After trailing through the first period, the Blackhawks came out on top to secure their first victory of the season with a 5-2 win against the Sharks.
The team’s message following the first intermission was to perform harder after failing short within the first 10 minutes of the game. In the second period alone, Jonathan Toews and Sam Lafferty would score three goals to put the team ahead. Taylor Raddysh felt the message was heard to finish the game strong.
“Just going after those last two games, we got better from the Colorado game to the Vegas game,” Raddysh said. “And to get through that first period here and come out on top was huge for this team. It’s a really good thing.”
The team’s penalty kill would go a perfect 3-for-3 throughout the game and allowed Lafferty to record two short-handed goals to put the team up, 3-2.
“Just kind of good bounces right place, right time and good work by all the [penalty kill] guys to get it there,” Lafferty said.
For head coach Luke Richardson, he felt the pairing of Lafferty and new forward Jason Dickinson put good pressure on the Sharks power play unit to keep their guards up with their speed.
“I think they’re obviously a great match for us in the penalty kill,” Richardson said. “And then it’s very dangerous for the other team to have to be on their toes because they can make you pay, which they did tonight.”
DICKINSON MAKES HIS DEBUT
Before making his start with the Blackhawks, Dickinson mentioned that his focus was to not overthink while under pressure. Tonight, he would record three points with one goal and two assists and felt that he was able to block the stress out and just play.
“There’s definitely something to it,” Dickinson said. “I know over my career that I’ve over thought too much sometimes. So, just going out there and playing simple as that.”
He also stated that it was easy to not overthink due to joining the team earlier in the season and still able to learn a new system. Even though the new forward has joined the team for one practice so far, Richardson knows he can build strong chemistry playing with a like-minded teammate such as Lafferty.
“Sometimes things just click,” Richardson said. “He had a chance to come in here and have a fresh start and he took advantage of it. He gets to be playing with a guy that’s kind of like-minded. Sometimes there’s just instant chemistry, and sometimes there isn’t. So fortunately for us, it is here.”
RICHARDSON’S FIRST WIN AS HEAD COACH
With the team’s first victory recorded for the 2022-23 season, Richardson also tallied his first win as a NHL head coach.
Patrick Kane gave Richardson the game puck to celebrate his big milestone following the team’s success in San Jose. However, Richardson wanted to share it with the team for their sacrifices made throughout the matchup and hopefully more throughout the season.
“I’m here to try and help them [win],” Richardson said. “I’m so happy for them to get that first win and looking forward to them get the second one.”
The Blackhawks will return to the United Center on Friday, Oct. 21 to host the Red Wings in their home opener. Puck drop is schedule for 7:30 p.m.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.