Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Chicago Blackhawks

THREE THINGS: Dominant Dominik, Red-Hot Toews and Day Shift

Three takeaways from Chicago's 4-2 win over Anaheim on Saturday

by Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc / Blackhawks.com

The Blackhawks capped their four-game homestand in style.

Dominik Kubalik had two goals, Jonathan Toews a goal and an assist and Olli Maatta also scored to lift the Blackhawks to a 4-2 victory over the Ducks on Saturday night at the United Center.

"Good to get a win, obviously, at the end of the homestand; points we needed," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "When we're skating and pressuring the puck and going all the way through situations and closing on the puck carrier defensively it makes it a lot easier on ourselves. "We did a lot of good things and I thought we deserved the two points."

Robin Lehner made 35 saves to earn the victory in goal for the Blackhawks, only yielding goals to Rickard Rakell and Max Jones. John Gibson (29 saves) suffered the loss for the Ducks.

"Anytime you win you can build some confidence around it," Lehner said. "When we play our game we play really well. The problem is, for some reason, we deviate from it and start making it complicated for ourselves and that's where we get in trouble. So we just have to keep finding a solution and find out why that keeps happening and we'll be fine."

The Blackhawks snapped a two-game losing skid and finished their homestand with a 2-2 mark to move to 20-20-6 on the season. The Ducks fell to 17-23-5.

"We have five games left until the (All-Star Game) break," Lehner said. "We know we have to do some damage in those five games to stick with it before the break and this was a good start."

Video: Kubalik, Lehner lead Blackhawks past Ducks 

Here are three takeaways from the Blackhawks' victory:


DOMINANT DOMINIK

With his 15th and 16th goals of the season, Kubalik pulled into a tie with the Sabres' Victor Olofsson for most by a rookie in the NHL.

Kubalik has a four-game goal streak, matching the last Blackhawks rookie to do so, Andrew Shaw during the 2011-12 season. The winger also carries a career-high five-game point streak.

What is working so well for Kubalik lately?

"The biggest part is that we're playing pretty well as a line," said Kubalik, who was paired with Toews and Patrick Kane (one assist) for much of the game. "Lots of O-zone shifts, lots of shots to the net. I think that's the biggest thing. For example, me and 'Tazer,' we both scored in the last two-three games, so that's pretty good."

Kubalik had an opportunity to collect his first career hat trick but fired wide of an empty net on a couple of occasions in the closing moments.

"I was shaking, nervous, whatever," Kubalik said with a smile. "Then when I missed the first one I was looking to pass (the second), because my confidence was gone. I didn't believe in myself."

While Kubalik possesses one of the hardest shots on the Blackhawks, both of his goals against the Ducks were off rebounds in front.

"If you look at his goals, you'd be surprised how many he scores from just being at the net, just standing there, being in front," Colliton said. "You can get a rebound or it goes off you. That's one thing that's really helped him this season. It's not just parking in the slot and hit a one-timer. There's that, but I'd say most of his goals are either skating, off the rush, or finding a way to be around the net for a quick play or a rebound or just jumping on a loose puck. That's a big reason why his production has really accelerated."

Video: Kubalik on two-goal night 


RED-HOT TOEWS

After an inconsistent start offensively, Toews has found his groove with six points in his last five games, including two goals.

"I think as the year has gone on he's getting better and better playing a hard game and taking the puck to the net and gaining confidence he's going to make a difference for us offensively," Colliton said. "He knows he's a great player and he knows he can make a difference for us but it's another thing to see the puck go into the net and get that feeling that he's producing for the team. Positive to see."

Toews' two-point effort against the Ducks was his ninth multi-point game of the season and on the year, the captain now has 11 goals and 24 assists.

"I still feel like there's more on the table and I'm not exactly happy with my production as it is but I'm finding ways to get the puck and be creative with it (and) play with confidence, Toews said. "I like to be around the net and finding pucks and putting them home a little bit more often. I keep trying to find ways to do that. You can't just be relying on (Patrick Kane) to put up three or four points a night so we've got to spread it around a little bit."

In addition to his goal and assist against the Ducks, Toews was a plus-2 to raise his plus-minus to minus-6 on the season.

"I feel like I'm playing better hockey," Toews said. "I look at my plus-minus and it's nice to get a few plusses here and there and you know you're on the right side of the puck and you're creating but also being responsible and not giving up too much on your own side."

Video: Lehner on first game back, win 


DAY SHIFT

In an effort to help the Blackhawks get off to better starts, Colliton has made the team's morning skates an option for players to take the ice or skip it and rest.

"From my perspective we shouldn't go out there if we're not going to be ready to work and compete," Colliton said. "I think we've started better because of it so we're going to keep that going. (If) guys don't want to go on and stay fresh, perfect. Come ready to play and if you feel you need to go on then let's do things right."

The Blackhawks came out with energy against the Ducks and exited the opening period tied at 1-1 after Toews followed Anaheim's Max Jones with his 11th goal of the season.

In general - but not always - the home team will skate at 10:30 a.m. and the visitors at 11:30. Since Christmas, the Blackhawks have often had optional skates and Colliton said that could continue next season if he's happy with the results.

"Just like anything else you do it evolves over time and you check your work after and see how it turned out," Colliton said. "But, for now, I've liked it. I've liked the response."

View More