The Chicago Blackhawks got off to a slow start this season but are working overtime to make up for it.
The Blackhawks are 6-1-1 in their last eight games, with four wins in overtime, coming into the back on Wednesday night of a two-game series in Detroit.
Chicago opened a six-game trip with a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings on Monday when Dominik Kubalik scored his second goal of the game with 17 seconds remaining in overtime.
Chicago leads 3-0 in the season series between the teams. The Blackhawks lead the league in games ending in overtime, with six games decided in overtime and two more in a shootout.
“Obviously we’d like to win it in regulation 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 who like to play that situation (3v3). Happy to have won again and to move on and build on that.”
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 some guys made plays to get us goals. Now we have to be a lot better on Wednesday.”
Mattias Janmark also scored for the Blackhawks. It was Janmark’s sixth goal of the season, 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 falling.
“I’m trying to go back to my old way of playing, where I have more puck and I’m skating more, and that has worked,” Janmark said.
The Blackhawks have won their last four games in overtime after losing the first four.
“I feel like every game that we’re in is almost a tie game sometime in the third (period),” Janmark said. “It’s good that we are in all the games and now we are starting to come out on the right side.
“At the beginning of the year we lost these overtime games, so they are big points for us and obviously we can play better, but the good thing is that we are in all the games that feel.”
Vladislav Namestnikov and Christian Djoos scored, and Thomas Greiss made 21 saves for Detroit, which rebounded from a two-goal deficit to score points in consecutive games for the first time this season.
“We’re playing solid defensive hockey and we’re starting to create opportunities,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. “We have 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 has seen improvement.
“I think we’ve been a better team lately,” Blashill said. “We have adjusted a few minutes to distribute things and be more of a four-line team.”
Power play remains a problem for the Red Wings, as they failed to score twice on Monday and are 0-for-26 with a man lead in their last nine games.
“We have games where it doesn’t look too bad and then we go backwards again,” Blashill said. “We have used many different types in different situations, but there have not been enough people.”
–Field level media
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.