Blackhawks Post-game One-timers — Oct. 14 at Montreal Canadiens

  

In the third game of the season with a 1–1 record,  the Chicago Blackhawks took on the Montreal Canadiens for Hockey Night in Canada.

Due to injuries, the Blackhawks had to adjust their line combinations, as Taylor Hall was not able to play tonight. Taylor Raddysh replaced Hall on the top line with Connor Bedard. Reese Johnson made his season debut to backfill for Raddysh.

In the first period, the Hawks went with the fourth line as the first line over the boards against the Kirby Dach-led Canadiens. Petr Mrazek had to be outstanding early on in this contest for the Blackhawks, weathering several Canadien barrages.

On the first Blackhawks power play of the game, Ryan Donato took a stick to the face to give the Blackhawks a 5-on-3 advantage. Despite having great chances, the Hawks squandered the opportunity to go scoreless.

After the power play, a Montreal shot from the point broke Alex Vlasic’s stick. Without a stick, Vlasic shoved over Cole Caufield, drawing a penalty and causing a scrum. Connor Murphy joined Vlasic in the box. The Hawks escaped unscathed.

At the end of very physical period, both teams remained scoreless.

In the second period, Montreal drew first blood. Caufield got a nifty pass and deked out Kevin Korchinski and beat Mrazek on a short-sided chance, batting in the rebound out of mid-air. Midway through the period, three Blackhawks forward got caught below the goal line, which lead to an odd-man break. Tanner Pearson snapped off a shot that beat Mrazek for the second goal of the game.

Late in the period, the Blackhawks were on the power play when the puck got to Sean Monahan, who raced down the ice and beat Mrazek for the third Montreal goal of the period.

After two periods, the Blackhawks trailed Montreal 3–0.

In the third period, the Hawks got on the board early with a goal from Tyler Johnson 35 seconds in.

After the Johnson goal, the Hawks had some life to their game in the third period.  With two minutes left in the frame, the Blackhawks pulled Mrazek for the extra attacker. The move worked for the Hawks, as Johnson netted this second goal of the game. Corey Perry had the primary assist, making a nifty play to slide the puck over to Johnson with his skate. Bedard netted his third point of the season with an assist on the goal.

With less than a minute left in the game, Bedard blew a tire but recovered to save a potential empty-net goal. Monahan was charged with a penalty with 21 seconds left in the game.

The Hawks game within a post of tying the game in the dying seconds, but ultimately fell to Montreal 3–2.

Analysis

This game was an example of the Blackhawks’ youth. The youth on this team had issues with zone entries, lazy plays and not getting shots on net for the first two periods. Despite the poor showing for two periods, the Hawks made it interesting with two goals from Johnson in the third.

In addition to the youth issues, the Blackhawks’ special teams were a huge issue. In addition to going 0 for 8 on the power play, the Blackhawks surrendered a shorthanded goal and multiple shorthanded opportunities.

While everyone has been focused on Bedard, Lukas Reichel has invisible through the first three games of the season. In tonight’s game, Reichel made a lazy pass on the power play that led to an easy Montreal clearance.

On the positive note, Mrazek was impressive again, stopping 33 of 36 and keeping the Hawks in this game. With the growing pains happening in the defensive zone, good goaltending is going to be key this season.

The Blackhawks’ next game is Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Puck drop is 6 p.m. CDT in Toronto.

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Center Ice Forums Blackhawks Post-game One-timers — Oct. 14 at Montreal Canadiens

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