NHL Hockey

DeBrincat, Blackhawks rolling, face Red Wings next

(AP Photo Nuccio DiNuzzo)

Alex DeBrincat's hot streak has coincided with the Chicago Blackhawks' recent surge.

The 21-year-old right wing carries a seven-game point streak into the team's home game against Detroit on Sunday. Chicago has won the last six games of those games.

DeBrincat scored twice in a 4-3 overtime triumph over Vancouver on Thursday. He has 12 points during his streak to increase his season total to 50, including 28 goals. The 5-foot-7 DeBrincat has matched his goal total from his fine rookie season.

"I think the positive I see is that last year was a little streaky for him and maybe he started this year a little streaky, but I feel like he's had a long stretch where he's played pretty well and produced relatively consistently," Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton told the team's website. "That's been a big lift for our team. I think the power play helps that.

"Even when you're having trouble creating 5-on-5, you get a power play and all of the sudden you have some time and some space to make some plays," Colliton added. "You gain some confidence from that. But as young as he is, pretty impressive he's been able to be as consistent as he has this year."

The Blackhawks' offense in general has perked up, averaging 5.4 goals during their six-game streak. Their power play has been particularly potent. They converted two of five opportunities against the Canucks and have scored on 23 of their last 57 man-advantage situations.

"We feel every time we're on the power play, we're a threat," Colliton said.

Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner against Vancouver. Toews is second on the team with 54 points, while star Patrick Kane has 79.

This is the first meeting this season between the longtime rivals. They'll have a rematch in Detroit on Feb. 20.

The Red Wings have lost their last two games following a three-game winning streak. They dropped a 3-1 decision in Buffalo on Saturday despite outshooting the Sabres 29-21. Buffalo converted on two power-play opportunities.

"We've got to be better in front of the net," center Frans Nielsen said. "We had enough chances to make it a more tight hockey game. ... At the end of the day, we've got to put more pucks in the net."

Dylan Larkin notched his team-best 23rd goal on a power play, the only offense Detroit could muster.

"It's almost like one of those Duracell bunnies," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "You wind it up before every game and he just goes."

Larkin has three points in two games after missing a game with a mild oblique strain.

"Nine out of 10 games, he's our best player. You don't see that a lot," Nielsen said. "When you compete like that, even on bad days, you're going to have good things happen out there. He has a mindset that he wants to be that guy. You can see that every day, even in practice, he never takes a day off. He deserves all the success he's had out there."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 10, 2019

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