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Blackhawks' Landon Slaggert has memorable day with first multi-point game in NHL

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Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

Landon Slaggert has had a whirlwind of a month. He wrapped up his senior season at Notre Dame, signed an entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, and made his NHL debut shortly after, all while he tries to finish school and graduate on time.

On Tuesday, Slaggert had his best game as a pro so far after recording two assists for his first points in the NHL as the Blackhawks defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1 at the United Center.

First assist. First point. First multi-point outing. What a day, right? Absolutely. But it could've been even more memorable: Slaggert came so close to scoring twice that could've theoretically resulted in a four-point game.

"I was hoping for it," Slaggert smiled. "But I guess it just wasn't in the cards tonight. It's awesome playing with some pretty great players in Dickie and Joey. They just kind of helped me out there and I thought we created a lot of offense today."

In the second period, Jacob Markstrom left his net to chase the puck that had bounced away from him and Slaggert almost had a wide open net but his shot got blocked.

"Looks pretty big," Slaggert replied when asked how big the net looked. "And I managed to miss it."

In the third period, it looked like Slaggert finally did score after the horn went off, the official signaled a good goal, and the United Center went crazy. But after video review, the replay showed the puck hit the post and never crossed the goal line.

"Honestly, I couldn't tell you what was going through my mind," Slaggert said. "I thought I went in, but then I turned around, the spotlight came on, so I think there was definitely some confusion for a second there. But, yeah, I guess I have to wait a little longer for it."

Slaggert's family had a funny reaction.

"I have to check that out," Slaggert laughed. "I'm excited to see it. They came in, obviously a short drive. My little brother and parents, it's nice having them."

Slaggert's line as a whole was solid. Jason Dickinson scored twice to end an eight-game goal drought, and Joey Anderson added two primary assists.

Typically, Colin Blackwell is on that line but he's out with an upper-body injury so Slaggert stepped into that role. He fit in seamlessly against Calgary.

"Fantastic," Dickinson said of Slaggert's performance. "He's been working hard. He's a smart player to play with, he fits in with our line really well, he plays hard, he puts pucks up the walls for us, nothing fancy but that's what our line wants, that's what we need. We work well together for that to get pucks below the goal line and create from there."

Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson was impressed with Slaggert's game, too.

"I thought he fit in well with that line," Richardson said. "Nick [Foligno's] done well there, Blackwell’s done well there but I think Landon’s perfect. He’s like a spark plug, he’s got a lot of energy and he makes the right plays in the zones. ... On the first goal, he’s not worried about getting in the rush. He makes the play on the wall for Anderson and then he gets the reward for his first NHL point on a really hard-work, well-deserved play. It was good to see. He plays it right."

There are only 10 games left in the season, but Slaggert is slowly finding his footing in the NHL.

"Definitely the past few games, I feel like I'm finding my game a little bit more and kind of settling in," Slaggert said. "it's been awesome. I think it's a great experience. The guys are great and all just making me feel comfortable. There's a great group in here. It's good to get a little taste of what the NHL is all about because it is a really hard league. And I feel like I'm getting more comfortable with each game I play."

It's a really hard league, no doubt. It's even harder when you're trying to do it with homework involved.

"I'm in the Chinese history class right now — gotta get a history credit out of the way – and then I have a business class; I think values-based leadership," Slaggert smiled. "So just kind of working my way through those, hopefully I can get a good grade and pass the classes.

"I'm still figuring it out with my professors. Trying to figure out a plan to graduate. Just a few more credits left."

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