The Chicago Blackhawks got off to a slow start this season, but they’re working overtime to make up for it.
The Blackhawks are 6-1-1 in their past eight games, with four overtime victories, entering Wednesday night’s back end of a two-game series at Detroit.
Chicago opened a six-game trip with a 3-2 victory against the Red Wings on Monday as Dominik Kubalik scored his second goal of the game with 17 seconds remaining in OT.
Chicago leads 3-0 in the season series between the teams. The Blackhawks lead the league in games that end in extra time, with six games decided in overtime and two more in a shootout.
“Obviously we would like to win it in regular time, but it’s still two points, so it doesn’t really matter,” said Kubalik, who has seven multi-goal games in 85 career NHL appearances. “We have good guys that like to play that (3-on-3) situation. Happy that we won again and just going to keep going and build from it.”
Malcolm Subban made 27 saves for the Blackhawks.
“We stole that one,” Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton said. “That wasn’t our best effort, but (Subban) made some saves when we needed them, and a few guys made plays to get us goals. Now we have to be much better on Wednesday.”
Mattias Janmark also scored for the Blackhawks. It was the sixth goal of the season for Janmark, matching his total from each of the past two seasons with Dallas. He scored 34 goals in his first two NHL seasons for the Stars before slumping.
“I’m trying to get back to my old way of playing where I have the puck more and I’m skating more, and that’s been working,” Janmark said.
The Blackhawks have won their past four overtime games after losing their first four.
“I feel like every game we’re in is almost a tie game at some time in the third (period),” Janmark said. “That’s a good thing that we’re in all the games and now we’re starting to come out on the right side of it.
“Earlier in the year we lost these OT games, so that’s big points for us and obviously we can play better, but the good thing is that we’re in every game it feels like.”
Vladislav Namestnikov and Christian Djoos scored, and Thomas Greiss made 21 saves for Detroit, which rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn points in consecutive games for the first time this season.
“We’re playing sound defensive hockey and we’re starting to create chances,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. “We’ve just got to start turning these games into two points.”
The Red Wings are still looking for their first winning streak of the season, but coach Jeff Blashill said he’s seen improvement.
“I think we’ve been a better team lately,” Blashill said. “We’ve adjusted some minutes to spread things out and be more of a four-line team.”
The power play remains a problem for the Red Wings, as they failed to score on two chances Monday and are 0-for-26 with the man advantage over their past nine games.
“We have games where it doesn’t look so bad and then we go backward again,” Blashill said. “We’ve used a lot of different guys in different situations, but not enough people have stepped up.”
–Field Level Media