The official scoring line for the Blackhawks’ overtime-winning goal Tuesday was Pius Suter from Brandon Hagel and Kevin Lankinen.
The unofficial scoring line? Rookie from rookie and rookie, with another rookie — Ian Michell — the other player on the ice.
The Hawks’ youth put on another impressive display, not only on the beautiful OT play but throughout the 2-1 victory over the Stars, as the team reached the NHL season’s quarter mark playing their best hockey of the year.
The Hawks’ record now stands at 6-4-4, fifth in the Central Division on points percentage.
“It tells a lot about our team,” said Lankinen, who also made 34 saves. “A lot of young guys have stepped up, they’ve been given opportunity and they’re making the most of it... You can see it in the results already now and we’re building a lot of confidence. Every guy is building confidence in their own game, too, and it’s only going to get better from here.”
Colliton’s willingness to even deploy three rookies simultaneously in the three-on-three setting indicates a lot about the organization’s growing trust in their youth.
The previous overtime shift, Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat — the heroes of Sunday’s identical 2-1 OT win — only cautiously circled through the neutral zone. Once the rookies were unleashed, Hagel led a rush up the ice and Suter undressed John Klingberg before beating Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger.
“They’re building confidence, and we’re building confidence in them,” Colliton said. “They understand, [in] key moments in the game, how we’ve got to play.”
“I didn’t know it was in until I heard [Hagel] screaming,” Suter added, grinning.
The Stars controlled the first 30 minutes, but three huge Lankinen saves in the opening minutes of the second period turned the tide. Mattias Janmark’s first goal against his old team soon after tied the game.
Nicolas Beaudin — yet another rookie — also played well, leading the Hawks with a 67% scoring chance ratio, deftly quarterbacking the red-hot second power-play unit and nearly scoring his first NHL goal.
Connor Murphy missed the game with a right hip injury, forcing Madison Bowey to make his Hawks debut.
Shaw ditches visor
Andrew Shaw’s new-for-2021 helmet visor didn’t last long.
After debuting the visor in training camp — “It’s both precautionary and [because I’m] just sick of bleeding everywhere,” he said then — and wearing it for the first few weeks of the season, Shaw switched back to a frontless helmet a few games ago.
“[It was] very annoying,” he said Tuesday. “I just found it was interfering with my vision. Haven’t worn it for 10 years. Tried to get used to it, couldn’t do it, so I got rid of it.”
Kurashev breaks glass
Philipp Kurashev is tied with teammate Pius Suter and Senators forward Tim Stutzle for the NHL’s rookie goal-scoring lead.
On Monday in Dallas, he moved into the rookie lead in another category: glass panes shattered during practice.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 8, 2021
(That’s it. That’s the tweet.) pic.twitter.com/YmbbC2dPQy
Kurashev’s teammates naturally gave him some lighthearted ribbing about the destruction.
“We told him he had to pay for it, so he was a little nervous,” Shaw joked.
“I don’t know what he was doing,” Strome added. “He took a slapshot across the rink into the corner. We were laughing by the bench. He thinks his shot is a little harder than it is right now.”