Well this game was very much the opposite of Tuesday night’s track meet contest.
Malcolm Subban led the way for the Chicago Blackhawks, making all 27 saves he needed to in a 2-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blackhawks have won five of their last six games, eight of their last ten, and are 9-2-1 in their last 12 games. They remain in a playoff spot in the Central Division, moving their record this season to 11-6-4.
FINAL: #Blackhawks 2, Blue Jackets 0
Shot attempts: 54-48 CBJ
Shots on goal: 27-26 CHI
5-on-5 scoring chances: 20-14 CBJ
5-on-5 high danger chances: 10-3 CBJ pic.twitter.com/t5YkG2Sovz
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) February 26, 2021
Prior to tonight’s game, my wife and I decided to get pizza for dinner. So before the game, I went to pick it up from a local establishment and noticed what my order number was:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) February 25, 2021
Yeah, sure, I took that as a good sign of things to come … but even I didn’t expect the kind of game the first two periods shaped-up to be. The Blackhawks were held to just three shots on goal in the first period. In the second period, the Blue Jackets were held to just three shots on net. It looked as if the seesaw contest would swing back in Columbus’ favor in a goalie battle, but good old #88 had other ideas.
Goal No. 399 couldn't have come at a better time!
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 26, 2021
Patrick Kane scored his 399th career goal in the third period to break the scoreless tie.
Kane has eight points in his last three games played, and 31 points on the season. Pizza has never steered me wrong before, and I knew to trust it again tonight. Pizza never lies.
Pizza never lies. https://t.co/Zy6XqMjuoN
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) February 26, 2021
The Blackhawks were able to hold onto the 1-0 lead late into the period and Carl Söderberg added an empty-net goal to seal the 2-0 win. Söderberg now has a three-game goal streak heading this weekend’s action. Malcolm Subban is now 3-1-1 on the season and 3-0-1 since the first game of the year against the Tampa Bay Lightning. This was the second career shutout for Subban and his first since March 21, 2019.
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) February 26, 2021
After allowing five goals in the first game of the season, Subban has allowed just six goals combined in his last four contests. He has a .934 save percentage for the season and .955 save percentage in his last four starts. While the three-goalie competition shouldn’t necessarily be over after just 21 games (especially when all three players were unproven in the NHL), the play of Subban and Kevin Lankinen this season is very hard to argue against. I’d say they have staked their claims to the starter and backup roles for the Blackhawks. Unfortunately, that leaves Collin Delia the odd-man out. But that’s a discussion for another day.
For now, the Blackhawks hold onto their playoff spot in the Central Division with tonight’s win and head into a weekend mini-series against the Detroit Red Wings with plenty to play. Chicago will host the Red Wings on back-to-back nights and are 4-0-0 in their four meetings on the season.
• Kane scored his 399th goal tonight, one away from joining the 400-goal club. Only three Blackhawks players have scored 400+ goals all with Chicago: Bobby Hull (604), Stan Mikita (541), and Steve Larmer (406).
• After giving up three goals on the powerplay to the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, the Blackhawks held Columbus off the board on the man-advantage, going 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. A much better effort tonight.
• Connor Murphy led the Blackhawks with four shots on goal in tonight’s game. I don’t know when you’ll see Murphy lead the team in shots on goal again, that’s how odd of a game this was.