Recap: Canadiens down Blackhawks 3-2


The Blackhawks entered action tonight hoping to break a 6-game winless streak on home ice against the Montreal Canadiens.

In the pre-game intro, NBCSN Chicago on-air men, Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk, heralded the return of Connor Murphy to the lineup as being the potential cure for what ails the Hawks. Without question, the Hawks’ problems begin on the blueline. However, in years past, the notion that a player of Murphy’s stature might be “the answer” would have been a bit silly. This year, in the era of Brandon Manning, Brandon Davidson, and Erik Gustafsson as a “top 4” defenseman, Murphy’s return seems like a breath of fresh air.

Lines and pairings for the Hawks:

Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsDavid Kampf
Dominik KahunArtem AnisimovPatrick Kane
Alex DeBrincatDylan StromeAlexandre Fortin
Andreas MartinsenMarcus KrugerJohn Hayden
Duncan KeithHenri Jokiharju
Erik GustafssonConnor Murphy
Brandon ManningBrent Seabrook

The goalies were, as you’d expect, Carey Price for the Canadiens and Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks.


The Hawks got the first power play at 3:37 on a Tomas Tatar hooking penalty. The Hawks first rush was successful in penetrating and setting up in the offensive zone, resulting in a couple of shots. But after that, just a minute and a half of the mediocrity Hawk fans have become accustomed to.

Then, at 5:55, Max Domi beat Marcus Kruger on a defensive zone draw, then later getting to the front of the net, where he powered a rebound past Crawford. 1-0 Habs.

Less than two minutes later, at 7:36, with no Hawks challenging him at the point, Shea Weber blasted one of his patented cannon shots past Crawford. 2-0 Montreal.

The only Hawk line that seemed to have any jump early on was Kahun-Anisimov-Kane, who generated a couple of nice chances at about 10:30.

Tatar took another minor at 12:41. The Hawks won the offensive zone draw and generated one nice chance. But the Habs killed off the rest.

Chicago got one more man-advantage at 18:03 on a Shea Weber delay call. The Hawks seemed to have the right group out with Brent Seabrook, John Hayden, Jonathan Toews, Kane and Alex DeBrincat. Good movement and puck retrieval, lots of net traffic, and sure enough, Kane beat Price to make it 2-1 Montreal at 19:01, which was how the period would conclude.

Shots were 10-7 for Chicago, although the Hawks had 3 power plays and the Habs had none.


The pace opened up a bit in the early going of this period, with both teams getting a few nice chances. In particular, Tatar got set up nicely in close by Brendan Gallagher, only to ring the puck off the post.

After that the game got a little chippy as well with various Hawks and Canadiens going at each other around the nets and along the wall.

Montreal seemed to get the better of the action in the middle of the period, with some fairly sustained offensive zone pressure and chances, until Kane blasted a laser one-timer from the left circle past Price, off a brilliant cross-ice pass from Kahun, making it 2-2 at 12;55.

Kruger took the Hawks’ first penalty of the night at 13:07, but the Hawks did an effective job killing it off to keep the score tied. The kill and the Kane goal just prior seemed to ignite the Hawks in the latter minutes of the second.

Hayden took a roughing penalty at 18:32, seemingly in retaliation for a Nic DesLauriers hit on Toews earlier in the game. The period ended with :32 left on the Canadien power play, tied at two goals a piece. Shots were 12-9 Chicago in the period.


The Hawks opened the third by killing off the remainder of the Canadiens penalty.

A flurry of Chicago offense was punctuated by Tatar’s third penalty of the night at 1:58, a cross check on DeBrincat at the Montreal goal mouth. The Hawks got some pressure, highlighted by a nifty stickhandling move by Dylan Strome. While Strome failed to finish the chance, at the end of the power play, he drew a 4 minute high stick on Jordie Benn at 3:58.

The Hawks’ best pressure on that power play came from the same unit that clicked earlier in the night: Kane, Toews, DeBrincat, Hayden and Seabrook. However, the Hawks failed to convert 6 consecutive minutes of man-advantage.

Inevitably, the Habs got a power play on a Brandon Saad interference call at 9:29. And it was the Habs turn to get a consecutive call when Murphy clipped Max Domi with a high stick at 10:36, giving the Habs a 5-on-3 for 55 seconds. The kill was frenzied but the Hawks got back to 5-on-4 with no damage.

No sooner had the Hawks killed off the second call when Murphy was tripped at 12:49, putting the Hawks back on the power play. That penalty was killed when Gallagher caught Gustafsson with a stick, putting the Hawks back on the power play yet again at 15;12. The ensuring power play was basically a shooting gallery for Chicago versus a tired Montreal team.

But the Canadiens, for all their transgressions, were able to kill that penalty off, and after play returned to evens, the Canadiens mounted some consistent pressure and beat Crawford on a Jeff Petry point shot at 18:43. 3-2 Canadiens.

Crawford as was pulled in the last minute to no avail.

Your final score: 3-2 Montreal. 7 straight Chicago losses in what is shaping up as the Hawks’ worst season in over a decade.

The Good

Patrick Kane remains a dynamic and dominant offensive force. I thought Seabrook had a nice game in all situations. Hayden was often noticeable and for all the right reasons.

The Bad

Kruger had a rough night all the way around.

Duncan Keith? Paging Duncan keith.

The Ugly

The Hawks must learn to start games better: more aware and more engaged. The team played pretty well over the latter 50 minutes of the game (for a change).

Although the power play was decent to good at times tonight, the inability to convert 5 third period chances killed Chicago.

All I have on this one. Please comment below.

Leave a Reply