way on Monday, scoring twice; his first one put the Blackhawks up by two goals in the first period, while the second iced the game in OT.
With the win, the Blackhawks pick up 2 points and move into a three-way tie for second in the Central Division with Florida and Carolina. The overtime loss gives Detroit 1 point, staying at the bottom of the division but moving them just a point away from Nashville. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill and captain Dylan Larkin said after the game the team needs to find a way to get the second point in these games moving forward.
“I think we’re moving in the right direction, I think we are doing the things we need to do, we just need to find a way to win these games,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said after the game.
“We got a point, just need to find a way to get the second one,” said Larkin.
Subban holds off strong Red Wings attack
For the Red Wings, their offensive attack looked to give the Blackhawks too much to handle, but goaltender Malcolm Subban was on his game; he came away with a 93.1% save percentage, saving 27 of 29 shots on net. The first goal he allowed was more unfortunate than it was a failure on Subban’s part, as the puck took an errant bounce off the skate of Patrik Nemeth to give Vladislav Namestnikov a wide-open look on the other side of the net.
Even as the Red Wings outshot the Blackhawks 29 to 24, Subban held the Wings scoreless after that through almost two full periods. With 5:49 left, he let up a goal to Christian Djoos that tied the game, but he stayed solid throughout the final 5 minutes and OT. His effort was crucial to holding off the Wings attack late.
The Blackhawks need Subban on his game, as the Red Wings dominated them statistically, leading in shots on goal, face-offs won, and blocked shots. The key stat to take away from the game is the turnovers; the Red Wings gave up the puck 8 times, while only getting one takeaway. The early Blackhawks goals came directly off of sloppy plays from the Red Wings offense that turned into sloppy defense.
Chicago @ Detroit, February 17, 2021, Detroit, MI