Four takeaways: Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome reunite to lift Blackhawks past Kings


Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center on Sunday:

1. Blackhawks snap four-game skid before important road trip

If you throw out the Philadelphia game, the Blackhawks felt like they were making progress with their on-ice performance. But they were getting tired of the fact that the results weren't translating.

That changed on Sunday.

The Blackhawks played a solid game overall and picked up a much-needed two points to snap a four-game skid (0-3-1) as they prepare to hit the road for the next four games and seven of the next nine.

"Obviously, pleased for the guys to get rewarded for I think a pretty good effort," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "It wasn't perfect, of course. It wasn't so different probably from the Washington game, the Vegas game, parts of Carolina. But the puck went in the net for us, which was a big boost. Probably lifted a bit of a load off of some of those guys shoulders and now we got a little bit of positive reinforcement for some of the good things they've been doing."

2. Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome reunite and explode

Colliton shuffled the lines again and put Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome together, albeit on the fourth line, centered by Ryan Carpenter. And it paid off immediately.

On their very first shift together, DeBrincat connected with Strome just 2:33 into the game to open the scoring and they connected two more times, with each player racking up three points.

Strome snapped a seven-game goal drought and led the way with two goals and a primary assist while DeBrincat had one goal and two primary assists. It was a great night for the Erie Otters connection.

"I think we can just find each other pretty easily," Strome said. "We were excited before the game to get back together and he's obviously a great player. Tonight he found me a few times and I paid him back for one there in the slot, so it's nice to be back on his line."

3. Offense comes alive

Going into Sunday's matchup, no team gave up more goals per game (4.00) than the Kings despite allowing the second-fewest shots per game in the NHL (28.5). This was a game that was set up perfectly for the Blackhawks to snap out of their scoring slump.

And they did.

The Blackhawks scored five goals — all at even strength — which is the exact amount they'd scored in their previous four games combined. It was a much-needed outburst for the offense.

"Yeah, it's nice," DeBrincat said. "Get some confidence back and hopefully we can carry that into next game, keep rolling. It wasn't going in there for a while and we got bounces today, so if we keep doing that then we're going to keep scoring goals and keep winning games."

4. Holding it down on defense

The other good news is that the Blackhawks didn't give up much in their own end, either. The Kings recorded 39 shots on goal, but the Blackhawks allowed only six high-danger chances at even strength through two periods, according to Natural Stat Trick.

The Kings made a push in the final frame, but Robin Lehner and his season-high 38 saves shut the door for the Blackhawks.

"I thought we were pretty good defensively throughout," Colliton said. "They got a few chances in the third. I thought we weren't quite as good in the third as we were in the first two periods but we got a goal and we built on it and we kept playing."

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