The Chicago Blackhawks paid a visit to the great Canadian province of Alberta to take on the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night. The Hawks and Oilers each needed a big win and Chicago prevailed. The Blackhawks won the contest by a score of 4-1.
Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and the Oilers had a game the night before where they were blanked by the Vegas Golden Knights. As a result, it was no surprise that the Hawks came out firing with fresh legs.
Alex DeBrincat and Brandon Hagel each had goals within the first three minutes of the hockey game to give Chicago the 2-0 lead early. In the second period, Leon Draisaitl scored a power-play goal in a period that Edmonton completely dominated.
Once the third rolled around, Chicago scored two more to get the lead to 4-1 where they would hold it. It was a decent game for them but they would not have had a chance if it weren’t for Marc-Andre Fleury. How many times have we said that this year?
Marc-Andre Fleury was the biggest key to victory for the Chicago Blackhawks.
He made 40 saves on 41 shots and was the biggest reason that the Hawks were able to hang on. He made some especially big saves when it was 2-1 Blackhawks to preserve the lead. If Edmonton was allowed to tie it, the game would have spiraled out of control because the Hawks were being that outplayed.
Fleury, at 37 years old, has been remarkable. All of his numbers are outstanding and the Hawks would be even worse than 17-23-7 if they didn’t have him. He deserves all of the praise in the world for how he has played in this season but especially in this game.
One player besides Fleury who deserves some praise in this game is Alex DeBrincat. He had the first goal of the game (and Patrick Kane deserves an incredible amount of praise for the pass on the goal) and he assisted on Brandon Hagel’s goal a few minutes later.
DeBrincat was then given an assist for throwing one in front so Dylan Strome can tip it in and extend the Blackhawks lead back to two goals. He picked up right where he left off after a magnificent trip to Vegas for the All-Star Game.
The Chicago Blackhawks now have another two days off before they take on the St. Louis Blues. You can expect to see Marc-Andre Fleury in net for that one which should be fun because the Blues are outstanding. He will certainly be tested again in this one against the team’s biggest rival.