RECAP: Golden Knights take commanding lead in series with OT win

  

After an underwhelming effort in Game One against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Chicago Blackhawks looked to rebound against arguably the Stanley Cup favorites and even the series heading into Game Three. 

In the early portion of the period, the Golden Knights dominated play, although the score stayed tied at goose eggs for both teams. However, the scoring silence did not last long. 

Right around the midpoint of the period, Jonathan Marchessault made a perfect pass from below the goal line to Paul Stastny out in front of Corey Crawford. The pass evaded numerous skates and sticks on its way to Stastny’s stick, who easily banged home the feed and gave Vegas an early 1–0 lead. 

The Golden Knights continued to dominate play in the first period. Just around five minutes after the Golden Knights took a 1–0 lead, Vegas added more. Tomas Nosek, who was inserted into the lineup because Max Pacioretty was deemed unfit to play, rifled a perfect shot past Crawford and gave the home team the early two-goal advantage at 2–0. 

The Hawks took their two-goal disadvantage into the intermission and regrouped. Just three minutes into the middle frame, Patrick Kane set up Calvin de Haan for a shot on Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner. However, the blue liner’s first shot was blocked, his second was stopped, but the rebound found Kirby Dach at the side of the net and the youngster cut into the Golden Knights’ lead at 2–1. The goal was the rookie’s first ever postseason goal. 

The Hawks continued their push on the power play. After being set up by Kane, Dominik Kubalik fired an absolute missile of a wrist shot past Lehner to tie the game at 2–2. The shot from Kubalik was placed perfectly where Lehner could not stop it, grazing the pipe before finding the back of the net. 

However, the Golden Knights flexed their muscles and showed why they are the better team. With about three minutes remaining in the second period, Mark Stone tapped home a loose puck around the net to give the home team the one-goal advantage once again at 3–2. The goal was Stone’s third of the postseason. 

One thing Blackhawks’ fans are learning about this team is that they really do not quit. Just before the end of the period, Chicago turned into the Harlem Globetrotters, as Kane received a cross-ice pass before slinging the puck to Dylan Strome, who was back door in the blue paint. In one fluent motion, Strome tapped home the perfect feed from Kane and tied the game at 3–3 just before the end of the period. 

There was not much action in the third, as both teams were scoreless despite the Golden Knights brutally outshooting the Hawks. However, the score remained knotted at 3–3 and Game Two was heading for overtime. 

Despite pushing the game to extra time, the Blackhawks ended up falling short. After a great sequence by the Golden Knights in the Blackhawks’ zone, Stastny threw a perfect pass to Reilly Smith in front of Crawford and the Vegas forward tipped the puck past Crawford to give the Golden Knights the 4–3 win for a 2–0 series lead. 

Around the boards

The Blackhawks missed many key opportunities to shoot the puck in this game. There were two opportunities alone for Strome and Dach where they elected to pass instead of shoot. Who knows what may have happened had those passes been shots in this one. The post was the Blackhawks’ best—or worst—friend as well, continuing the “what if” movement offensively for this one. 

Get your jerseys folks; despite a Vegas victory, Dach looked very good once again for the Blackhawks tonight, scoring the first postseason goal of his career. He continues to play strong games in the playoffs and is not afraid to try and carry a line at times. Look for Dach to be a star for a very long time. 

How about Slater Koekkoek? The former first-round pick was dogged by fans, myself included, for a long time. However, he seems to have found a home opposite of Olli Maatta and as a third-pairing defenseman for the Blackhawks. If the Blackhawks only have two young defensemen ready to step into the big-league roster next year, Koekkoek may have found a home on the third pairing for the Hawks.

The Blackhawks will return to action against the Golden Knights as the home team on Saturday at 7 p.m. CDT. 

Center Ice Forums RECAP: Golden Knights take commanding lead in series with OT win

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  • #17711
    Ron Luce
    Participant

    After an underwhelming effort in Game One against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Chicago Blackhawks looked to rebound against arguably the Stanley Cup
    [To continue reading full article, click here: RECAP: Golden Knights take commanding lead in series with OT win]

    #17714
    Mister Ricochet
    Participant

    Don’t know about anyone else but the Hawks and Colliton are surprising me.  That is two solid efforts with two different schemes these last two games vs a vastly superior team.  ……..

    A 4-1 loss with two softies in Game 1.  Hawks kept it close in the stats that matter losing the scoring chances 18-17 and high dangers chances 7-4 but outshot 34-20.  Colliton, correctly IMO, liked the effort, the scheme but said they needed to stick to it longer, stay disciplined.

    Game 2 they swapped Calligula and Dcat (great move IMO), opened it up and attacked, erase a 2-0 lead, get badly out-fancied and take the thing to OT in an entertaining fast paced game that the Hawks could have easily won with a bounce. Crow looked like the Crow of old and seemed really intense to me aftre the Hawks came back from 2 down.

    Wanna add I thought the object of making the playoffs was to get the youngsters ice time.  Right or wrong they deviated and scratched Boqvist but inserted another young defender, Carlsson.  Looks like they are walkign the fine line of experience for Boqvist and hey, we can beat these guys.  …… Found that interesting and wonder if Boqvist dresses for Game 3.

    Dcat is getting a lot of abuse on the internets but I thought his skating improved in Game 1 and even more in Game 2. Not sure if that means he’s about to pop but his legs are moving.

    Fun game, fun series, Hawks are worth watching again, Colliton is showing  adaptability and giving the Hawks chances to win vs a much better opponent.

    #17766
    Mister Ricochet
    Participant

    Dcat is getting a lot of abuse on the internets but I thought his skating improved in Game 1 and even more in Game 2. Not sure if that means he’s about to pop but his legs are moving.

    Indeed.

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