The Blackhawks picked up a crucial win on Saturday night, not only in the two points they took from Detroit in a 4-0 shutout, but in the momentum they picked up heading into a week where they'll face the Nashville Predators in three straight games, perhaps a defining stretch in the Central Division playoff race.
"An important win for us. I thought we played better on Thursday, but we scored on our chances at really important times. The goal at the end of the first was huge for us, mentally," Colliton said. "Suby was excellent for us, solid, made the saves he had to... We got what we needed tonight and it obviously sets up some pretty important games coming up."
"Everyone knows where we are in the standings," said Vinnie Hinostroza, who picked up three primary assists on the night. "To win this game how we did -- 4-0, battled the whole game -- it's huge going into this three game series with Nashville. These will be the three biggest games of the year and this group is excited and it's huge we got the momentum going into it."
Video: Subban posted a shutout in a 4-0 win over Red Wings
Here are three takeaways from the win:
Malcolm Subban returned to the cage after an eight-game absence on Saturday night, making 29 saves in his second shutout of the season.
"I just wanted to make sure that I had a good start and every chance that they got, just make sure that I try and keep the rebounds," Subban said of his game. "Mainly just try to play a simple game and try to give my team as much confidence as I can."
"I know I've said this before, but you can't really overstate what a great teammate he is," Colliton said of Subban stepping in. "It was a big game for us. Multiple times this year, he's stepped to the plate and done a great job. You love to see him be rewarded. I was happy we were able to get the shutout for him … So much time between games, obviously very pleased with what he's brought to us this year."
Video: CHI@DET: Subban makes a flurry of saves in front
Subban drew the start and Delia the backup duties in order to give Kevin Lankinen a full night off ahead of a crucial trio of games against Nashville beginning on Monday. The rookie's eight straight starts coming into the game were the most consecutively by any of the three netminders this season.
"It's not easy when you're playing once every few weeks, but I just try to give my team the chance to win when I'm in there," Subban said. "Lanks has been doing great this year. He's had a great season, so you can't be mad about that. Whenever I can get in there, obviously I want to get in there and be a part of things. I feel good when I can get in there and get the team two points coming down in this playoff crunch."
For Delia, it was the first time he's dressed for a game since the third tilt of the season, Jan. 17 in Florida.
"That was in no way a reflection of the last game. That's been the plan," Colliton explained pregame. "We set that about 10 days ago. They've known. That was a way to get Lanks some rest, but also he can get some extra work in."
Video: Subban on shutting out the Red Wings
Hinostroza played primary setup man on a trio of goals on the night, the first two, in particular, in impressive fashion.
Late in the first, Hinostroza's forechecking pressure played key, lifting the stick of Troy Stecher as the Red Wings defenseman chased a puck back inside his own blue line and then sliding a slick feed to the late-trailing Kane for a one-time finish. Early in the third, he send a backhand saucer pass to Wyatt Kalynuk on an in-tight 2-on-1 for the dagger and a 3-0 lead.
He also was credited with an assist on Pius Suter's empty-netter from the Blackhawks zone.
"He skates really well. That's a huge lift. It gives us a lot of pace, just one more guy who can get up and down and win races just like he did on the first goal," Colliton said. "When you're doing that once every two or three shifts, it just helps us to find the offensive zone, helps us to get out of D-zone. You start to control the game more. He's been really good for us. The challenge is going to be can he sustain that level."
With the three assists, Hinostroza now has five points in six games since being acquired just over two weeks ago. He had zero points in nine skates with Florida before the trade.
"Being in Florida, wasn't playing too much. I didn't really have a role there," he said. "You kind of think about being in the NHL and what it means and how you work your whole life to be here. For me, I just wanted to come in and be the hardest-working player every day, whether it's a practice or a game. I'm not taking being out there, wearing a sweater every night for granted.
"These streaks where you're doing well, they come from a lot of hard work in practice and in the weight room. Not going to be satisfied, just going to keep working hard and we've got a couple games left here to make a push. I love this team and we've got a great group here."
Video: Hinostroza on big win in Detroit
KANE FINDS TWINE
After a break-neck scoring pace to start the season, Patrick Kane came into Saturday's game with just one goal over his last 10 outings.
"He's going through a stretch where he's not converting. I think [he's shooting] 4.5% percent over the last stretch. That's not going to carry on," Colliton said of 88's scoring luck before the game. "We've got some big games coming up, so it'd be a good time for that shooting percentage to even out."
On cue, Kane delivered in the final minute of the first period in Detroit, burying a perfect feed from Vinnie Hinostroza off the latter's productive forecheck. It was his 15th of the season and one where his celebration said it all.
Video: CHI@DET: Kane fires a drop pass into the back of net
Kane added an assist on Kalynuk's third-period tally for his 17th multi-point game of the season, good for second in the NHL. He is third in the league with 41 helpers and 56 points.