Blackhawks’ defenseman pick up the slack in win over the Blue Jackets

WGN News Now

COLUMBUS – It wasn’t exactly the best of days leading up to their contest against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, with COVID-19 being the reason why.

Before the game, the team put four members of their team into the NHL’s protocol, including top line defenseman Seth Jones fellow blue liner Jake McCabe. It left the team a bit short-handed in the defensive end, but those who were on the roster were able to respond.

Both Calvin de Haan and Connor Murphy found the back of the net for the Blackhawks while holding off the Blue Jackets on their end to secure a 4-2 victory at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday evening. The victory, which was also aided by a pair of goals from Blackhawks leading scorer Alex DeBrincat, give the team two wins-in-a-row for just the second time this season.

The Blackhawks defeated the Golden Knights 2-1 in Vegas on Saturday night, which ended a six-game winless streak.

Both defensemen lit the lamp after a first period where each team exchanged goals, with de Haan getting his first score of the year with 4:50 to go in the second. It was his first score in nearly a year, with his last goal coming last January 22nd in a win against Detroit at the United Center.

Murphy then added his third tally of the season in the third period for what would end up being the game-winning goal for the Blackhawks. Gustav Nyquist’s shorthanded goal in the final two minutes cut the visitor’s lead to one, but an empty-net goal for DeBrincat, his 23rd of the season, put the game away.

Marc-Andre Fleury had 24 saves in his second-straight win.

While Jones and McCabe remain in the COVID-19 protocol, the Blackhawks will get defenseman Erik Gustafsson back from COVID-19 protocol along with goaltender Kevin Lankinen.

2020 first round draft pick Lukas Reichel has also been put on the Blackhawks’ taxi squad, getting him one step closer to the NHL.

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