Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
The Chicago Blackhawks turned in one of their most complete efforts of the season in a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday at the United Center.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Chicago sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
Here are 10 observations from the win:
1. The Blackhawks won back-to-back games for the first time this season and have earned points in three straight games (2-0-1). They're also 4-1-1 in their last six home contests after starting the season 1-5-0. That's more like it.
2. The Blackhawks went back to Petr Mrazek, who stopped all 37 shots he faced in Thursday's 1-0 win over Anaheim for his first shutout since April 4, 2021. He followed that up with another very strong performance, turning aside the first 39 shots he faced before allowing his first goal of the game with 3:29 left in regulation. So close to consecutive shutouts.
3. The Blackhawks had only three goals in 25 games this season from their defensemen prior to Saturday. They haven't gotten much production from the back end. That changed in this game when Alex Vlasic scored his first goal of the season, Nikita Zaitsev recorded a pair of assists, and Louis Crevier (his first NHL point) and Connor Murphy each added assists of their own as well.
4. The Blackhawks scored the first goal for the third straight game. They scored the first goal in only nine of their previous 23 contests. I thought it one of the best first periods Chicago has had all season.
5. Jason Dickinson scored his ninth goal of the season, which ranks second on the team. It also ties a career-high, which he's done three times now. He's on pace for 28 goals this season. Wouldn't be surprised if he attracts interest at the trade deadline.
6. The Blackhawks seemingly didn't lose a faceoff in the first period. They won 21 of 27 draws for a win percentage of 77.8. Pure dominance from a team that's 31st in the NHL in that department.
7. What's a Blackhawks-Blues game without a fight? The main card on this Saturday night was between Reese Johnson and Brayden Schenn, who ultimately won the scrap. Johnson doesn't lose too many of them.
8. The Blackhawks generated a few shorthanded scoring chances in this game. MacKenzie Entwistle had one in the first period, and then Taylor Raddysh with another in the second period during a 3-on-1 opportunity. Dickinson and Nick Foligno also found themselves in a 2-on-1 rush but they didn't get a shot off. Refreshing to see them on the other side of that for a change until St. Louis scored a shorthanded goal late in the third period.
9. The Blackhawks announced on Saturday morning that Korchinski was placed on the non-roster due to a family matter. His timeline for a return is unclear. Isaak Phillips was recalled from Rockford and slid into his place on the top pairing with Seth Jones.
10. Andreas Athanasiou has been out exactly one month with a groin injury. Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said on Friday the hope is he'll start skating in the next two or three days. They could use a little boost to the top-nine.