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Blackhawks drop 7th straight after 5-2 loss to Golden Knights

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For the first time in regulation, Chicago loses a game despite having the lead heading into the third period.

Chicago Blackhawks v Vegas Golden Knights

Despite carrying a lead into the final period, the Chicago Blackhawks fell to the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 on Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena.

It was the first time this season Chicago would surrender a third-period lead in regulation as they’re now 15-1-3 when leading through two periods. Vegas swept the three-game series against the Hawks, who have now lost seven straight overall.

After a horrible night in Arizona, the Blackhawks (24-25-8) started Tuesday’s game on a high note by scoring the first goal.

Tommy Wingels found the back of the net during a Chicago power play in the opening 2 minutes. It was the Hawks’ fifth power—play goal in their last six games.

Vegas (37-15-4) would strike back though, as Ryan Carpenter scored the equalizer 3 minutes later after the puck was thrown off Jeff Glass’ backside. For the second straight game, Glass would surrender a goal from a shot taken behind the goal-line.

In the second period, Chicago kept their foot on the gas and peppered Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with some early rushes. Fleury was caught reaching at the skates of Patrick Sharp, which drew a penalty shot for the Hawks. Sharp was unable to capitalize on the opportunity as Fleury brushed aside his attempt.

Chicago rookie Alex DeBrincat, however, cashed in on the team’s momentum, and scored his 21st goal of the season on a rebound-feed from Sharp and Ryan Hartman. DeBrincat’s goal ties Patrick Kane for goals as a Hawks rookie, with several games still in hand. Denis Savard still holds the rookie franchise goal record with 28, and it is clear that DeBrincat will challenge that total by season’s end.

Grasping a 2-1 lead heading into the third period, the Hawks would need to hold tough and find some insurance in the final stanza. Instead, Vegas would be the aggressor as they scored three goals in the first five minutes. Brad Hunt was the first to find the back of the net on the power play to tie the game 2-2. Then Reilly Smith snapped home a wicked wrist shot over Glass’ gloveside to give Vegas the lead for good. Glass would allow a rather soft shot attempt by David Perron to sneak across the goal line before Tomas Nosek added an empty-net goal.

CHI Goals: Wingels (7), DeBrincat (21)
VGK Goals: Carpenter (3), Hunt (2), Smith (17), Perron (14), Nosek (4)

The Takeaway

To call a 5-2 loss “refreshing” is odd, but Tuesday’s loss to Vegas was just that after the drubbing that was Monday night’s game against the Coyotes. Heck, DeBrincat provided some excitement with his 21st goal of the season, and Wingels tallied another goal for a power play that keeps finding the back of the net. All in all, the team exceeded expectations against the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights.

Still, watching impact players like Kane come up empty in his fourth straight game is frustrating. Chicago has now been outscored 28-12 in their last seven games, with Anton Forsberg and Glass combining for a save percentage of under .900. For the 12th time in their last 15 games, the Hawks failed to score more than two goals. Though the effort was far more valiant than last night, the outcome remained the same.

3 stars

1. David Perron (VGK) - 1 goal, 1 assist

2. Alex DeBrincat (CHI) - 1 goal, 1 assist

3. Reilly Smith (VGK) - 1 goal, 7 SOG