Lehner, Toews shine in 3-2 OT win vs. Blue Jackets
by Scott King
Robin Lehner got his second start in net with the Blackhawks in Friday’s 3-2 overtime victory against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets and made 37 saves in his first win with Chicago.
“I felt really good,” Lehner said. “The problem is the schedule has been a little bit what it is. The schedule’s going to speed up for us a little bit now to kind of get into it more.
“But [I] feel good out there. Feel like I see the puck well, but the first two games I’ve played I’ve also made some mistakes and the good thing those mistakes are pretty easy to clean up. So I felt like the first goal is unacceptable but I made up for it. So just got to go and keep trying to get better.”
Jonathan Toews scored 46 seconds into overtime to win it for Chicago. It was his first goal of the season.
“I’ve had some chances but not that many, so I’ve got to be better with the puck and keep pucks down low, just play a little heavier on it, get the puck up to our D-men, get some shots back,” Toews said. “It feels like we’re just one and done right now, so we’ve got to find ways to get more puck possession and chances are going to come.
“Once the chances are there, that’s all you can really worry about — eventually they’ll go in.”
Drake Caggiula opened the scoring, shooting the puck over Elvis Merzlikins’ glove late in the first period.
Merzlikins was making his second NHL start after allowing seven goals in his debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 5. He made 30 saves vs. the Hawks.
Pierre-Luc Dubois tied it up 1-1 for Columbus 5:33 into the second period and Markus Nutivaara gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead early in the third period.
Alex DeBrincat tied it 2-2 on a power play from the left circle off a one-timer from Patrick Kane 8:08 into the third.
“Felt like the first period we were a little bit sloppy and got better in the second,” DeBrincat said. “But when it came to the third, once we tied it up, I think we knew we needed to keep battling and not give up one before at least overtime. We knew we [needed] a lot of intensity there and I think we did a pretty good job of it.”
Following the game, the Blackhawks recalled 2019 No. 3 pick Kirby Dach from his conditioning assignment with the Rockford IceHogs, the Hawks’ AHL affiliate.
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