10 observations: Blackhawks overcome 4-0 deficit, complete miraculous comeback with OT win over Sharks


10 observations: Blackhawks overcome 4-0 deficit, complete miraculous comeback with OT win over Sharks originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks overcame a four-goal deficit to beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 in overtime on Saturday at SAP Center.

Here are 10 observations from the win:

1. Disastrous start for the Blackhawks, who fell behind 2-0 and were being outshot 13-2 at one point. Scoring chances during 5-on-5 action in the first period were 16-3 San Jose, per Natural Stat Trick. I didn’t think it was possible but it was an even worse start than the last meeting between these two teams just six days ago.

2. The Blackhawks gave up two goals in the first 1:24 of the second period as San Jose went up 4-0. I thought head coach Luke Richardson might pull Petr Mrazek for Arvid Söderblom to change things up but he kept him in net, probably out of respect for the veteran. And also because that would’ve been a tough situation for Söderblom, who’s battling consistency issues. It ended up paying off.

3. The Blackhawks scored five unanswered goals, including two on a delayed penalty, to tie things up at 4-4. Philipp Kurashev scored the game-tying goal with 47 seconds in regulation, and Seth Jones scored his second of the night in overtime to complete the comeback. The last time the Blackhawks rallied back from a four-plus goal deficit? Oct. 12, 2009 when they beat Calgary 6-5 in overtime. Crazy.

4. What a game for Ryan Donato, who finished with three points. He put Chicago on the board after cleaning up a rebound for his 11th goal of the season, recorded a primary assist on Tyler Johnson’s goal to make it 4-2 seconds immediately after drawing a penalty, and then added another assist on Kurashev’s goal to tie the game up. Donato has five goals in his last 11 games after going 26 straight without one.

5. Taylor Raddysh has had a tough season, but this was one of his better games. He recorded two assists, and Johnson’s goal doesn’t happen without Raddysh being strong on the puck and keeping that play in. Johnson also turned in a multi-point effort.

6. Andreas Athanasiou dropped the gloves with Luke Kunin near the end of the first period after the two of them got tied up near Chicago’s bench. I liked Athanasiou getting after it there. He knew his team needed a spark after a brutal period, and he didn’t hesitate to provide it. I was surprised to see this, but it was the ninth fight of Athanasiou’s NHL career and first as a Blackhawk.

7. The Blackhawks opened the second period with Connor Bedard on the wing with Jason Dickinson and Nick Foligno. It was the first time all season we’ve seen Bedard on the wing for an extended period during a game and not just on an occasional double-shift. Richardson was clearly looking for an entirely different feel, and it’s hard to blame him.

8. MacKenzie Entwistle, who was a healthy scratch on Thursday in Anaheim, committed two penalties, the second of which was for an illegal check to the head on Henry Thrun. I thought it was more shoulder-to-shoulder, and Entwistle looked like he thought so too. The Sharks scored nine seconds into that power play to extend their lead to 3-0.

9. Mrazek made a Grade A stop in the third period when the score was 4-3, robbing Thomas Bordeleau of the hat trick. He picked up his first win on the road since Nov. 9. The streak is finally broken for him now.

10. Lukas Reichel flashed in this game and his confidence away from the puck was on display. He laid a big hit on Kunin in the first period, which is something you rarely see from him, and then he had a late shift in the second period where he stripped Filip Zadina on the backcheck, made a nifty move on the zone entry, and then made a full-circle in the offensive zone before the Blackhawks got off a shot.

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