The Blackhawks grabbed a point as their win streak ended at five games in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Canucks on Monday night at the United Center.
Prior to the game, the Blackhawks honored Baseball Hall of Famer and former White Sox player Jim Thome with a ceremonial puck drop. It was the second time the Blackhawks and have honored Thome, with the first time being Dec. 5, 2007, when Chicago also lost 3-2 to the Canucks.
After not scoring a point Saturday in Montreal, Kane tallied two assists to surpass the 100-point mark this season. He’s the third player in franchise history to record multiple 100-point seasons, joining Jeremy Roenick and Denis Savard. Kane will likely surpass his career high of 106 points from the 2015-16 season when he won the Art Ross and Hart Trophy.
Gustafsson sent the game to overtime with a blast from the point with 3:13 remaining in the third period for his 14th goal this season. He’s now one goal away from becoming the first defenseman since Dustin Byfuglien in 2008-09 to score 15 goals in a season.
Gustafsson tallied a game-high six shots in 23:04 of ice time.
Jonathan Toews scored with 35 seconds remaining in the first period to snap the Blackhawks 0-for-18 power play drought. The power play was red-hot earlier this calendar year, and the Blackhawks will need to continue to cash in on the man advantage as they try to grab a playoff spot.
Playing to opponents’ level
The Blackhawks are trying to somehow, someway climb back into the playoffs. They grabbed a point with the overtime loss to the Canucks in a game which they should’ve taken two against a lesser team with its backup goalie in net. It was just the latest example of the Blackhawks playing down to their competition this season.
Every game has big moments for the Blackhawks and they can’t afford to have slow starts or play down to their opponents as they try to chase down a playoff spot.
Dylan Sikura’s luck, or lack there of
Snake-bitten, unlucky or whatever you want to call it, Sikura can’t seem to find the back of the net for his first career NHL goal. Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko, who was only make his fifth NHL start, denied Sikura twice at the doorstep Monday.
Sikura is certainly generating chances the past four games on the top line with Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews, and looks like he’s a shift away from finally scoring a goal. Head coach Jeremy Colliton is giving Sikura chances to break through, and it doesn’t appear the Blackhawks will re-assign Sikura to the AHL until the season is over and the IceHogs make the Calder Cup playoffs.
The Blackhawks only scored two goals, and didn’t have many quality opportunities with only six high-danger chances. One area the Blackhawks are incredibly reliable this season is the “over,” with a league-best 47-20-5 record. Monday’s loss marked the first time since Nov. 16-18 that they failed to hit the over in back-to-back games.
The Blackhawks host the Flyers on Thursday night at the United Center.