The Blackhawks also lost 3-2 on Saturday to the Rangers.
The game started quickly, with both teams scoring on their first shots of the game. New York started the action, with Jacob Trouba scoring on a showdown against Marc-Andre Fleury. It was a low-danger shot and a goal Fleury would probably like back.
Artemi Panarin got the primary assist, his 500th point. His first point came as a Chicago Blackhawk against ... the Rangers. Panarin is the fifth-fastest to 500 points among active players.
The Blackhawks would follow Trouba’s goal less than a minute later as Erik Gustafsson scored after a faceoff with Alexandar Georgiev screened by his own defenseman:
Erik Gustafsson launches it from 60 feet— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) December 8, 2021
We’re tied! pic.twitter.com/1Fs0dFaIsZ
The Blackhawks added another goal, this one from Kirby Dach on a rebound after Georgiev made a save on Alex DeBrincat:
And with that, both brothers Strome had an assist in the first period, with Dylan winning the faceoff that led to Dach’s goal.
Early in the second, Georgiev managed to give the puck up to DeBrincat, who failed to score. A little later, the Blackhawks would take the game’s first penalty, as Henrik Borgstrom went to the box for hooking.
Panarin would score career point No. 501 on the power play, as the Rangers scored their second power-play goal in as many games against the Blackhawks. Borgstrom took both penalties leading to power-play goals.
Later in the second period, Jujhar Khaira was hit by Jacob Trouba while Khaira was looking down at the puck. After a lengthy pause of the action, Khaira left the ice on a stretcher. Khaira had multiple concussions last season while with the Oilers. It was later announced that Khaira had been taken to the hospital for further testing, and an early report was promising:
early report is Khaira Is at the hospital, he is conscious.— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) December 8, 2021
The Rangers almost immediately followed that play with another dangerous one as Panarin shoved Calvin de Haan into the boards from a distance, leading to the Rangers’ first penalty of the game — although the Blackhawks were unable to convert on the power play despite coming this close:
Riley Stillman, who’d recently returned from his own injury, then dropped the gloves with Trouba:
Riley Stillman and Jacob Trouba drop the gloves. pic.twitter.com/O014WRnhWf— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 8, 2021
On the Blackhawks second power-play opportunity — also drawn by de Haan — the Rangers got closer to scoring than the Blackhawks did, as Chris Kreider came close to scoring after forcing Seth Jones off the puck.
The Blackhawks started the third period on the power play after K’Andre Miller took a penalty as Dylan Strome was looking for a rebound opportunity. That opportunity, too, would go unconverted.
Dach then put the Rangers on the power play later in the third period and the Rangers again scored with the man advantage, as Kreider was left alone at net front and Kreider, one of the most consistent shot deflectors in the NHL, tipped a shot from Adam Fox into the net for the 3-2 lead.
The Rangers piled on from there, as Kevin Rooney scored at the 12:10 mark, Panarin tallied an empty-netter — making it a four-point night for the former Blackhawk — and Barclay Goodrow added the final goal during garbage time.
- The Blackhawks played Dominik Kubalik just 3:46 in the first period. While Kubalik has been struggling to get going so far this season, playing him so little is not going to help with that. He needs the opportunity to generate shots on net in volume if he’s going to resume goal-scoring and that just isn’t possible with that limited of usage. Kubalik finished with 14:55 of ice time (9:37 at 5-on-5) and just one shot on goal, while creating a rebound and drawing a penalty.
- The Blackhawks got just three shots on goal from about the time Khaira got hurt in the second period. Calvin de Haan got a shot 23 seconds later in terms of game time (with 13:27 remaining) and then there were just three shots throughout the rest of the period for Chicago, including two from Gustafsson.
- The power play remains a mess. The lack of shot generation in the second period came despite two full power-play opportunities and then some, as the period ended on a power-play opportunity. The Blackhawks, in 8:51 of power-play time in this game, had just one high-danger chance, 0.7 expected goals and five shots.
- The penalty kill was perhaps equally as bad as the power play against the Rangers, and that carried over from Saturday’s game in New York. The Blackhawks gave up two high-danger chances, 0.53 expected goals and four shots in just 2:21 against the Rangers’ power play and that led to two goals against.
- Ian Mitchell and Wyatt Kalynuk were made a pairing in this game by Derek King and while neither played much — Mitchell finished with 17:27 (14:46 at 5-on-5), Kalynuk with 14:10 (13:09 at 5-on-5) — Mitchell was Kalynuk’s most common partner and Kalynuk finished behind just Gustafsson for Mitchell. In 4:09, the duo allowed just one shot against and finished with a 58.62 expected goal share. Could do with seeing them together more.
- With Georgiev giving up a multitude of rebounds, the Blackhawks’ high-danger chances left room to be desired, as the Blackhawks generated just six at 5-on-5 and seven across all strengths. With both goals coming off the faceoff — one screened and the other a rebound chance — there could have been a lot more traffic in front of the net as there was in the first period. The Blackhawks’ inability to get there likely didn’t help the eventual outcome.
- This game could be a tale of two lines, as the group of Strome, Dach and DeBrincat scored a goal with none against in their 8:07 together, posting a 54.29 percent share of expected goals and a 50-50 share of high-danger chances. The group of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Hagel, however, got stomped, with a goal against, 14.29 percent shot share and 8.59 percent share of the expected goals.
- Artemi Panarin (NY) — 2 goals, 2 assists
- Adam Fox (NYR) — 2 assists, 23:06 time on ice
- Chris Kreider (NYR) — Game-winning goal, 1 assist
The Blackhawks head to Canada for the first game of a two-game set in Montreal against the Canadiens on Thursday at 6 p.m.