Blackhawks deal Vegas 4–3 shootout loss to end Knights’ playoff hopes


The penultimate game of a tumultuous 2021–22 regular season for the Chicago Blackhawks was also their final home game at the United Center when they faced the Vegas Golden Knights, whose playoff hopes were hanging by a thread entering the game. In fact, a loss by Vegas (or a win by the Dallas Stars over the Arizona Coyotes) would eliminate the Knights from playoff contention. For the Hawks, the game could mark the final home game for franchise icons Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews despite conflicting comments and rumors swirling around the team’s approach to rebuilding and whether or not the Hawks’ two stars will be part of the process heading into the final year of their eight-year contracts. The Hawks started Kevin Lankinen in goal against Vegas second-year netminder Logan Thompson.

First period

A slow pace to start the game, but after several strong saves by Lankinen, Taylor Raddysh scored his 10th of the season when he skated in and banked the puck off Thompson to give the Blackhawks a 1–0 lead at the 16:01 mark.

The Hawks’ lead lasted just 98 seconds, as Michael Amadio scored his 11th of the season to tie it at 1–1. Shea Theodore skated the puck down the slot and found a wide open Amadio nearly parallel to the goal line and to the right of Lankinen and he fired a one-timer into the net.

With one second left in the period, the Hawks regained the lead on Raddysh’s second of the game and 11th of the season. Philipp Kurashev skated into the Vegas zone and made a nice backhand feed to a wide open Sam Lafferty, whose point-blank shot was stopped by Thompson. Lafferty picked up his own rebound and skated behind the Vegas net and fed it to Raddysh on the doorstep to the right of Thompson and took two swats at the puck before it went into the back of the net for a 2–1 Hawks lead.

After one, the Hawks also had a 16–15 lead in shots on goal.

Second period

At 3:57 of the frame, Alec Martinez fired a shot from the point past Lankinen for his third of the season off a face-off win by Chandler Stephenson to tie the game at 2–2.

The offensive flurry continued at the 5:03 mark when Caleb Jones intercepted a clearing attempt by Jack Eichel and skated to the top of the left circle and sniped one over Thompson’s blocker. The Hawks were back on top, 3–2.

Once again, the Golden Knights tied it off a face-off win. Stephenson won another draw cleanly to Max Pacioretty, who fed Brayden McNabb at the point. McNabb’s shot was deflected in by Pacioretty for his 18th of the season at 17:12 to tie it at 3–3.

In the middle period, the Hawks outshot Vegas 11–9 and led 27–24 through 40 minutes.

Third period

Despite playing their second game in as many nights, Vegas looked like the fresher team. While they were not able to break the tie, they had the advantage in both play and shots on goal, 14–8, and held a 38–35 edge in regulation.


Each team had its share of chances with the Hawks outshooting Vegas 4–2, bringing the game total to 40–39 in favor of the Knights.


It took seven rounds to break through and it was the Hawks’ Tyler Johnson who beat Thompson high blocker side.

Amadio had a chance to tie it, but Lankinen, who was stellar for the Hawks, especially in the shootout, made the save to give the Blackhawks a 4–3 shootout win in their home finale and officially end Vegas’ playoff chances.

The good, the bad, the ugly

The good

Caleb Jones: One of his best games of the season, Jones scored a goal on a nice interception of a clearing attempt and made several strong defensive plays.

Taylor Raddysh: He continues to impress since his arrival, but the bigger question might be whether or not he can build on this success next season and beyond. Expectations will certainly be higher following his strong play since arriving ahead of the trade deadline.

The bad

Henrik Borgstrom: He went from being dubbed by Stan Bowman as one of the “best players he’s ever seen in college hockey” to a forward who played just over six minutes in the second to last game of the season for a team with nothing to play for except pride. With roster spots to be had next season, his lack of ice time is not a good sign for his future in Chicago.

The ugly

Face-offs: The Knights had the advantage in face-off winning percentage by a small margin (50.9–49.1), however, this is one where the stats do not really tell the full story. Two defensive zone face-off losses by the Blackhawks led directly to Vegas goals. Assuming Toews returns to the Hawks next season (and it is not a certainty that he will be back), the team will need to develop another player who is reliable in the dot.


If this was the final home game for Kane and Toews, they went out as winners. Do not let the players’ comments about a quick rebuild make you think that Kane and Toews are locks to return. That mentality is, in some ways, what got them into this current mess. And last I checked, neither Kane nor Toews are part of the Hawks’ management. Sure, they hold a lot of cards with their no-movement clauses, but those things tend to work themselves out at the right time.

For now, let’s enjoy a solid effort by the Hawks against a team that was fighting for their playoff lives. The Blackhawks play their season finale on Friday night in Buffalo against the Sabres at 6 p.m. CDT on NBCSCH with the radio call on WGN 720.

Center Ice Forums Blackhawks deal Vegas 4–3 shootout loss to end Knights’ playoff hopes

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.