No Patrick Kane No Problem as Blackhawks beat Sharks to 5th straight win

No Patrick Kane No Problem as Blackhawks beat Sharks to 5th straight win

The Blackhawks’ recent winning streak has come out of nowhere, and it seems like nothing can stop it.

The Hawks defeated the Sharks 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday to earn their sixth straight victory despite playing without Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Sam Lafferty.

“It was a little bit sloppy sometimes…[but the] guys scraped it out,” coach Luke Richardson said.

Andreas Athanasiou moved up to the first line opposite Philipp Kurashev as Kane was replaced as the de facto attacking leader, continuing Max Domi’s recent upswing.

Domi scored 16 seconds into the third period to vent his frustration following a missed high-sticking penalty at the end of the second. He then created three wonderful chances in overtime and ultimately tied a career high with eight shots on goal.

“Sometimes it takes a while for him to settle down, and scoring that goal did it for him,” Richardson said. “He was playing a little pissed off there and he was really skating. When he’s skating and shooting the puck, that’s when he’s at his best.”

READ  ALSO: Teddi Pritzker Wiki & Bio

The Hawks also got unlikely contributions from AHL call-ups David Gust and Brett Seney, who both scored their first goals of the season in the first period.

But goalie Petr Mrazek stole the show, making 45 saves during regular play — one off his season high — and then another three saves on three shots in the shootout to carry the Hawks to victory.

“[The Sharks] had some stuff in our D-zone, but guys did a lot of good stuff in front of me and I could see the puck early,” Mrazek said.

The Czech goalie has been ridiculously good in shootouts for a long time. Since the start of 2016-17, he’s 14-2 in them with an .830 save percentage, second-best in the NHL.

He attributed that success to how often the Hawks practice shootouts — and by that measure, it should’ve been no surprise to see Philipp Kurashev score the shootout’s lone goal, considering how much he dominates the comparable “two-puck” games in practice.

Even the Hawks as a team are now 8-5 in overtime and shootouts combined this season — a sharp contrast to their 13-32 record in games ending in regulation.

“We look to be patient in overtime, and then in the shootout, we’re just hopeful the guys remember the pre-scout on the goalie,” Richardson said. “Tonight was a good one.”