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Slow start dooms Blackhawks in 4-2 loss to Bruins

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Three first-period goals led Boston past Chicago.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Another road game in the preseason meant it was largely a skeleton crew representing the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins, with veterans like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook among those not in the lineup. A miserable start to the game — Boston scored three times in the first 10 minutes — was too much for the Blackhawks to overcome, with Chicago falling 4-2.

David Pastrnak opened the scoring with a rush up the right side and a well-placed shot that beat Corey Crawford just 52 seconds into the game. Thirty-six seconds later, Boston defenseman Jeremy Lauzon took a shot on net that appeared harmless. But the seeing-eye shot found its way past Crawford for a 2-0 Bruins’ lead. Anders Bjork made it a 3-0 lead before Brandon Saad got the Hawks on the board with a nifty redirect of an Erik Gustaffson pass for a power play tally late in the first period.

John Hayden added a goal after taking in a slick pass from Tanner Kero in the second for Chicago, but Boston cashed in on a third-period power play with a Patrice Bergeron goal to put the game out of reach.

CHI GOALS: Saad (4), Hayden (1)
BOS GOALS: Pastrnak (1), Lauzon (1), Bjork (1), Bergeron (1)

3 thoughts

Not a great night for the defense

Erik Gustafsson had a hand in the first goal scored by Boston during the first period. Jordan Oesterle partially screened goaltender Corey Crawford on the Bruins’ second goal. Gustav Forsling had an awful turnover in his own end that led the Bruins’ third goal. The D corps’ overall play improved after a miserable first period, but it was not a banner night for a position group that still has a lot of questions heading into the postseason.

Corey Crawford probably wants those first two goals back

The Hawks defense didn’t do him any favors, but he was a bit deep in his net on the first goal by Pastrnak and the second goal was a soft floater from just inside the blue line. The third and fourth goals are harder to pin on Crawford and he did stone Pastrnak on a breakaway in the third period. But any serious concerns about Crawford are unwarranted. He’ll be just fine.

John Hayden keeps being hard to ignore

It’s getting harder and harder to imagine that Hayden isn’t one of the players who remains with the team when the Hawks open the season next week. He had a goal tonight on a mini-breakaway, using his size to shield the puck from a pair of Boston defenders and then displayed impressive hands when firing the puck past Malcolm Subban.

I also liked Hayden’s work on the power play. At 6-3, 223 pounds, he makes it hard for any goalie to see around him when he takes up residence just in front of the crease, similar to the way Bryan Bickell used to do so effectively for Chicago. But Hayden also has the agility to open up for quick one-timers in the slot when the puck gets moved behind the net, and good enough hands that he can finish those chances. It’s no guarantee he’s makes the team this season, let alone earns power play minutes, but it’s not hard to envision that as a future role for him in Chicago. He’s only 22 years old and has played in only 13 NHL games.

3 stars

  1. David Pastrnak (BOS) — 1 goal, 1 assist
  2. Patrice Bergeron (BOS) — 1 goal, 1 assist
  3. John Hayden (CHI) — 1 goal