LAS VEGAS – If you were wondering when to bet that the Blackhawks would finally be able to beat the NHL’s newest expansion team, lucky No. 8 was the winner.
One of the original six franchises in the National Hockey League would have rather that number be a little lower, but at this point, the team will take a win over the team from Vegas. That’s especially true after it appeared the team was on the way to another defeat at the hands of the Golden Knights.
But with Corey Crawford holding down another strong attack from the Blackhawks’ opponent and the offense finding their touch, they finally beat Vegas 5-3 late Wednesday night after failing to do so in seven previous tries.
They lost five of those games in regulation and two of them in overtime, including an October 22nd shootout loss at the United Center. This time, however, the Blackhawks got the upper hand, and in the process reached the .500 mark for the first time this season at 7-7-3.
Getting there wasn’t easy at T-Mobile Arena as William Carrier and William Karlsson’s goals in the first seven minutes of the game put the Golden Knights up 2-0. Patrick Kane got the Blackhawks right back in it 16 seconds later with his ninth goal of the season to make it 2-1.
A pair of defensemen got the visitors to the lead as both Calvin de Haan and Erik Gustafsson each got their first goals of the year within 45 seconds of each other in the second period to make it 3-2. For a second-straight game, Kirby Dach got on the board as he scored his third goal of the season with 16:03 left in the game to go to make it 4-2.
Later in the third, Dylan Strome added another to make it a three-goal advantage with under four minutes to go.
In what’s becoming a theme for the Blackhawks this year, their goaltender withstood another barrage of shots to keep the team in the game. After allowing the two goals in the first seven minutes, Crawford allowed only one more the rest of the contest as he stopped 39 of the 42 shots he faced to pick up his third victory of the season.
For the Blackhawks as a whole, it’s the first against the NHL’s new team. It took a while, but eight was the lucky number for the team in Vegas.