Blackhawks 5, Flames 1 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

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Blackhawks 5, Flames 1 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

Chicago Blackhawks

After showing absolutely no offense whatsoever in Vancouver on Tuesday night, the Blackhawks came out with some jump and a little push tonight. Poor Petr Mrazek must feel like he stopped 8,000 shots on Tuesday night. Tonight the skaters in front of Jaxson Stauber scored four goals on 24 shots in the first two periods. In Stauber’s first start in St. Louis, the Blackhawks scored five times on 18 shots on net. Poor Petr!

For a team chasing a playoff berth, the Flames performance was surprisingly underwhelming and lackluster. Even without Jonathan Toews in the lineup (he was sick), the entire offense was clicking and the Flames put up very little resistance and their crowd was quiet as well.

Star 1: Patrick Kane

There has been a lot of talk on the social media and other places and in the comments here about Kaner lately with the looming trade deadline and him having a decision to make about staying or going. Insiders, analysts and amateur physicians everywhere have diagnosed him with a somewhat flat tire. And a few have questioned if he’s worth the price tag IF he’s available because he hasn’t had the same giddyup. Well, on this night 88 dusted off a vintage performance. He had jump, swagger and was putting the puck wherever the hell he wanted to the entire night. Any general managers still in western Canada after the prospect showcase last night were treated to an OMG performance from Kane.

Star 2: Sam Lafferty

Last year I think we were all pleasantly surprised by Lafferty’s play after he was acquired in a trade for Alex Nylander from Pittsburgh. When he produced 11 points in 46 games the fans and the front office were intrigued, and Kyle Davidson signed him to a two-year extension. With his goal tonight, Lafferty has eight points (five goals, three assists) in 12 games just in the month of January this year. He’s been terrific lately in a range of roles from fourth line center to penalty killer to momentum-changer.

Star 3: Reese Johnson

You know what, yeah — I’m going to make Reese Johnson one of my three stars tonight. At the end of the second period he was the only Blackhawks forward without a point. But he had won six of eight faceoffs and was credited with two shots on net and three hits in under eight minutes of ice time. At the end of the night, he won 9 of 13 at the dot. And he provided a terrific screen on Boris Katchouk‘s goal. He’s been playing his tail off lately and it’s starting to pay dividends in the box score. Respect for the effort tonight — again.


  • Stauber was really good tonight and would have been one of my stars if I didn’t feel like pumping Reese’s tires a little. He got run over a couple times in the first period but didn’t lose his composure. When Calgary pushed back in the third period, he stood up in the crease. The effort from the skaters in front of him was better than we saw in Vancouver, but Stauber had a second really good performance to start his NHL career.
  • After their lowest shot total of the season in Vancouver, the Blackhawks out-shot the Flames in the first period tonight. They had 14 shots on net in 60 minutes on Tuesday; the Hawks were credited with nine on net in the first period tonight. Improvement? Or did Calgary just not get off the bus until after the first intermission?
  • The Blackhawks inability to finish periods is frustrating (if you want them to win games). They gave up their one-goal lead with less than 27 seconds left in the first period. That has to drive Luke Richardson and his staff crazy. They played a solid 19:30 in the first period and wound up tied at one.
  • Luke Philp picked up his first career NHL point with an assist on Katchouk’s goal in the second period. There are 64 players in Blackhawks’ franchise history who have exactly one point with the organization, including former Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau and Max Quackenbush.
  • Please take a moment and appreciate this pass from 88:

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab