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Blackhawks blow 3-1 lead in 4-3 overtime loss to Golden Knights

Chicago picks up its first point in franchise history against Vegas.

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Shea Theodore scored the game-winner 1:19 into overtime for a 4-3 Golden Knights’ victory over the Blackhawks on Saturday night at the United Center in Chicago.

Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 25th goal of the season, and Alex DeBrincat scored his 22nd and 23rd goal this season. Rookie goaltender Collin Delia stopped 29 of 33 shots and has now lost four straight starts to fall to 3-1-3 since being called up from the AHL.

With the overtime loss, Chicago secured its first point in franchise history against Vegas.

How It Happened

The Golden Knights controlled possession for the first four minutes of the game, but did not create a high-danger opportunity. After the first line for the Hawks got the puck deep, a Vegas defender rimmed the puck along the boards that took a weird carom right to Dominik Kahun in the high slot. Kahun took a stride toward the Vegas net and threw the puck to DeBrincat, who was driving to the crease from the corner. DeBrincat tipped the puck on veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, which created a rebound that went right back to DeBrincat’s stick for an easy tap in for a 1-0 lead.

Not much later, Kane, Brandon Saad and Dylan Strome took a 3-on-3 into the Vegas zone. Kane passed to Strome, who beat Ryan Reaves to the net and nearly put home a backhand opportunity. Saad whacked the rebound on net and the puck ended up bouncing right to Kane, who snuck backdoor. Kane thought he scored his 25th of the season, but during the entry into the offensive zone Saad misstepped and was offside. The refs quickly overturned the goal.

After a cycle down low by Saad, Drake Caggiula picked up the puck and got hit in the face by a wild stick from Oscar Lindberg. On the resulting man advantage, Kane was able to settle the puck on the wall and drove the net after a give-and-go with Erik Gustafsson. Kane took a shot that was blocked by Brayden McNabb and swatted the bouncing puck through Fleury’s five-hole for his 25th goal of the season. Kane extended his point streak to five games with the tally and has eight goals in as many games. Gustafsson also picked up his 20th assist of the season and now has an assist in eight straight games.

The Hawks then dodged a bullet after Gustafsson tried to beat three forechecking Knights in the defensive zone. Lindberg ended up taking the puck off the turnover and hit the crossbar for the second time during his shift late in the first-period.

Shortly after puck drop in the second period, Alex Tuch found a juicy rebound after a couple of turnovers by the Hawks in the defensive zone and scored his 15th this season to cut the Knight’s deficit to one goal.

Following Tuch’s goal, the Knights took two straight penalties, one being a 4-minute high-stick because it drew blood from Saad. The sizzling Hawks power play generated a handful of chances until Kane worked his magic and slid a puck across the slot to a wide-open DeBrincat backdoor. DeBrincat one-timed the puck for his second of the game.

In the final minute of the second period, Ryan Carpenter moved into the Hawks zone on a 2-on-2 against Carl Dahlstrom. The Hawks defenseman gave Carpenter too much space and allowed him to cut to the net on his forehand for a quick shot that beat Delia upstairs. It was Carpenter’s fourth goal this season and cut the lead back to one for the Hawks going into the second intermission.

The third period was filled with chances from both teams. Delia had a number of quality saves and Connor Murphy sacrificed the body multiple times with diving blocks to keep the Hawks lead at one.

With seven minutes to go in the third period, the fourth lines for the Hawks and Knights went out for a draw in the Hawks zone. Marcus Kruger lost the face-off and the Knights got the puck down low to Tomas Nosek who tried to wrap the puck around the net. The puck flew out front to a crashing Pierre-Édouard Bellemare who stuck his skate out and re-directed it past Delia. After a review, the goal was disallowed due to a distinct kicking motion by Bellemare.

A couple shifts later, Paul Stastny was able to locate a puck during a scrum in front of the Hawks net and scored his sixth of the season to tie the game 3-3 late in the third period.

The Hawks held on to dear life in last three minutes to get the game to overtime and secure a point. Toews was able to win control off the face-off to start OT and the Hawks had possession for the first minute until Dahlstrom had another bad gap on a Vegas puck carrier. Theodore beat Dahlstrom to the net and let the puck slide right through Delia’s five-hole for the game-winner.

The Hawks have now dropped two straight OT decisions on home ice, but have collected two out of four possible points against two of the top teams in the Western Conference in Vegas and Nashville.

Chicago head East to visit the Devils on Monday at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

3 Thoughts

1. Carl Dahlstrom had a tough game.

Dahlstrom was minus-3 and did not gap up properly on the Carpenter goal at the end of the second period and on the Theodore game-winner in OT. He also was caught puck watching on the Stastny goal that tied the game late in the third period. Every player has an off night.

2. Special teams are on fire.

In the last four games, the Hawks have gone 5-for-12 on the power play for a conversion rate of 41.6-percent. On the penalty kill the Hawks have gone 11-for-13, which is good for 84.6-percent. The first power play unit of Gustafsson, Kane, Toews, Strome, and DeBrincat have looked extremely confident and have capitalized on the man-advantage in four straight games.

3. Patrick Kane is on pace to tie, and possibly beat, his MVP season scoring totals.

Kane has carried the Hawks in the past 11 games. He has 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) and is a threat to create a scoring chance every time he gets the puck in the offensive zone. He is dangling, threading passes through defenders’ sticks and skates, and makes a highlight reel play every game. He now has 60 points in 46 games played this season (25 goals, 35 assists), which puts him on pace to finish with 45 goals and 106 points. That point total would tie his career high from the 2015-16 MVP season.