The Blackhawks lost to the Lightning for the fifth time this season on Thursday, falling 4-2 in Tampa Bay. It’s their third consecutive loss and fifth in their last seven games.
Despite that final result, though, it was the Blackhawks who started the scoring. On a first-period power play, Mattias Janmark redirected a pass from Dominik Kubalik into the Tampa net:
That’s the first Blackhawks power-play goal in three games after Chicago was blanked in the two-game set against the Panthers.
The Blackhawks gave up two goals in the second half of the first period. Alex Killorn scored at 13:15 and Yanni Gourde scored at 17:02. Neither were particularly dangerous chances.
A little over a minute after Gourde’s goal, Pat Maroon went to the box for a late hit on Alex DeBrincat. The Blackhawks saw a familiar face score on the ensuing power play:
A good welcome back for Dylan Strome, who hadn’t played since Feb. 19. He scored his first goal since Feb. 2 and first on the power play since Jan. 29.
A scoreless second period left the game tied 2-2 heading into the final frame.
Rookie Ross Colton broke that tie for the Lightning, scoring less than six minutes into the third. Victor Hedman added an empty-net goal to make the score 4-2.
- Strome played his first game in nearly a month, scoring the Blackhawks’ second goal. He finished the game with 17:16 of ice time, the third-most time among Chicago forwards. Strome had 0.66 expected goals and four high-danger chances, both the most among Blackhawks skaters.
- The power play scored both of Chicago’s goals in the first period, but were unable to capitalize on 3:57 of power-play time in the second. The Blackhawks went without a power-play opportunity in the third period. The Blackhawks’ man advantage finished with five shots and 0.77 expected goals in 5:57, numbers that could be better.
- Kevin Lankinen’s two goals allowed in the first period came as the Lightning had just 0.58 expected goals across all strengths in that initial frame. Lankinen made 19 saves on 22 shots for a .864 save percentage. He faced just 1.74 expected goals against. He, also, could have been better in this game.
- This was a low-event contest, as the Blackhawks had just 21 shots across all strengths and the Lightning had 23. The Blackhawks allowed an average of 37 shots against in the first five games against Tampa Bay this season and took an average of 29.8 shots per game. While the offense struggled to generate pressure, the defense was better throughout the game for Chicago, and the Blackhawks allowed Tampa eight high-danger chances across all strengths and 1.52 expected goals at 5-on-5.
- The Blackhawks, who are not particularly good at possession so far this season, kept possession tight against the Lightning on Thursday. The Blackhawks had an even 50 percent share of the 5-on-5 high-danger chances and a 46.05 share of the expected goals. It’s their third-best expected goal percentage and second-best high-danger percentage against Tampa this season.
- The line of DeBrincat, David Kampf and Patrick Kane finished the game without a single shot on goal at 5-on-5. That line played the most minutes at 5-on-5 for the Blackhawks. The line with the third-most minutes — Kubalik, Pius Suter and Brandon Hagel — managed just one shot one goal but were on the ice for six against. The line with the best possession metrics (of those who played four or more minutes) was Strome, Janmark and Ryan Carpenter. That trio put six shots on goal, allowing just one against.
- Victor Hedman (TBL) — 1 goal, 1 assist
- Ross Colton (TBL) — game-winning goal, 57.14 faceoff percentage
- Mattias Janmark (CHI) — 1 goal, 1 assist
The Blackhawks remain in Tampa Bay to face the Lightning at 3 p.m. on Saturday.