The Blachkawks closed out a two-game series with the Hurricanes on Thursday night at the United Center, with a last-minute goal by Carolina leading to a 4-3 Chicago loss.
After a sluggish start for both teams, Carolina opened the scoring with Vincent Trocheck’s first-period goal scored from the left-wing circle.
Vincent Trocheck extended his point streak to eight games (five goals, five assists) with a wrist shot from the left face-off circle.— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) April 2, 2021
Dougie Hamilton#LetsGoCanes 1, #Blackhawks 0 pic.twitter.com/oVymvazqb2
The Hurricanes started the second period with 49 seconds of power play time. After not being able to capitalize on the man advantage, Warren Foegele redirected a puck off of Duncan Keith and into the net which gave Carolina a 2-0 lead.
Near the end of the period, the Blackhawks scored their first goal of the game when Wyatt Kalynuk threaded a pass through the neutral zone and set up Dominik Kubalik’s one-handed goal with an assist from the stick of Carolina’s Jaccob Slavin.
Dominik Kubalik received a stretch pass from Wyatt Kalynuk and had his shot go off Jaccob Slavin's (#SteelAlum) stick past James Reimer.— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) April 2, 2021
Wyatt Kalynuk (first #NHL point)
Calvin de Haan#LetsGoCanes 2, #Blackhawks 1 pic.twitter.com/vnMtBfNn7G
Brandon Hagel started the scoring in the final frame, finding the back of the net and tying the game 2-2.
Carolina responded one minute later when Foegele scored his second of the night on a shot from the red line that took an awkward bounce off of Kalynuk and into the net.
About three-and-a-half minutes later, the Blackhawks tied the game again, with Dylan Strome tipping in Connor Murphy’s shot from the point.
With 40 seconds remaining, Patrick Kane delivered a beautiful saucer pass to Kubalik but he was unable to capitalize.
That failed scoring chance would haunt the Blackhawks as, with 28 seconds remaining in regulation, Jesper Fast scored the game-winning goal after Lankinen gave up a hard rebound that bounced directly into the slot.
- Carolina’s defensive positioning and high level of stickwork allowed them to break up and intercept passes on every shift. The Blackhawks struggled to create sustained shifts in the offensive zone. They did however create their own luck, with a handful of wonky, awkward goals.
- While Carolina is more structurally sound, more experienced, well-coached and very fast, the Hawks showed over the past two games that they do have the talent to be competitive with good teams, despite their flaws. There’s a lot of work to be done, but they have the ingredients.
- Strome has shown improvement in the dot and has been factoring in on the scoring as of late. I’m not sure how much of that is related to his new dad powers but this is the No. 17 in red that the Blackhawks need to show up every night.
- Kane and Alex DeBrincat led all Blackhawks in ice time, above all skaters, including defenseman but neither contributed a point.
- With the Stars’ win over Nashville, the Hawks are tied with Nashville for the No. 4 spot in the Central Division, making Saturday’s game between the two teams an important one.
- It seems that we mostly know what this Hawks group is by now. They have talent, they’re a bit inexperienced, they have heavily relied on goaltending and special teams and have had the same possession struggles on an almost nightly basis. The negatives are not overwhelming and this is a shortened season. We just have to wait and see if they can put enough together to secure a playoff birth.
- Warren Foegele (CAR) — 2 goals
- Jesper Fast (CAR) — 1 goal, 1 assist, 54.55 corsi-for percentage
- Vincent Trocheck (CAR) — 1 goal, 1 assist
The Blackhawks will meet the Predators for a 2 p.m. puck drop on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena.