ANAHEIM — The Blackhawks knocked off the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 at Honda Center on Wednesday.
Here are 10 observations from the win:
1. This game-winning goal was a thing of beauty for Chicago. The slap-pass by Riley Stillman and the finish by Dylan Strome, who has now recorded at least one point in nine of 10 games in the month of March.
2. With no Marc-Andre Fleury, Kevin Lankinen is going to get a big opportunity down the stretch here to be the go-to starter like he was last season and it's important for him to play well because he's set to become an unrestricted free agent. Let's see how he handles the workload. He struggled to get into a rhythm as a backup and the different things that held him out of the lineup (COVID-19, injured right hand, etc.). He started off on a positive note with a strong performance in this game, and made multiple Grade-A stops, most notably on Derek Grant in the first period, Dominik Simon in the second and then again on Zegras.
3. The last time Patrick Kane faced Anaheim, he recorded six points — four in the first period alone — which set a new career-high. He picked up where he left off by posting a three-point effort with one goal and two assists to give himself 21 points in 10 games this month. He also reached the 20-goal plateau for the 14th time in 15 seasons; the only time he didn't hit that number was last season, which was a COVID-19 shortened campaign.
4. The Blackhawks allowed only 10 shot attempts and four shots on goal in the first period. At one point, they gave up just one shot in a span of 15:46 and it happened to be Anaheim's goal. Great start to the game even though it was a 1-1 score through 20.
5. During 5-on-5 action in the second period, the Blackhawks had one scoring chance and zero high-danger chances, per Natural Stat Trick. The Ducks had 11 scoring chances and six high-danger chances. The script flipped in that middle frame, but the Blackhawks came away with the lead because of a power-play goal.
6. Sam Lafferty was extremely noticeable in this game. He generated a scoring chance shorthanded, had four shots on goal, two hits and nearly scored a highlight-reel goal in the third period but was denied by John Gibson. He creates a lot, the challenge is the finish. He finished with 17:33 of ice time, which is a new career-high.
7. Kirby Dach tried "The Michigan" goal in Trevor Zegras' building, and it would've been amazing if he pulled that off on national television.
8. Look, I know it's a small sample size, but Taylor Raddysh looks like a fine player. He works hard, has a sneaky good offensive skill, solid instincts and isn't afraid to throw his 6-foot-3, 198-pound body around. He opened the scoring with a great shot on the power play for his second in three games with the Blackhawks.
9. Reese Johnson played in his first NHL game since Dec. 11 after dealing with a broken right clavicle and recorded six hits, 6:41 of ice time and a fight, although I didn't like the timing of it with his team leading 2-1 midway through the third period. Interim head coach Derek King called him a "young Ryan Carpenter," and that's the role he's going to play moving forward as the fourth-line center.
10. The NHL announced hours before the game that Anaheim's trade with Vegas for Evgenii Dadonov was invalidated because his contract included a limited no-trade clause, which had not been complied with. Anaheim was on Dadonov's 10-team no-trade list, but apparently Vegas was operating under the idea it hadn't originally been filed properly, which would void any protection, or the list wasn't transferred to Vegas from Ottawa. A complicated and unprecedented situation.