The Hawks honored their longtime defenseman’s retirement Friday with a win over the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Blackhawks responded after a devastating defeat Thursday, rallying from two deficits in regulation and surviving a haywire overtime to beat the Lightning 4-3 in a shootout Friday night at the United Center.
Even on his first day of retirement, Brent Seabrook’s prints were all over the gritty performance.
The longtime defenseman watched from his own suite above the ice. After a sluggish start by the Hawks, a Seabrook tribute video during the first TV break — and the ensuing standing ovation from both benches — seemed to jump-start the hosts.
After the emotional win, Seabrook was in the Hawks’ locker room addressing the team. Winger Patrick Kane also addressed Seabrook in front of the team.
“This win was for him,” defenseman Adam Boqvist said.
Added coach Jeremy Colliton: “It definitely meant something to the guys. It’s good for our group to feel [Seabrook’s] support. He wants us to win. He’s not going to be here every day, but he is still part of the group. And that’s worth something.”
A sequence of huge saves by Malcolm Subban in overtime and an upper-shelf snipe by center Philipp Kurashev in the third round of the shootout gave the Hawks their first victory this season over the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Two goals from winger Alex DeBrincat — moving him into a tie for second in the NHL with 14 this season — and a rebound strike from winger Dominik Kubalik in the third period helped the Hawks overcome deficits of 2-0 and 3-2, respectively.
The Lightning nonetheless controlled most of the game and had sizable advantages in shots on goal (40-27) and scoring chances (49-29). Defenseman Calvin de Haan’s departure with an injury also hurt. Colliton said he didn’t think it would be a long-term issue, but it could jeopardize his availability for Sunday’s series finale.
The Hawks owed the win to a few timely plays, Subban’s late heroics and a crucial penalty kill to survive OT.
“We weren’t good,” Colliton said. “We didn’t play very well. But we found a way. And that’s a big confidence-booster.”