Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat help Blackhawks end 4-game losing streak

The five goals the Hawks scored against the Kings were their most this season.

SHARE Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat help Blackhawks end 4-game losing streak
Blackhawks center Dylan Strome, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period Sunday.

Blackhawks center Dylan Strome, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period Sunday.

Matt Marton/AP

Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat have played together since their days with Erie in the Ontario Hockey League.

That was five years ago — almost a quarter of their lifetimes.

‘‘We’re great friends off the ice, so it just helps on the ice,’’ Strome said. ‘‘Obviously, I love playing with the guy.’’

The two combined for six points as the Blackhawks trounced the Kings 5-1 and snapped a four-game losing streak. Strome had two goals and an assist and DeBrincat a goal and two assists in the Hawks’ highest-scoring effort of the season.

Coach Jeremy Colliton shuffled his lines before the game, putting Strome and DeBrincat on the wings with Ryan Carpenter at center. David Kampf and Drake Caggiula also scored in the Hawks’ first victory since Oct. 18.

Goalie Robin Lehner did his part in net, making 38 saves to improve to 2-1-2.

Everyone was breathing a sigh of relief as the Hawks prepare to travel to Nashville, Tennessee, for a game Tuesday against the Predators.

‘‘It helps the mood, helps the energy,’’ Colliton said. ‘‘Guys can be happy on the plane.’’

They certainly looked happy on the ice.

Strome started the scoring when he buried a wrist shot from the low slot 2:33 into the first period. After Kampf scored early in the second, Strome struck again with another wrist shot for his second multigoal performance since joining the Hawks.

DeBrincat made it 4-0 in the final minute of the second, and the rout was on. Strome set him up on the goal.

‘‘We’ve played together for a long time here and know where each other is at,’’ DeBrincat said. ‘‘We know the tendencies. We’ve been working on it for a while, and some games it just clicks like that.’’

Colliton praised Carpenter for his role on the line. He finished with an assist and a plus-3 rating.

‘‘They’ve obviously played well together in the past,’’ Colliton said of Strome and DeBrincat. ‘‘We thought putting Carpenter there would give them a bit of protection defensively. Carpenter is a guy, he does a lot of things right away from the puck. He very rarely takes a wrong decision on the defensive zone. He can win faceoffs.

‘‘[Strome] can help him. He’s comfortable playing low, and he can take faceoffs. But it frees those other two up to push the pace and make some more plays and have the puck more. It seems like whatever line Carpenter has been on, they have the puck a lot.’’

Alex Nylander continued his impressive start to the season with an assist on Kampf’s goal. He took the puck to the net but lost his footing. As he fell toward the ice, he slipped a pass to Kampf in front of the crease.

‘‘As I fell, I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to pass this quick,’ ’’ Nylander said with a chuckle.

The Kings got on the board early in the third, and Caggiula capped the scoring with 2:07 left.

Strome had a chance at a hat trick in the third, but Kings goalie Jack Campbell stuffed his backhand attempt.

‘‘I’ll blame it on [DeBrincat],’’ Strome joked. ‘‘We were talking about it, figuring we might get another chance to get out there.’’

That’s OK. Keep your hats. For at least one night, the Hawks were feeling the flow.

‘‘It’s really important,’’ DeBrincat said. ‘‘Get the confidence up. If we play a full 60 minutes, we’re going to have a good chance to win every night. If we can keep doing that, we’re in pretty good shape.’’

The Latest
NFL teams seem fine with Williams being himself, or at minimum are giving far more weight to his play than anything else. Scouts acknowledged various concerns, but reached the same conclusion: They’d take Williams in a heartbeat.
The Hawks should be fairly quiet ahead of the deadline Friday, but Johnson is one of few guys who could be moved. The former Lightning forward admitted it’s “pretty hard to not completely think about it.”
Beverley’s stay with the Bulls last season was successful in the standings, but not so much in the locker room. But just because the organization moved off the hometown guy doesn’t mean toughness still isn’t an issue.
Notre Dame’s Joe Alt was born to be a left tackle.
Kraus scored nine points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field during the third quarter. That quarter gave the Rockets (25-11) the cushion they needed as they won back-to-back IHSA Class 1A state championships in their 48-36 win over the Illini Bluffs (32-5) at Illinois State’s CEFCU Arena.