Alex DeBrincat put the puck in the net three times for the Chicago Blackhawks. Two of them counted as goals, including the winner in overtime.
DeBrincat ended the game with his second goal 2:56 into OTand the Blackhawks won 2-1 on Sunday, handing the Dallas Stars their first home loss this season. He has four goals and two assists in three games since his return after missing four games because of COVID-19 protocols.
“It’s good to be back with the guys. We’re just having a good time," DeBrincat said.
“He’s a really important player and we missed him while he was gone,” coach Jeremy Colliton. “We're going to keep challenging him to do more because he can be an elite player in the league. You can say he is already. We just think there is so much there, and happy that he’s having some success."
On the overtime tally, DeBrincat initially passed to Patrick Kane, then got it back to poke past rookie goaltender Jake Oettinger. Kane also assisted on a power-play goal in the second period.
Dallas won its first four games, all at home, after the start of its season was delayed because of COVID-19 issues. The Stars have lost four of five games overall since.
The Blackhawks led 1-0 after DeBrincat scored from just inside the left circle in the second period. That side of the net was wide open after the pass from Dylan Strome on the opposite side of Oettinger.
Early in the first period, DeBrincat didn't miss when taking a swing at the puck after his initial shot ricocheted off Oettinger's shoulder. DeBrincat knocked the rebound into the net, but the goal was disallowed because of a high stick — he struck the puck at eye level.
It was the third start of the season for Oettinger, who stopped 33 shots. The Stars had won his first two starts 7-3 and 6-3.
“Made my life really easy, and obviously you can’t score seven goals every game,” Oettinger said.
“Jake was very, very good, made a lot of big saves, very composed,” coach Rick Bowness said. “He was aggressive when he had to be, his reads of the play were really good, so I thought that was Jake’s best game.”
The Blackhawks had been winless in their previous four games that went past regulation, losing twice in overtime and twice more in shootouts.
Dallas tied it at 1 midway through the third period whenJason Robertson got credited with his first NHL goal even without getting his stick on the puck. Miro Heiskanen took a shot from near the blue line, and the puck went off goalie Malcolm Subban’s glove and Robertson’s back before trickling over the line.
Subban, in his first game since Jan. 26, stopped 30 shots.
NO PRIMARY GOALIE
Neither team had its primary goalie in net, or even on the bench. Anton Khudobin, who allowed only three goals when winning the Stars' first three home games, was absent for what Bowness called an “internal issue." Colliton said rookie Kevin Lankinen, 4-1-3 in his eight games, was just getting a mental break.
In the first fight this season for both teams, Stars captain Jamie Benn and Blackhawks defenseman Nikita Zadorov got into some fisticuffs out of a faceoff early in the second period. Benn delivered some strong left uppercuts into the face of Zadorov, who had just had some words with Dallas rookie Ty Dellandrea.
WELCOME BACK MATTIAS
Blackhawks center Mattias Janmark was in Dallas as a visitor for the first time. He had 109 points (46 goals, 63 assists) in 297 games the past four regular seasons with the defending Western Conference champion Stars before signing a one-year free agent deal with Chicago. He was recognized during a timeout in the first period.
The two teams play again Tuesday night, which will be the second of eight consecutive home games for Dallas over a two-week span. The Stars' next scheduled road game is Feb. 22 at Florida.
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