Stars outshine Blackhawks 6–4

  

Entering Sunday’s game, the Chicago Blackhawks were coming off a lackluster effort against the Seattle Kraken. After the Kraken game, interim head coach Derek King made some lineup changes. Tyler Johnson and Caleb Jones were scratched in favor of Philipp Kurashev and Alex Vlasic against the Dallas Stars. King also reunited former Erie Otters linemates Alex DeBrincat, Taylor Raddysh and Dylan Strome.

Meanwhile, their opponents played their worst game of the season per their head coach, Rick Bowness, in their last matchup. With the Stars fighting for a playoff spot, they can ill afford to drop games to non-playoff teams at this stage of the season. With 10 games remaining, the Blackhawks were hoping to play the role of spoiler against the Stars on Sunday.

First period

The game was called by the retiring Pat Foley and his old broadcast partner, Dale Tallon. Tallon’s insight as the former general manager of the Florida Panthers came in handy early. Former Florida Panther and current Blackhawks defenseman Riley Stillman attempted to hip check Alexander Radulov. But, the hip check attempt failed and resulted in a penalty on the Blackhawks. On the power play, Jamie Benn was able to tip home a deflection for the game’s first goal and a 1–0 Dallas lead.

Later in the period, Kurshaev and Jonathan Toews were on a 2-on-1 break. Kurashev sent a pass intended for Toews, but it was deflected in the Dallas net for the Blackhawks’ first goal, leveling the score at 1–1.

Less than three minutes later on a Blackhawks power play, Toews took a shot from the high left side. Just like Chicago’s first goal, Dallas defender Esa Lindell tipped in the Toews shot for the 2–1 game-leading goal for the Hawks.

The Stars answered with a power play goal of their own when Tyler Seguin fired a shot from the high right side that Joe Pavelski was able to tip past Kevin Lankinen for the 2–2 equalizer.

The first period ended with both teams tied at 2–2.

Second period

The second period is when Dallas took control of the game. Early in the period, Dach could not clear the Blackhawks’ defensive zone. The weak Dach pass was scooped up by Palveski, who found Roope Hintz for the Stars’ third goal of the game and a 3–2 Dallas advantage.

Just past the midway point in the period, the Blackhawks’ fourth line of MacKenzie Entwistle, Reese Johnson and Boris Katchouk used their physicality to generate a scoring chance. Johnson found Katchouk, who fired a slap shot past a screened Jake Oettinger. It was Katchouk’s first goal as a member of the Blackhawks and knotted the score at 3–3. Katchouk got the proverbial monkey off his back with that goal.

The tie would not last very long, as the Stars answered with another goal. Jason Robertson fired a shot off the back of Lankinen for the Stars’ fourth goal of the game and a 4–3 lead.

Robertson was not done scoring in the second period. Hintz recovered a puck along the boards and fired a pass to Robertson near the right circle. Robertson whizzed the puck by Lankinen for a 5–3 Dallas advantage. Hintz was able to recover the puck because Seth Jones did not check him off near the boards.

The period ended with the Blackhawks trailing by two goals at 5–3.

Third period

In the third period, Collin Delia replaced Lankinen in net. Delia was tested early and answered the bell with some great saves. With the score unchanged, the Stars added their sixth goal of the game with less than five minutes remaining in the game. After making two brilliant saves, Delia was beat on wraparound chance from Seguin for his 22nd goal of the season and a 6–3 Dallas lead.

Dach answered the Seguin goal with a beautiful snipe to cut the lead to 6–4, however, that was the final Blackhawks goal of the game, as the Hawks fell to Dallas 6–4.

Analysis

The Blackhawks have lost seven in a row. It is their 12th time this season the the team has allowed six goals in a game and third time in the last month. This team is just flat out bad, and it shows. The burden of rebuilding this team now falls completely on the shoulders of General Manager Kyle Davidson. He has to start finding and developing talent for this team and its future. He also needs to find players who are willing to do the dirty work and win board battles, which this team sorely lacks.

What could have been

Jake Oettinger got his 26th win of the season. Oettinger was taken with the 26th overall pick in 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 26th pick originally belonged to the Blackhawks, who traded their pick to Dallas for the 29th pick of the first round and a third-round pick. While Dallas appears to the have their goalie of the future, the Blackhawks turned their 29th pick into Henri Jokiharju/Alexander Nylander, and ultimately, into Sam Lafferty. While hindsight is always clear, it is just another move in a litany of poor decisions that has led the Blackhawks to their current situation.

The Hawks’ next game is Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CDT.

Center Ice Forums Stars outshine Blackhawks 6–4

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    Sean Fitzgerald
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    Entering Sunday’s game, the Chicago Blackhawks were coming off a lackluster effort against the Seattle Kraken. After the Kraken game, interim head coa
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