10 observations: Blackhawks beat Vegas in Fleury's return originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks knocked off the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday to end a six-game winless streak.
Here are 10 observations from the win:
1. Vegas showed Marc-Andre Fleury so much love in his first game since the offseason trade, and it was an emotional moment before puck drop when the team welcomed him back with a video tribute. Fleury had tears running down in his face, which goes to show you just how much the city meant to him.
2. On the ice, Fleury was excellent. He allowed a goal from the point on the third shot of the game then stopped 28 in a row and finished with 30 saves on 31 shots for a save percentage of .968.
3. In his fifth game back since being stretchered off the ice on Dec. 7 after taking a hit from New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba, Jujhar Khaira found the back of the net for the third time this season. Credit to Khaira for having a shoot-first mentality on the 2-on-1 after Chicago had only five shots on goal in the opening frame.
4. Riley Stillman scored Chicago's second goal and Jake McCabe was credited with a goal on Thursday against Arizona. That's consecutive games in which Blackhawks defensemen have found the back of the net. They had only eight goals from their defensemen in the first 33 games.
5. The Blackhawks scored two goals in the second period, thanks to Khaira and Stillman. They’ve outscored their opponents 5-1 in the middle frame over the last three games after having a -10 goal differential in the 32 games prior.
6. The Blackhawks average 25.3 hits per 60 minutes this season. They had 29 hits in the first two periods alone and finished with 35 total. Khaira led the team with 10.
7. The Blackhawks did not commit a single penalty in this game. It was just the second time this season they’ve done that (Nov. 23 vs. Calgary). That’s one way to solve your penalty kill struggles.
8. The Blackhawks led for only 12:18 out of 366:49 over their last six games. They led for 25:39 against Vegas and held it down till the end.
9. Dylan Strome was promoted to the first line with Patrick Kane and was very noticeable. He was winning board battles, faceoffs and generated a high-danger scoring chance but had his shot blocked.
10. Brett Connolly returned to the lineup after missing the last four games because of a suspension. He had three shots on goal, two hits and one blocked shot in 12:23 of ice time.