The Blackhawks returned to the ice on Wednesday night for the second round of a doubleheader with the Predators. This game did not offer the redemption Blackhawks fans were hoping for, though, with Matt Duchene’s top-shelf shootout sealing the deal in a 2-1 Predators win. Chicago did earn a point for the fifth game in a row, though.
The game was somewhat of a snoozefest early on, with the first period ending in no score.
With 12 minutes left in the second period, the divide between the two teams began to widen, with the Predators owning a 10-shot advantage. The Blackhawks narrowed the gap in the final two minutes of the period with some exciting action from Patrick Kane, who had three solid attempts at getting the first goal of the game.
In the third period, Nick Cousins opened up the scoring with his first goal as a member of the Predators.
With 10:36 left to play, the Blackhawks scored their first goal with Ryan Carpenter banking it in off of Nashville goalie Juuse Saros,
“They don’t ask how,” Ed Olczyk quipped.
Perhaps the most excitement of the night came in the final 2.4 seconds. Connor Murphy may have started the entire fracas by hitting Dante Fabbro in the back, but the impending gang-up by Colton Sissons and Mattias Ekholm seemed unnecessary.
There was no scoring in overtime but there were plenty of chances,
The only goal of the shootout came from Nashville’s Matt Duchene:
- Brandon Hagel made some great moves in the first period. Is he one to watch out for? He racked up 15:50 of ice time and earned the first assist of his NHL career. I’m interested.
- Kevin Lankinen ended the game with an impressive save percentage of .976 as his goaltending continues to impress. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.
- I’m really wondering how different this team would look with its full roster. The lines looked tired, and the offense is in need of some serious readjusting. The goaltenders can’t be solely responsible for keeping the game together.
- The Blackhawks were ranked second in the league with their power play performance, but that run of success was nowhere to be found in four opportunities against the Predators.
- And lastly, not sure if we can consider this a “stat,” but as the NBC Sports Hockey Horoscope writer Marisa Ingemi suggested for what her reading of the stars held for week 3: “The Blackhawks are in a rebuild, after all. Do: Rookies Don’t: Olds.” I couldn’t agree more.
- Kevin Lankinen (CHI) — 41 saves on 42 shots
- Juuse Saros (NSH) — 29 saves on 30 shots
- Patrick Kane (CHI) — 4 SOG, and a team-high 13 shot attempts in 27:17 of ice time (note: this star is awarded because he was a workhorse in that TOI)