What did my eyes just witness!? Going into the game Friday night, you would have expected a boring lackadaisical game between two teams destined to miss the playoffs. Instead of the Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils giving their fans the best game of the year. Well, if you’re on the Blackhawk’s side. Chicago came into the game on a seven-game losing streak on home ice. The Devils came in on a high mark after stomping the pesky penguins the previous night.
The game would start with a good pace, both teams trading shots until Ty Smith of the Devils would turn the puck over to Brandon Hagel, who is playing in his one-hundredth game. Hagel would be alone with the young goalie Gillies. Hagel skating in from the hash marks, fires a shot above the pad below the glove to make it 1-0.
In his one-hundredth game, Jack Hughes would tie the game up just under two minutes later on a two-on-one. With just over a minute remaining in the first, Sharangovich would blast one high glove past Lankinen making it 2-1 New Jersey. Chicago has struggled all season with giving up goals following scoring or starting and finishing a period. Sharangovich is also playing his one-hundredth game as well.
Early in the second, McLeod would take a boarding penalty on Murphy, and Carpenter would stand up and drop the gloves with McLeod following this hit. Patrick Kane would tie the game up with a sweet shot top shelf on Gillies on the ensuing power play.
Ty Smith would take a hooking penalty, and the Blackhawk’s power play would strike once again. Who else but Kane for his second of the game and his fifteenth of the season. Chicago power play wouldn’t be done just yet. Just a little later in the period, the Devils would once again find themself short-handed, where Kane finds Hagel, who finds the back of the net, joining Kane with his second goal of the contest. The Blackhawks would once again surrender a late-period goal as Bratt would sneak behind Gustafsson and beat Lankinen five-hole on the breakaway. Gustafsson would have a tough game finishing negative two on the night making more than a few mistakes during the game.
New Jersey would ultimately tie the game up just before the period’s halfway mark. But Kirby Dach had a different idea and would flash his potential, chipping the puck past the defender, leaving the defensive zone creating a two-on-one. Still, instead of forcing the pass, Dach would take it to the net, making a slick move to his backhand, sliding it into the wide-open net. Just a beautiful goal by Kirby Dach!
Carpenter would extend the lead making it six to four. New Jersey, desperate to get back into the game, would pull their goalie. Patrick Kane would make a great read, steal the puck from Jack Hughes in the neutral zone, giving Kane a breakaway on an empty net scoring his third of the game for his second hattrick of the season. But there is more; Hagel would find himself looking at an empty net on a breakaway just as he was putting the puck in the net Subban would continue his questionable play, tripping Hagel causing him to crash into the net. The puck would go in the net, giving Hagel a hattrick and his seventeenth goal of the year. A scrum would ensue with Dach not being happy with Subban, Hagel would also express his displeasure with Subban.
This insane game had everything from players hitting milestones (also shout out to Kurashev, who also played in his one-hundredth game) a few fights, oh and don’t forget the two hat tricks from Patrick Kane and Brandon Hagel! If you missed this game, you should find a way to go back and watch a replay of it. This could go down as the best game of the season for the Blackhawks. Now they just need to carry the momentum in the game versus the rotten St. Louis Blues Sunday!