Despite another multi-point game from Jonathan Toews, the Chicago Blackhawks lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-2, in the United Center on Tuesday night. Before tonight’s loss, the Hawks were 78-0-5 in games where they held a two-period lead since the 2014-15 season.
Toews opened the scoring midway through the first period thanks to a wonderful setup from his linemates Richard Panik and Ryan Hartman. The goal marks the first time Toews has scored goals in back-to-back games since November. The lead did not last, however, as Brian Boyle was able to split Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson to score late in the period.
Chicago (30-15-5) started strong in the second, scoring early after Keith fired a shot from above the circles past Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to put the Hawks ahead 2-1. Toews was credited with an assist on the goal, earning his second point of the game and sixth point in two straight games.
Once again, the lead would not stand. Tampa Bay opened the third period with a goal off a faceoff as Nikita Nesterov blistered a shot past Corey Crawford to tie the game. The Lightning would score two more goals in a span of 30 seconds as Tyler Johnson netted back-to-back goals to put Tampa Bay ahead for good. An empty-net goal capped a four-goal third period for the Lightning, who improve to 22-22-5 this season.
For the Blackhawks, they drop only their sixth game at home this season with their worst home loss differential since the season opener against St. Louis.
Minutes after Tampa Bay scored to tie the game, Tyler Johnson out hustled Duncan Keith to score the go-ahead goal six minutes into the final period. Johnson would score 30 seconds later to put the Lightning ahead by two.
SCH 3 Stars
1. Tyler Johnson, Lightning (2 goals, GWG)
2. Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Alex Killorn, Lightning (2 assists, 5 SOG)
Play of the Game
Tampa failed to clear the zone twice. Toews and then Hartman on the forecheck keep the puck in and it leads to this John Toews goal. pic.twitter.com/x9omUuksEz— Blackhawks Breakdown (@HawksBreakdown) January 25, 2017
The first goal of the game was by far the prettiest for Chicago. Ryan Hartman’s spin-o-rama kept the play alive, as Richard Panik and Jonathan Toews set up a tap in goal to take the lead midway through the first period.
The Hawks will look to defeat the Winnipeg Jets for the first time this season in the final game of their three game home stand Thursday night.