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2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Blackhawks look to even series vs. Golden Knights in Game 2

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Vegas pulled away late for a Game 1 victory. Can Chicago bounce back in Game 2?

Chicago Blackhawks v Vegas Golden Knights - Game One Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

The Blackhawks remain in search of their first Stanley Cup Playoff victory since 2016 and will look to end that drought and tie their series against the Golden Knights in Game 2 of their first-round matchup Thursday afternoon in Edmonton.

Game 1 saw a quiet start turn into a Vegas lead and then a pair of third-period goals that resulted in a 4-1 Golden Knights’ victory Tuesday. Vegas owned 57.14 percent of the shot attempts and a 28-15 advantage in shots on goal, both during five-on-five play. With Vegas controlling more of the game’s play than Chicago, no lineup changes are expected or appear necessary for Vegas after its thorough domination of the puck in Game 1.

For the Blackhawks, a continued focus on defense appears to be the mindset again for Game 2, especially after comments from coach Jeremy Colliton.

It’s not the worst strategy in the world, as Vegas’ clear speed advantage could become a disaster for the Blackhawks if they turned any part of this series into a track meet. Still, Chicago must score to win this series and it likely can’t count on David Kampf scoring shorthanded goals every night. One way to spark the scoring could be exposing its best offensive weapon in Patrick Kane to more than one faceoff in the offensive zone during the game.

Chicago should also benefit from a redemptive performance by goaltender Corey Crawford, who allowed two uncharacteristically soft goals in Game 1 but has a long, long list of playoff accolades that suggest he’ll bounce back. Additional contributions from the Blackhawks top veterans like the aforementioned Kane and Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith and more will go a long way toward the Blackhawks evening this series 1-1.

Game 1 presented Chicago with far, far more opportunities to score than the one it converted. Making the most of those opportunities will be vital for a Blackhawks team that likely won’t find itself on the positive side of the possession ledger much in this series. The prime scoring chances may be infrequent but they are going to be there. The Blackhawks need to bury them at a better rate than they did in Game 1.

Let’s go Hawks!

Tale of the Tape

Blackhawks — Stat — Golden Knights

48.79% (21st) — Corsi for — 54.49% (2nd)

46.63% (28th) — Expected goals for — 54.68% (1st)

2.97 (18th) — Goals per game — 3.15 (13th)

3.06 (16th) — Goals against per game — 2.94 (13th)

15.2% (28th) — Power play — 22% (9th)

82.1% (9th) — Penalty kill — 76.6% (27th)

49.9% (17th) — Faceoffs — 50% (16th)

Projected lineups

Blackhawks

Kubalik — Toews — Saad

DeBrincat — Dach — Kane

Nylander — Strome Caggiula

Carpenter — Kampf — Highmore

Keith — Boqvist

De Haan — Murphy

Maatta — Koekkoek

Crawford

Subban

Golden Knights

Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith

Pacioretty — Stastny — Stone

Cousins — Stephenson — Tuch

Carrier — Roy — Reaves

McNabb — Schmidt

Martinez — Theordore

Holden — Whitecloud

Lehner

Fleury

How to Watch

When: 4:30 p.m.

Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB, Canada

TV: NBC Sports Network, NBC Sports Chicago

Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.TV