Blackhawks’ comeback win over Senators shows Max Domi starting to rediscover rhythm

To keep worries about his uncertain future out of his mind, Domi has instead focused solely on his on-ice play. But even that is a mixed bag: he hasn’t scored in 10 straight games, but he did tally two assists Friday in the Hawks’ 4-3 overtime victory.

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Max Domi assisted on two Patrick Kane goals in the Blackhawks’ win over the Senators on Friday.

Max Domi assisted on two Patrick Kane goals in the Blackhawks’ win over the Senators on Friday.

AP Photos

OTTAWA, Ontario — Blackhawks center Max Domi has kept any worries about his uncertain future out of his mind by occupying himself with on-ice concerns.

‘‘You literally dive headfirst into your game,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t want to say ‘overwhelm yourself’ because I’m not overwhelming myself, but just consume yourself with thinking about each and every game and the preparation that goes into that.’’

The Hawks’ jam-packed recent schedule — their 4-3 overtime victory Friday against the Senators ended one stretch of three games in four days, but they’ll start another such stretch Sunday — also has helped him ‘‘stay locked in.’’

But entering Friday, Domi’s all-consuming thoughts about his recent play hadn’t been entirely positive, either.

‘‘It has been weird since after the [All-Star] break,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve had a lot of chances — we’ve had a lot of chances — and we can’t seem to bury them. That happens. It’s such a roller coaster. We’ve talked about it throughout the year, but you really just have to stay with it.’’

Domi did and finally reaped some of the rewards he had missed in the last few weeks.

He connected with Patrick Kane on a two-on-zero in front of the net 44 seconds into the game. A couple of hours later, he again worked with Kane on a two-on-one break and earned his second assist of the night when Kane ripped a game-tying goal with 3:05 left.

Andreas Athanasiou’s overtime winner — after goalie Petr Mrazek made several huge saves — ultimately gave the Hawks a feel-good victory to close what had been a disappointing road trip.

‘‘The way they persevered to come back from two goals down on the road . . . that shows a lot of guts,’’ coach Luke Richardson said. ‘‘I’m proud of them.’’

Andreas Athanasiou scored the overtime winner Friday against the Senators.

Andreas Athanasiou scored the overtime winner Friday against the Senators.

AP Photos

Domi now has three points in his last two games since snapping a four-game pointless streak with an assist Wednesday against the Maple Leafs.

Before making the pass Wednesday to Philipp Kurashev, however, Domi had his own great shooting opportunity in the faceoff circle. His decision to pull up and wait for Kurashev to join the rush paid off, but Richardson urged him Friday to shoot the puck in those situations in the future.

‘‘We talked a couple of times,’’ Richardson said. ‘‘I really want him shooting that puck more. We needed it [Friday]; he just didn’t really have the opportunity to shoot it much more. But I liked that he was moving his feet more and creating plays.’’

Domi hasn’t scored since Jan. 21 against the Blues, having been denied on 35 consecutive shots and 18 scoring chances in a row during the 10 games since, including on three shots and one chance Friday.

The Hawks even planned to adjust their power-play strategy to get Domi in the up-top position a few times. They hoped that would allow him to come “downhill” and lean into his shots, Richardson said. But they never really got it set up, falling to an abysmal 1-for-29 on the power play in their last 13 games.

All these mixed patterns and signals in different areas will give Domi plenty to focus on, even if the rumors around him increase leading up to the trade deadline March 3.

It was hardly a secret that the Hawks initially signed Domi to a one-year contract with the idea of potentially flipping him for a draft pick. He knew that, too.

But he also has made it clear he would prefer to stay in Chicago and re-sign, and he has become a popular teammate. It all adds up to a hard-to-predict situation in the next two weeks.

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