The dust finally settled on the NHL Trade Deadline (they stuck to the plan), so the Chicago Blackhawks could focus on the Central Division playoff race. Playing the Columbus Blue Jackets for the eighth and final time this season, Chicago was able to put an exclamation point on the season series with a 4-3 win in overtime. The Blackhawks finish the year with a 6-2-0 record against the Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets got on the board first, because what else is new, but Chicago was able to fight back to tie the game in the first period with a powerplay goal coming from Duncan Keith. After having a putrid powerplay for an extended stretch of games, the Blackhawks have powerplay goals in back-to-back games now.
In the second period, the Blackhawks thought they had regained the lead but an early whistle disallowed what would have been the go-ahead goal for Chicago and minutes later the Blue Jackets instead took the 2-1 lead. Columbus would hold that lead into the third period, but would also have to kill off a four-minute penalty that would carry into the third period after Maxi Domi did his best impression of his Dad against Connor Murphy.
This happens far too often with Max Domi. You gotta let your opponent drop the gloves if it’s going to be a fair fight pic.twitter.com/ae0kXGeizf
— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) April 13, 2021
What a puke. This isn’t 1982. If someone isn’t dropping the gloves with you, you don’t get to sucker them.
Unfortunately the Blackhawks wouldn’t be able to capitalize on the powerplay, but not too long later, Philipp Kurashev netted the 2-2 goal. Chicago would grab their first lead of the game thanks to a debuting Brett Connolly, scoring his third goal of the season to make it 3-2. In 21 games with the Florida Panthers this season, Connolly had just two goals. He and Riley Stillman made their Chicago debuts tonight and I look forward to seeing more from the veteran Connolly. Stillman, not as much.
The lead wouldn’t last long as Patrick Laine decided to do it all himself on a 200-foot, end-to-end effort for the 3-3 goal. Laine has a knack for scoring against the Blackhawks this season. He has four goals in his last three games against Chicago on February 23rd, April 10th, and tonight. In 22 games between February 25th and April 8th, Laine has just one goal. I don’t get it.
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) April 12, 2021
On a night where the Blackhawks desperately needed a two-point effort, they would have to earn it in overtime. Tied 3-3 in the extra frame, it was Brandon Hagel getting the game-winner with his sixth goal of the season. With the win, Chicago moves to 20-18-5 on the season with 45 points in the standings. They get back to a two-point gap between them and the Nashville Predators in the Central Division playoff race.
The Blackhawks have two days off before heading to Detroit to take on the Red Wings to close out the season series against their long-time rivals. Chicago is 5-1-0 in six meetings against the Red Wings this season.
Find the full boxscore here.