CHICAGO – The amount of offense Jeremy Colliton’s team had Monday night is usually more than enough to win a game in the National Hockey League. That’s especially true when the opponent came into the contest with the worst record in the league.
But an eight-goal outburst by the Blackhawks was not just entertaining on Monday night, it was necessary. The saying “Eight is Enough” was correct, but just barely.
Despite tying their biggest offensive output of the season, Ottawa proved just as strong and kept the pressure on for 60 minutes. Luckily the defense held in the final minutes for the Blackhawks to preserve an 8-7 victory at the United Center on Monday night.
It was the second time that Jeremy Colliton’s team had scored eight goals in a game this season, equalling their total in a win over the Capitals at the United Center on January 20th. The win pulls the Blackhawks with just a point of the Wild for the last Wild Card spot in the Western Conference as they picked up their 58th and 59th points of the season with 22 games remaining.
Alex DeBrincat was the offensive star for the Blackhawks as he registered his fourth-career hat trick and first of the season while also assisting on two other scores. Patrick Kane extended his scoring streak to 18 games with a goal and two assists, while Brandon Saad, Dylan Strome, Gustav Forsling, and Jonathan Toews each got in on the scoring barrage.
It was the captain’s goal – his 28th of the season – that proved to be the game-winner 3:51 into the third period. Down by three, the Senators would get the deficit down to one with 5:17 to play but could never tie it as Cam Ward kept Ottawa out of the net to preserve the win.
Right from the start, the offenses dominated the night, as the teams combined for nine first period goals. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was just the 17th time in NHL history that two teams combined for nine scores in the first 20 minutes of a game. Both starting goalies – Collin Delia for the Blackhawks and Anders Nilsson for the Senators – were pulled before the end of the first period.
Despite being down to Ottawa 2-0 to start, the Blackhawks got two goals from DeBrincat along with three more before the end of the period to escape the wild 20 minutes leading 5-4. After Colin White tied the game early in the second, the Blackhawks got three-straight goals to take the lead for good.
The solid offense has helped the Blackhawks turn around their season in 2019, as they’ve scored at least two goals in every game since January 1st. Only three times has the team failed to score three goals in a game, In eight games, Colliton’s team has scored five or more, losing only one of those contests.
Coming into Monday, the Blackhawks were ninth in the NHL in goals per game with 3.24, and that figures to go up thanks to a memorable, and quite necessary, offensive performance.