10 Observations

10 Observations: Blackhawks Beat Flyers for First Regulation Win Since March

10 observations: Hawks beat Flyers in regulation originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks knocked off the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 at the United Center on Monday.

Here are 10 observations from the win:

1. The Blackhawks picked up their first regulation win since March 23, which was a 4-2 victory in Anaheim. That was 17 games and 33 days ago. The two wins in their previous 13 games came in overtime and a shootout. It was also the first time the Blackhawks held an opponent to under two goals since Feb. 18 when they lost to Dallas in a shootout 1-0.

2. The Blackhawks gave up 21 shots on goal to the Flyers through two periods but 11 of them came on the power play. The Blackhawks controlled play when the game was at even strength, where Chicago led 21-10 in scoring chances, per Natural Stat Trick.

3. Kevin Lankinen was really solid. He made three saves from high-danger areas in a three-second span during the first period, and then made a breakaway stop on Scott Laughton with 1:58 left that kept Chicago's lead at 2-1. It was probably his best few saves of the night. He finished with 33 saves on 34 shots for a save percentage of .969. Nice confidence builder for him. 

4. Alex DeBrincat scored his 41st goal of the season to tie a career-high and set a new career-high with his 77th point. Patrick Kane also matched a career-high with his 66th assist, and 46 of those are primary. Only Connor McDavid (47), Johnny Gaudreau (52) and Jonathan Huberdeau (53) have more primary assists than Kane this season.

5. Jonathan Toews is on a quiet little heater as we approach the final two games of the season. He ended a seven-game goal drought with a goal and recorded a primary assist for his sixth point in his last five games after having only two points in his previous eight. 

6. The Blackhawks generated 19 shot attempts, 12 shots on goal, 13 scoring chances and five high-danger chances on the power play. They got better as the game went on but still finished 0-for-5 on the night.

7. I thought this was one of the most noticeable performances of the season for Philipp Kurashev, who was active all night. He finished with nine shot attempts, five shots on goal and, oddly, blocked four shots. Felix Sandstrom robbed him of a goal in the first period that would've extended Chicago's lead to 3-1.

8. The Blackhawks registered 21 shots on goal through two periods, and 10 of them came from defensemen. There was definitely a shooting mentality from the blue liners in this game.

9. We saw good Erik Gustafsson and we saw bad Erik Gustafsson. He opened the scoring for Chicago with his third goal of the season thanks to a 51-foot shot from the point then two shifts later, he turned the puck over in the offensive zone which led to a 2-on-1 chance for the Flyers, who scored to cut their deficit to 2-1. That's what makes him a frustrating player. He can do special things with the puck, but his defensive mishaps are glaring when he does make those mistakes.

10. Which team wins its next Stanley Cup first: Chicago or Philadelphia? The Blackhawks are about to embark on a longer term rebuild so they're obviously not going to be in contention anytime soon, but if the Flyers continue trying their patchwork approach season by season, they might be delaying the start of their next rebuild, which would put the Blackhawks ahead of them in that regard.

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