CHICAGO (AP)Jaxson Stauber is the first goaltender in Chicago Blackhawks history to win each of his first three NHL games.
Jaxson … Stauber.
”It’s pretty cool. … Original Six team and so many great goalies, yeah, it feels good,” a smiling Stauber said.
Stauber made 24 saves in his first home start and Caleb Jones scored 3:37 into overtime, sending Chicago to a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night.
Andreas Athanasiou had a goal and two assists as the Blackhawks (16-29-5) rallied for the win in a matchup of two of the NHL’s worst teams. Colin Blackwell and Seth Jones also scored.
”After that first period, we came in and regrouped and started working and moving,” Athanasiou said, ”and you can see that, when we start doing that, a lot of good things happen.”
Clayton Keller had a goal and two assists for Arizona (17-28-7), and Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist. Connor Ingram made 40 stops.
Blackwell snapped a 2-2 tie when he stuffed home a loose puck 14:34 into the third period. But Nick Bjugstad responded for Arizona, beating Stauber from the high slot with 2:27 remaining.
”They never quit. We never let go. We got better during the game so, we’ll build on the positive,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said.
Athanasiou set up Caleb Jones’ game-winner when he was denied by Ingram on a breakaway. Jones jumped on the loose puck and sent a wrist shot through the goaltender’s legs for his second goal of the season.
The Blackhawks played without captain Jonathan Toews, who missed his second straight game with a non-COVID-19 illness. He could return on the team’s four-game road trip.
Chicago trailed 2-1 after the first period, but Athanasiou flipped a backhand by Ingram on the goaltender’s glove side 2:43 into the second. It was Athanasiou’s 11th goal of the season.
”We created some breakaways, 2-on-1s in the second period, and I think that kind of gave us some life offensively,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said.
The Blackhawks appeared to move in front when Taylor Raddysh knocked in a great pass by Max Domi with 11:57 left in the second, but it was waved off for interference after Domi collided with Ingram.
Bjugstad had a prime scoring opportunity for Arizona about 6 1/2 minutes into the third, but he was denied by Stauber.
”It was a back-and-forth game,” Bjugstad said. ”It’s been kind of a theme. We’ve got to find a way to be better to start and play a full 60.”
Arizona jumped in front when Keller converted a wrist shot from the left circle 1:28 into the first period. It was the first shot on goal for either team.
Then Keller set up Schmaltz’s one-timer with a pass through the legs of Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy. Schmaltz’s 12th goal of the season in his 400th career game made it 2-0 at 12:34.
Chicago got on the board on Seth Jones’ sixth goal at 13:53. The All-Star defenseman, who also scored during Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to Anaheim, beat Ingram right after Boris Katchouk was unable to finish a drive to the net.
Blackhawks defenseman Jarred Tinordi is expected to return to the lineup Saturday night at Winnipeg. Tinordi (facial fracture) hasn’t appeared in a game since Dec. 18. ”Get fresh legs in tomorrow, against a bigger team, too,” Richardson said. … Keller became the fifth player from the 2016 draft to record 300 career points, joining Auston Matthews (510), Matthew Tkachuk (453), Patrik Laine (358) and Alex DeBrincat (348).
Coyotes: At the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
Blackhawks: At the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.
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