Blackhawks get left under a pile of goals, lose to Avs 7—3.

  

The Blackhawks were looking to get back on track on Saturday night against the Avalanche, hoping to finish off the home and home series with a win. They dropped the last game on Friday to this same Colorado team by a score of 52. Robin Lehner switched in with Corey Crawford, who looked out of his element in the game on Friday, along with the rest of the team. The Blackhawks are needing to learn how to come from behind this season, losing 9 of the twelve games where they have been behind with a record of 1—9—2. Their record when scoring first has been better, with a record of 9—1—3. Duncan Keith would be out of the lineup as he was nursing a groin injury. Slater Koekkoek would enter the game in his place, along with Anton Wedin sliding in with the forward group for his first NHL game. The lines were as follows.

Saad—Toews—Shaw

DeBrincat—Carpenter—Kane

Kubalik—Smith—Dach

Nylander—Kampf—Wedin

Murphy—Maatta

de Haan—Seabrook

Koekkoek—Gustafsson

Lehner

First period: The game got off to a rough start for the Blackhawks, with Jonathan Toews taking a penalty less than thirty seconds into the game on a slash on Joonas Donskoi. Zack Smith took a steal up ice in a two-on-one and fed it across to Brandon Saad who put it past Phillip Grubauer to make it 1—0 Blackhawks on a shorthanded goal.

Then, a minute later, Saad took the puck into the zone on a pass from Patrick Kane and put it off of the post, beating Grubauer again. The Avs got a great chance to drive to the net, but Andrew Shaw came across and got his stick in the way, not allowing a shot on goal. Wedin got called for a holding call at the 7:22 mark of the period, putting the Blackhawks shorthanded yet again. The Avs struck gold on this one, with Nazem Kadri getting a pass in front that he was able to put past Robin Lehner to tie the game at 1—1. A few minutes later, the Avalanche picked apart the Blackhawks defense, with the puck eventually ending up on Kadri’s stick yet again, who made the score 2—1 Avalanche. Then, the Blackhawks absolutely imploded defensively, allowing Nathan MacKinnon to put a Mikko Rantanen pass past Lehner again, making it 3—1 Avalanche. The Blackhawks were just getting run around the ice for most of the rest of the period, not making great plays and playing some very sloppy hockey. Their best chance came from a Toews drive to the net in which he looked like he was shot out of a cannon to get into the offensive zone, getting a great shot off that was saved by Grubauer. Cale Makar ripped one off the pipe that beat Lehner at the 16:46 mark of the period that luckily didn’t go. DeBrincat missed one that got across to him in front of the net, and then got a hit from Samuel Girard that he took exception to, getting into a scrap and getting a couple of good rights in.

The Blackhawks got their first powerplay of the game when David Kampf was held in the back of the net. The situation got even more important when Graves of the Avalanche got a four minute penalty for high sticking Shaw and drawing blood. The Avalanche killed off the first of those penalties before the period ended with a 3—1 Avalanche lead. The Blackhawks still had over 2:30 left on the powerplay going into the second to try to make something happen.

Second period: The Blackhawks started off the period with over 2:30 of powerplay time left on the double minor penalty from the first period but got the puck taken away and cleared every time you turned around. Just after that was killed off, Joonas Donskoi took a pass from Ryan Graves just out of the box and put it past Lehner, making it 4—1 Avalanche early on in the second period. Then, at the 5:50 mark of the period, Robin Lehner was chased after Mikko Rantanen put the puck past him to make it 5—1 Avalanche. Lehner was not happy going off, as he shouldn’t have been and made sure that his bench knew as much.

The Avs kept pressing even after jumping out to such a big lead, with MacKinnon putting the puck out in front to Donskoi again, who got the puck past Crawford to make it 6—1 Avalanche. The Blackhawks were outhustled, outplayed, and positively outclassed by the Avalanche once again a few minutes later, when Tyson Jost went all the way by himself to make it 7—1 Avalanche. Really, if you missed this game, nothing good happened for the Blackhawks in the second period for the first eleven minutes. Dominik Kubalik wristed the puck five-hole on Grubauer to get the Blackhawks to within five goals, and get the score to 7—2.

The Blackhawks took a tripping penalty at the 14:26 mark of the period to put them down a man yet again, and giving the Avs a chance to add to their lead. The Blackhawks killed that penalty off with relative ease, as Crawford only had to make one or two good stops. The period would mercifully end with the Avalanche jumping out to a seemingly insurmountable advantage, leading 7—2 going into the intermission.

Third period: The period started off with a lot more back and forth, which was encouraging because it meant that the Blackhawks were sharing possession better than they had in the second period. Alex Nylander drew a trip in the offensive zone to put the Blackhawks on the powerplay early on in the period. They got more chances, and were actually able to keep the puck in their offensive zone enough to get some good chances in front of Grubauer. The Avalanche did kill that off, but the Blackhawks were able to actually not allow any bad chances the other way. The Blackhawks got some good puck movement going, allowing for more scoring chances in the period than they had in the past two. Kane got a puck across to DeBrincat on a three-on-two rush into the zone, with DeBrincat getting a one-timer off on Grubauer, who made a great stop. Andrew Shaw got called for a trip at the 9:32 mark of the period, putting the Blackhawks up to kill off yet another penalty in this game. They killed it off, and didn’t give the Avs much of an opportunity to pad the stat sheet. Andrew Shaw then drew a penalty at the 13:05 mark of the period as he was tripped in the offensive zone, giving the Blackhawks a powerplay again. Pierre-Eduard Bellemare put the puck right off of the ice and into the stands, giving the Blackhawks a five-on-three penalty. They converted on the first of the two penalties, with Kane wristing the puck right through Grubauer’s five hole, and making the score 73 Avalanche.

The Avs were able to kill off the second penalty without too much effort, not allowing very many shots on goal from the Blackhawks. The game would end with the Blackhawks losing big to the Avalanche by a final of 73.

The Blackhawks are back in action on Monday night against the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues at the United Center. That game will start at 7:30 pm Central on NHL Network and NBC Sports Chicago.

Center Ice Forums Blackhawks get left under a pile of goals, lose to Avs 7—3.

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