In the second game of a two game road trip out west, the Chicago Blackhawks came up short against the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. The Hawks looked like they had maybe enjoyed their two days off a little too much, as they sputtered to stay in the game offensively. Vegas out shot the Hawks 33-31 in the game, and tallied two power play goals en route to their seventh win of the season (the most by an expansion franchise in their inaugural season).
Chicago (5-3-2) started the game strong with a short-handed goal by John Hayden, which sent the healthy mass of Hawks’ fans into a frenzy as Chicago grabbed an early 1-0 lead. Vegas would answer 26 seconds later, and then two minutes after that as the Golden Knights rushed Corey Crawford early and often. After Chicago managed to kill off a four minute double minor from Ryan Hartman’s slash of Brayden McNabb, the Knights killed the momentum with a late goal in the second period. They would tally another goal early in the third ultimately ending any hope of a Chicago comeback.
Vegas (7-1-0) got an outstanding effort from third-string goaltender Oscar Dansk in his first career start between the pipes, as Dansk made 29 total saves including a few stellar glove saves on shots from Patrick Sharp and Nick Schmaltz. Even though he allowed a John Hayden short-handed goal on the first shot of the night, he found his groove and kept Chicago at bay for the rest of the evening.
John Hayden with a nifty shorthanded goal to open the scoring. 1-0 #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/8boSQXLshe— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) October 25, 2017
CHI GOALS: Hayden (1), Kane (5)
VGK GOALS: Karlsson (2), Nosek (2), Bellemare (1), Marchessault (2)
Chicago looked slow and shaky all night
Aside from the early shorthanded goal, the Hawks looked outmatched all game long. If you look at the starting lineups for each team, you wouldn’t have guessed that. But from the drop of the puck, Vegas looked faster, more composed, and ready to go. Chicago struggled to stay with plays that were generally made up the middle of the ice. The offense struggled in the slot, and most of Chicago’s shots on goal were taken from around the dots and outside the scoring area. Any lack of effort was not due to fatigue, as Chicago had two full days of rest before tonight’s game...
The third line continues to be less than stellar
Our man Satchel wrote about this earlier, but the Hawks’ third line continued to look sub-par in this one. The lack of production from Patrick Sharp, the limited action from rookie Alex DeBrincat, and the mediocre center play by Artem Anisimov might need some attention if things don’t change in the future. The other three lines have found success this season, it’s time the third line starts producing as well.
The Penalty Kill continues to look pretty decent
Hey! They even scored a goal!
Midway through the second period, the Hawks managed to kill off a four minute Ryan Hartman double-minor by not allowing a Vegas shot on goal. John Hayden’s efforts on the penalty kill was even rewarded with a goal as he caught the Knights in the middle of a line change to notch the game’s first goal. Sure, they were not perfect in this contest (allowing two goals), but the momentum gained from killing off the double-minor shows that the Hawks’ PK is trending in the right direction. If only they didn’t give up goals immediately afterwords...
- Tomas Nosek (VGK) — (1 goal, 1 assist)
- Oscar Dansk (VGK) — (29 saves, first career start)
- Patrick Kane (CHI) — (1 goal, 6 SOG)