Blackhawks fall in OT on Toews Night, name Vosters as Foley’s replacement

  

Before Sunday night’s game, the Chicago Blackhawks honored Jonathan Toews with a silver stick for playing 1,000 games in the NHL. After a touching video montage, the organization brought back former alternate captains Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and Andrew Shaw to join Toews and the current alternate captains—Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane—on the ice for a ceremonial puck drop.

In the game, the Blackhawks took on the maligned Arizona Coyotes. After getting outclassed on their Florida road trip, the Blackhawks looked to get back on track in the first period.

First period

In the first period, the Blackhawks rode the energy wave of the Toews ceremony into an early goal. DeBrincat picked up a loose puck at center ice and got it to Dylan Strome, who charged toward the net and snapped off a shot for the game’s first goal. The tally was Strome’s 20th goal of the season, a new career high.

Later in the period, Riley Stillman made a nifty move in the offensive end and nearly dangled home the game’s second goal. Sadly for Stillman and the Hawks, he could not finish the move.

For the period, the Blackhawks outplayed the Yotes and lead by one goal. During the first period intermission, the Blackhawks named Chris Vosters as the replacement for Pat Foley as the new TV play-by-play voice. Foley will be calling his last game next Thursday.

Second period

The Blackhawks have been a horrible second-period team this season and Sunday’s game was no different. The Coyotes came out fast and furious to start the second period while the Blackhawks looked sluggish.

The Coyotes tied the game up at one with a goal from Michael Carcone. Anton Stralman recovered a Blackhawks defensive zone turnover and fired a shot at the net. Carcone deflected the Stralman shot attempt for the Coyotes’ first goal of the game.

Later in the period, Shayne Gostisbehere took the puck in from center ice and then flung a pass over to Travis Boyd, who scored the Coyotes’ second goal of the period. Boyd walked through the Blackhawks’ defense for the goal. Gostisbehere was lucky to be on the ice after taking a puck to the throat early in the period.

Third period

In the third period, the Blackhawks finally capitalized on a power play opportunity. Coming in the third period, the Blackhawks were 0–2. On the power play, Seth Jones fed a pass over to Kane. Kane snapped a long-range wrist shot past Karel Vejmelka for the equalizer.

After the Kane goal, the third period ended with a whimper with neither team able to find the back of the net again.

Overtime

In overtime, the Blackhawks and Coyotes traded odd-man rushes for the majority of the time. With less than a minute left in overtime, Kane was charged with a high sticking penalty on Gostisbehere. The replay showed that Gostisbehere was actually hit in the face with his own stick, but, since it was not a double-minor, it could not be reviewed or challenged.

The game-winner was scored on an errant pass from Gostisbehere that deflected off of Toews’ skate, giving Arizona a 4–3 victory.

Analysis

The game was secondary to the Toews ceremony and the announcement of Vosters becoming Foley’s replacement. It is obvious that the Blackhawks are now focused on other things besides winning games. The focus will be on the development of prospects, trades before the draft and moves in the front office.

The Blackhawks return to the ice when they take on the Seattle Kraken on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. CDT.

Center Ice Forums Blackhawks fall in OT on Toews Night, name Vosters as Foley’s replacement

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