RECAP: Blackhawks lose three in a row against division’s top teams

  

In a make-or-break month for the Chicago Blackhawks, the team faced arguably their stiffest competition of the season by facing off against the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning last week.

With cracks already forming in the Blackhawks’ foundation, the team needed to continue to excel in net and on the power play to continue to buoy their ever-fleeting playoff hopes.

Monday, March 15: Florida doubles up the Blackhawks

The Hawks jumped on the scoreboard early when former Blackhawk Anthony Duclair committed three egregious turnovers in one possession, leading to a Patrick Kane goal for a 1–0 Chicago lead. After Owen Tippett tied the game at 1–1, the Hawks pieced together some great shifts from their young players, getting goals from Phillip Kurashev and Brandon Hagel for a 3–1 advantage.

Sadly, the Hagel goal was the last of the Blackhawks’ success, as the lead evaporated as quickly as it appeared. In the third period, the Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov capitalized on a comedy error from the Blackhawks to blow the game open.

The final was Florida topping the visitors from Chicago by a 6–3 margin.

Thursday, March 18: Andrei Vasilevskiy dominates the Blackhawks

Coming into this contest, The Lightning were 401 against the Blackhawk this season. The Hawks tried to change their luck against Tampa Bay with an early goal from Mattias Janmark. Despite the early Janmark tally and a goal from Dylan Strome, the Blackhawks did not have enough firepower to keep with the high-powered Lightning.

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The Lightning got goals from Alex Killorn, Yanni Gourde, Ross Colton and an empty-netter from Victor Hedman. Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded 19 saves and earned his 10th consecutive victory in the 4–2 Tampa Bay triumph. Prior to the contest, Hedman had become the fifth player and first defenseman for the Lightning to reach 500 career points.

Saturday, March 20: Blackhawks outclassed for third straight loss

In the final game of the week, the Hawks were once again dominated by Tampa Bay. While the Blackhawks had their chances to score, including a 5-on-3 power play attempt, Vasilevskiy was up to the task, making 30 saves to record his 11th straight victory. The only blemish on the Lightning goalie’s record was a late third-period goal from Alex DeBrincat.

Entering this contest, the Blackhawks were a team heavily reliant on their power play and goaltending to win games. In this outing, both aspects of their game failed them. The Hawks were 04 on the power play, and netminder Malcolm Subban allowed four goals on 25 shots for a save percentage of .862.

Analysis

The Blackhawks are a team heavily dependent on excellent goaltending from Kevin Lankinen and Malcolm Subban. In the month of March, both goalies have been subpar. Lankinen is 141 with a .887 save percentage in March while Subban’s record this month is 131 with a .871 save percentage. Despite the poor numbers and Collin Delia waiting in the wings, Head Coach Jeremy Colliton remains committed to his goaltending duo.

With their playoff chances slowly dwindling away, perhaps it is time for a change in net for the Blackhawks.

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Center Ice Forums RECAP: Blackhawks lose three in a row against division’s top teams

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