The Chicago Blackhawks won their first game without rookie All-Star sensation Connor Bedard. Bedard is out for an unknown period with a fractured jaw.
The Hawks found a way to produce enough offense to beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 at the United Center.
It is an impressive victory not only because the Blackhawks won without Bedard, but they also got two points in the standings with the forward unit decimated by injuries.
Nick Foligno, Taylor Raddysh, Tyler Johnson, Anthony Beauvillier, Joey Anderson, and Andreas Athanasiou are all on injured reserve. The Hawks had to make two minor moves just to get some warm bodies on the ice. Zach Sanford was claimed off waivers and Rem Pitlick was acquired for a conditional seventh-round pick.
Despite being down this many key players, the Chicago Blackhawks snapped a five-game losing streak. They did it by using two-thirds of their winning formula (Bedard scoring is the final part) with a big scoring game by a player other than Bedard and the netminder stopping enough shots to win the game.
Here are three takeaways from this Blackhawks' victory...
Colin Blackwell provided the offense to cover for Bedard's absence.
Blackwell has been outstanding since returning to the ice after being away with an injury since last February. He had his best game so far in this victory.
He got the Hawks on the board first 4:32 into the game when he got on a breakaway and buried a shot into the back of the net.
Blackwell picked up on an assist on Nikita Zaitsev's game-winning goal. Although, you can credit Nick DeSimone's skate as the reason for the go-ahead goal.
Blackwell then added the Hawks' fourth goal in the third period.
Philipp Kurashev stepped up.
He is one of five players the Blackhawks are going to need to raise their game to be competitive during this injury plague.
Kurashev came up with a game-tying goal in the second period.
Petr Mrazek stopped just enough shots to win this game.
He stopped 28 of 31 shots. Although, Calgary's second goal came when the puck deflected off of Connor Murphy's skate.
Nazem Kadri's second goal of the game somehow defied the laws of physics and got past Mrazek. That made things a little uncomfortable as it was 4-3 at that point. The Hawks held out and responded well after being ravaged by injuries and defeats on a five-game road streak.