Chicago falls to Minnesota 4–3 in overtime

  

On Saturday night, the Chicago Blackhawks looked to show they were not outclassed by the Minnesota Wild at home during their 5–1 defeat, but only that the team was a little rusty with a few players stepping back into the lineup after extended breaks.

The Blackhawks’ energy appeared to be ramped up early, as forwards Henrik Borgstrom and Alex DeBrincat both scored in the first period to give Chicago a 2–1 edge at the end of the frame. Minnesota found the back of the net when Joel Eriksson Ek beat Kevin Lankinen for his 12th goal of the season.

Borgstrom made an excellent defensive play at the Wild blue line that generated in a quick scoring chance that was kicked aside by Wild goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen, only to have Erik Gustafsson fire a puck on net that was deflected in front by Borgstrom. This is the type of effort the 24-year-old center needs to give on every shift. Creating a turnover, a shot and then stopping in front for a redirect cannot be a result of him sitting in the press box the night before. This type of effort must be shown every night in order for Borgstrom to show he belongs.

Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala scored in the third period of play with another goal sandwiched in between by Borgstrom, his fourth goal of the season, to tie the game up at 3–3. Chicago surrendered the last goal when Minnesota pulled Kahkoken. Legendary television play-by-play announcer Pat Foley mentioned Minnesota had scored a wild 12 goals this season already with the goaltender pulled. Minnesota would not disappoint their fans and tied the game up late.

Minnesota’s second goal would come after Chicago captian Jonathan Toews was sent off for hooking Kaprizov and received an unsportmsnalike conduct to add to his frustrations. The double-minor penalty resulted in the Wild finding the score sheet and left Toews with egg on his face.

In overtime, Chicago could not put the Wild away with Kane in the penalty box for hooking Kaprizov, who in turn received a high-sticking penalty. With the most talented overtime player in the game in Kane in the sin bin, Marcus Foligno scored the pretty game-winner on a nice play from Jordan Greenway for a 4–3 Minnesota victory. The Blackhawks really have no chance when Kane is not on the ice in the overtime 3-on-3, which leaves DeBrincat as the only talented skater that can finish a game consistently.

Analysis

Chicago showed heart after Friday night’s embarrassment by coming out and playing with energy and showing the ability to jump on top of the home team with the first two goals of the game. However, once Minnesota decided it was time to play, the Wild are far too talented for Chicago to generate much sustained success. Let’s face it, fans, this Chicago lineup is not very good.

Lankinen kept his team in the game for most of the game until Minnesota fired 34 shots in the final two frames of regulation.

The Blackhawks are back in action on Monday night in Denver to face off against the highly talented Colorado Avalanche. Chicago should easily be outclassed in yet another contest.

Center Ice Forums Chicago falls to Minnesota 4–3 in overtime

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    Ray Napientek
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    On Saturday night, the Chicago Blackhawks looked to show they were not outclassed by the Minnesota Wild at home during their 5–1 defeat, but only that
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