RECAP: Blackhawks edged by Golden Knights in shootout 2–1

  

The Blackhawks continued their homestand with Tuesday night’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. Chicago has not earned a win over the Golden Knights since they entered the league in 2017.

Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton kept the lines just as they were on Sunday’s game. He opted to go with Robin Lehner in net instead of Corey Crawford this time around.

These were the Blackhawks’ lines:

Alex DeBrincatJonathan ToewsAndrew Shaw

Dylan StromeKirby DachPatrick Kane

Brandon SaadDavid KampfDominik Kubalik

Drake CaggiulaRyan CarpenterAlexander Nylander

Duncan KeithConnor Murphy

Olli MaattaBrent Seabrook

Calvin de Haan Erik Gustafsson

First period

The first ten minutes of the game were relatively boring. Through the first 8:12, however, the Blackhawks outshot Vegas 8–1 and led them in shot attempts as well. Each team took penalties and not a whole lot of action occurred on either power play. There were some changes for the Blackhawks’ power play though, as Alexander Nylander was shifted to the first unit and Dylan Strome was shifted to the second.

What wasn’t boring was Kirby Dach’s play in that first period. At one point, he tried to dance around a defender and drive toward the net. That didn’t work, but he did create a great chance for Patrick Kane that Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury robbed.

With less than five minutes to go in the frame, Olli Maatta entered the zone, passed the puck back and forth with Dylan Strome, and circled around the board. From the right above the right faceoff dot, Maatta snapped the puck toward the net and it bounced off of Dach’s knee and into the net. Of course, that would be the 18-year-old’s first career NHL goal. It wasn’t pretty, but the celly was awesome.

Robin Lehner then had to bail the Blackhawks out on the second line’s next shift, as Kirby Dach failed to chase after a puck that dropped in the defensive zone and then gave it away just a few seconds later. Luckily, the Blackhawks entered the first intermission with a 1–0 lead and a 12–8 shot advantage over the Golden Knights.

Second period

Kirby Dach almost had another goal just minutes into the second period after he was left wide open yet again at the side of the net. Patrick Kane tried to slip a pass across to him, but Marc-Andre Fleury got the pad on it and deflected it away.

That trend of Fleury stopping ridiculous chances continued throughout the next 17 minutes or so. He made a huge save on the power play after Jonathan Toews backhanded a no-look pass to Alex DeBrincat, somehow getting across the crease to stop the impending shot. Fleury also stopped a great chance from Brandon Saad, who was buzzing in the offensive zone on the penalty kill.

Of course, Robin Lehner made a big save of his own on William Carrier after he buzzed by both Duncan Keith and Connor Murphy along the boards.

It seemed as if the Blackhawks would end the second on the power play after Deryk Engelland threw Alex DeBrincat to the ice, but an errant high-stick from Jonathan Toews in the last minute of play negated that.

The Blackhawks held onto their 1–0 lead going into the second intermission with a 24–17 edge in shots over the visitors.

Third period

Somehow, the Blackhawks killed off the Toews double-minor to begin the final 20 minutes of regulation. From here on out, it was basically all Vegas.

Despite Marc-Andre Fleury being the primary generator of highlight-reel saves for the first two periods, Robin Lehner was the one standing on his head in the third. The Golden Knights outshot the Blackhawks 15-8 this period and generated two thirds of the shot attempts, as well.

With Fleury pulled and six skaters on for the Golden Knights, Mark Stone did what Mark Stone does best and sent a cross-ice pass to defenseman Nick Holden. His one-timer squeaked through the stick and five-hole of Lehner and Vegas tied the game with a minute and a half to go.

At the end of regulation, the Blackhawks and Golden Knights had 32 shots apiece.

Overtime

Outside of Jonathan Toews winning the faceoff to begin overtime, nothing went right for the Blackhawks during these five minutes. Vegas had possession the majority of the time. Then, Toews got called for tripping with less than two minutes to go even though Shea Theodore simply tripped over his own man.

Robin Lehner made a plethora of great saves, including the spectacular two-pad stop on Max Pacioretty that could’ve been the game-winning goal.

But it wasn’t, so we moved on to the shootout.

Shootout

Jonathan Toews opened the scoring with a great wrist shot over Fleury, but that’s the only puck he would allow past him for the rest of the shootout. Lehner stopped former Blackhawk Brandon Pirri, but couldn’t save Jonathan Marchessault‘s wrist shot or Shea Theodore’s backhander.

So, the Blackhawks fell to the Golden Knights 2-1 but picked up a point in the standings. They fell to 2-3-2 on the season and are now 0-5-2 against Vegas all time.

Pluses

  • Brandon Saad has been an absolute menace for the Blackhawks to start the season. His intensity is sky-high and he’s everywhere at once when he’s on the ice. That shift by him on the penalty kill in the second period was ridiculous. If only his puck luck was as good as his work ethic.
  • Other than the game-tying goal he let in, Robin Lehner was fantastic tonight. He’s been great in every game he’s played in, and it’s clear that he should be the starter. This is no slight to Corey Crawford, but the 28-year-old Lehner should be getting more time in net over the soon-to-be-35-year-old, especially given what he’s been through injury-wise over the last few years. This is basically a callout to Jeremy Colliton to let Lehner start more games.
  • Kirby Dach had a fantastic night outside of one not-so-great shift. There’s a great amount of talent in this kid, and he’s been fun to watch over the last two games. He was easily one of the best offensive players for the Blackhawks tonight. If he continues to play the well, he’s going to make it difficult for management to decide if they want to send him back to Saskatoon or keep him in the show.

Minuses

  • Connor Murphy didn’t play a single minute of the third period or overtime, and we found out after the game that he’ll be sidelined with a groin injury for a couple of weeks. That’s really tough news for the Blackhawks, as it seemed that their defense has finally gotten into a good groove and hasn’t been utterly abysmal for a few games. The only plus side is they have a large crop of defensemen they can call up from Rockford. It’s rough that Murphy keeps getting hurt, but that’s how sports go sometimes.

The Blackhawks will face the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. CDT.

Center Ice Forums RECAP: Blackhawks edged by Golden Knights in shootout 2–1

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  • #14903
    Juliana Nikac
    Participant

    The Blackhawks continued their homestand with Tuesday night’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. Chicago has not earned a win over the Golden Knig
    [To continue reading full article, click here: RECAP: Blackhawks edged by Golden Knights in shootout 2–1]

    #14904
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    Anytime now, #19.  Where’s the offense from the Captain?

    Toews has one goal and one assist. The one goal was an overtime goal where the puck just hit him.  And his one other point was on an empty net goal.  In seven games.

    This team needs more offense from their captain.

     

     

    #14905
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: center;”>I’d also like to see Kubalik get more ice time.</p>
    And Shaw get less.

     

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