Coming off their first home win of the season, the Chicago Blackhawks welcomed a New Jersey Devils team who was without Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes.
The Blackhawks rolled out the following lines:
#Blackhawks lineup vs. Devils:
Extras: Katchouk, R. Johnson, Tinordi
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 5, 2023
The Hawks welcomed back to the lineup Alex Vlasic. Vlasic had been out since Oct. 27 after receiving a blindside hit.
The Blackhawks got the scoring started early. Tyler Johnson fired a shot from near the left circle, the rebound from Vitek Vanecek went right to Taylor Hall. Hall buried the chance for the first goal of the game and the second of his Blackhawks tenure.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 6, 2023
After the Hawks carried the play in the first period, the vaunted Devils power play got New Jersey on the board. Dawson Mercer beat Arvid Soderblom to the high glove side. Soderblom went down early anticipating the jam play and Mercer went high instead for the goal.
With less than six minutes left in the period, Kevin Korchinski whiffed on a puck at the blue line, leaving Max Willman with a breakaway against Soderblom. Willman beat Soderblom for the go-ahead goal.
Despite the Korchinski miscue, the Hawks had another great chance to even up the game late in the period. Jason Dickinson bull rushed through Luke Hughes and got the puck. He fed the pass over to Johnson. Johnson, who had to go backhand to the forehand, was absolutely robbed by Vanecek to keep the Devils in the lead.
What a diving save by Vanecek! 😳👏 pic.twitter.com/ie3GfeKN57
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) November 6, 2023
The first period ended with the Devils up 2–1.
The second period began with a New Jersey onslaught in which Soderblom had to make three saves on Timo Meier and four saves overall. The period was dominated by the Devils, who spent most of the period in the Hawks’ zone. Soderblom was under siege for most of the period, fending off 16 shots on net while the Hawks were only able to muster nine of their own.
The third period started just as the second period ended, with the Devils getting several shots on the Hawks’ net. With less than five minutes gone by in the third period, New Jersey was able to break through against Soderblom. Curtis Lazar got the Devils third goal of the game to give the Devils a 3–1 lead.
Late in third period, the Blackhawks got a jump from Ryan Donato. Donato fired a shot that was blocked by Vanecek, but Donato sent the rebound home to cut the Devils’ lead to one at 3–2. It was Donato’s third goal of the season.
we’re within one 👏 pic.twitter.com/ewHLaowsBU
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 6, 2023
The Hawks pulled Soderblom with 2:38 left in the game. Immediately after the Soderblom to the bench, Tyler Toffoli appeared to have put the nail in the coffin, but after a challenge from the Hawks, it was ruled to be offside and no goal.
The Hawks then got a great chance in which Connor Bedard fed Philipp Kurashev. Kurashev hit the goalie and the post. Michael McLeod cemented the New Jersey victory with an empty-net goal with under a second left, as the Blackhawks fell to the Devils 4–2.
The Blackhawks are young on defense with Korchinski, Vlasic and Wyatt Kaiser. The team is going to experience some growing pains; they key is that the players are learning from their mistakes and working to improve on them. Korchinski’s gaffe at the blue line altered the course of the game. In addition to that miscue, Korchinski seems to be pinching in the offensive zone at the exact wrong moments.
Kurashev, since returning from injury, has been a welcome addition and appears to be skating well with Bedard.
Overall, the Hawks got beat by a better team that was able to weather their late-game rush.
The Blackhawks’ next game is on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST.