Racking Up Pity Points: Hurricanes 4, Blackhawks 3 (SO) - February 2, 2021

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Racking Up Pity Points: Hurricanes 4, Blackhawks 3 (SO) – February 2, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

It was a big measuring-stick game for the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, taking on a red-hot Carolina Hurricanes squad who had won their last four games in-a-row and five of their first six this season.

It took extra time and the shootout, but the Hurricanes were able to get the 4-3 win thanks to a shootout winner from Andrei Svechnikov.

The Blackhawks are far from perfect, far from a good team, but they have discovered some pieces in the lineup that give you optimism and hope for the future. The Hurricanes are a fast, skilled, well-built team and the Blackhawks did not back down in their first of eight meetings this season, coming back from an early 2-0 deficit and a 3-2 deficit in the third period to force overtime and earn at least a point for the seventh time in their last eight games.

Kevin Lankinen was huge again for the Blackhawks. What else is new this season? Lankinen made 38 of 41 saves in 65 minutes of action, and the shootout loss sees his record this season move to 3-1-3 in seven starts. The Blackhawks have earned all but one of their ten points in the standings this season with Lankinen in net.

Getting Alex DeBrincat back in the lineup after missing time on the NHL COVID Protocol list was a huge addition back into the lineup. DeBrincat had two primary assists on the night and rounded-out a solid top-six forwards group for the Blackhawks tonight. Mattias Janmark, Philipp Kurashev, Patrick Kane, DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, and Dominik Kubalík were all clicking tonight and a big reason that the Blackhawks have been finding success in their last handful of games.

Speaking of players who made a big impact in their return to the lineup, Nicolas Beaudin had a breakout performance tonight. He played a season-high 20:01 minutes, including getting 1:30 minutes on the powerplay and was on the ice for a few shifts in the overtime period as well. After a rough first professional season last year with the Rockford IceHogs, the 2018 first-round pick is starting to find his footing in the NHL.

Like I said before, this is far from a highly-talented Blackhawks team, certainly not like teams of the past, but this squad competes. They are full of players that are trying to prove they belong in the league and have already taken decent strides in their future development, just 11 games into the season. It gives you optimism for what the future in Chicago might have in store.

Final Thoughts

•   Blackhawks powerplay continues to be effective, getting a beautiful powerplay goal in the first period. Chicago has not been getting a ton of powerplay opportunities this season, but they are making the most of them.

•   Blackhawks took only one penalty tonight and killed it off without issue. They have now killed 12 of their last 13 penalties against them.

•   If the Blackhawks were healthy, with Kirby Dach, Jonathan Toews, and Alexander Nylander available, this would be a different season. Possibly no chance of Philipp Kurashev, Brandon Hagel, or Kevin Lankinen emerging with different results early on in the season.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.