Blackhawks buckle down for 2nd straight win, 4-2 over Columbus

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Blackhawks players, from left, Dominik Kubalik, Alex DeBrincat and Jakub Galvas celebrate their goal against the Blue Jackets during the first period on Tuesday. Despite playing without two of their top defensemen, the Blackhawks buckled down and beat Columbus 4-2.

    Blackhawks players, from left, Dominik Kubalik, Alex DeBrincat and Jakub Galvas celebrate their goal against the Blue Jackets during the first period on Tuesday. Despite playing without two of their top defensemen, the Blackhawks buckled down and beat Columbus 4-2. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/11/2022 10:54 PM

No Seth Jones and Jake McCabe?

No problem.

 

Despite playing without two of their top defensemen, the Blackhawks buckled down and beat Columbus 4-2 on Tuesday to salvage a road trip that started with a disappointing loss in Arizona.

It got a bit scary at the end for the Hawks as Columbus scored short-handed with 1:21 remaining, but Alex DeBrincat scored his second goal of the game into an empty net to ice the victory. Calvin de Haan (1) and Connor Murphy (3) also scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves in net.

Jones, who spent 5½ seasons in Columbus before being traded to the Hawks, was placed in COVID protocol. Joining him were McCabe, trainer Mike Gapski and head equipment manager Troy Parchman.

"Pretty good road win for us," said interim coach Derek King. "Had some new bodies in the lineup, new 'D' core. Different guys stepped up tonight and solid effort."

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Murphy (24:22 time on ice) and de Haan (21:14) teamed up on the No. 1 'D' pair and were a huge part of the victory. The Hawks' other blue liners were Riley Stillman (21:49, assist), Caleb Jones (12:29, 3 blocked shots), Ian Mitchell (9:12) and Jakub Galvas, who played nearly 24 minutes in his NHL debut and quarterbacked the No. 1 power play.

"I was very surprised how good he played," King said of Galvas, a fifth-round pick of the Hawks in 2017 who has played 20 games in Rockford this season. "I knew he was pretty calm with the puck and he could skate and he could make plays and he's a smart player. But he looked really good today."

The Hawks fell behind at 12:51 of the first period, but DeBrincat knotted things up just 24 seconds later after taking a perfect feed from Stillman.

A charging de Haan snapped the 1-1 tie when he took a pass from Philipp Kurashev and snapped a shot that beat Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo at 15:40 of the second period. De Haan now has 1 goal in each of the last five seasons.

"D-men getting some loving is always nice," said Murphy, who made it 3-1 at 6:36 of the third period. "I feel like Stilly's had a couple great games making some plays offensively and continuing to be a hard defender.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"And (de Haan) too. He had a couple blocks. His hands were all bruised up. I think he had to get an X-ray to make sure the one was OK in between periods.

"Guys knowing that that's what it takes to win is (important). Block some shots and play smart 'D' and you get rewarded with some offense."

The Hawks (13-18-5) return home to face Montreal on Thursday and Anaheim on Saturday before playing at Seattle on Monday. They were supposed to play Edmonton on Tuesday, but that game was canceled.

Columbus is 4-11-1 in its last 16 games and 16-17-1 overall.

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