The Chicago Blackhawks came into Saturday night’s action against the Calgary Flames looking to get back into the win column. They had dropped their previous decision to the streaking Edmonton Oilers, but still looked competitive in that defeat. The lines versus Calgary were unchanged from that previous game:
Blackhawks lines in morning skate vs Flames are unchanged from Edmonton:
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 27, 2024
Just over two and a half minutes into the game, the Blackhawks got their first huge chance. Boris Katchouk got a breakaway chance off of a bad Calgary pass. He had Jacob Markstrom down early, but could not slip the puck past the outstretched pad. Both teams traded some good chances, with Joey Anderson and Jason Dickinson getting good opportunities, but were unable to convert. The Blackhawks continued to pepper Markstrom for the rest of the period, but the score remained tied at 0–0 after 20 minutes.
The Blackhawks continued to get shots on goal to start the second. Colin Blackwell got the first good opportunity on a one-timer from Dickinson, but was not able to get enough on the puck. With just over five and a half minutes gone, Philipp Kurashev got in on Markstrom on a breakaway. Markstrom was able to make the stop on Kurashev’s backhand bid to keep the game scoreless. On the other end, Petr Mrazek continued to hold his own, making some beautiful stops of his own to make sure the game did not get away from the Blackhawks.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) January 28, 2024
With just over four minutes remaining in the period, the Flames went to the man advantage on a trip by Blackwell. On the ensuing power play, Jarred Tinordi blocked a shot from Yegor Sharangovich in front. The puck bounced right to Elias Lindholm, who tucked the puck into the back of the net, making it 1–0 Calgary. Isaak Phillips attempted to score, going coast to coast, but was stymied by Markstrom in the last two minutes of the period.
The Blackhawks continued to send shots to the net and try to get this game tied up. The Flames did not go away either, though, and Mrazek had to make some more great stops to keep the score where it was. In a last-ditch effort to knot the game up, the Blackhawks pulled Mrazek. This led to a couple of good chances from Taylor Raddysh, as well as one huge chance for Dickinson, but they were unable to convert and the Flames won the hockey game 1–0.
This was a tough game to watch. The Blackhawks had so many opportunities, especially on the breakaway, but nothing was falling their way. Mrazek shined in net once again, and kept them in the game throughout its entirety, giving them every opportunity to score and get back into the game. There is not much more to say than has already been said about how tough it has been to find offense for this team. The Blackhawks played great defensively, but could not figure out the opposing goaltender. This is becoming a theme for this team, as they have so many injured players at present. It seems as though they will only get offense back when some of those players return to the ice.
The Blackhawks are now off on the all-star break until Feb. 7. They will be back in action then against the Minnesota Wild. That game will be at 8:30 p.m. CST on TNT.