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The Cold Rain of the Coming Storm: Lightning 7, Blackhawks 4

The Blackhawks played poorly against the Lightning as they fell to 1-6-1 against Tampa Bay this season.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Chicago Blackhawks
Erik Cernak of the Tampa Bay Lightning scores a goal 32 seconds into the game against the Chicago Blackhawks Kevin Lankinen
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Blackhawks lost to the Lightning 7-4 on Tuesday at the United Center, completing the eight-game slate this season against the defending Stanley Cup champions with a 1-6-1 record.

The Blackhawks fell into a hole early, as Erik Cernak of the Lightning scored just 28 seconds into the game. Yanni Gourde doubled the lead less than four minutes later. An early Blackhawks power play failed to swing momentum back to Chicago’s side.

Then, Brandon Hagel scored a goal while attempting to get the pass to Alex DeBrincat:

The puck bounced off both Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow before finding twine for Hagel’s eighth goal this season.

Alex Barre-Boulet scored to give the Lightning a two-goal lead once more later in the first period. The goal was followed by a fight between Nikita Zadorov and Luke Schenn following a hit from Schenn on Dominik Kubalik (Kubalik missed a very short amount of time).

Wyatt Kalynuk gave the puck enough zest to get past Andrei Vasilevskiy’s blocker with 2:01 left in the first, making it a 3-2 Tampa lead:

Kalynuk’s unassisted tally was his fourth of the season. That stood (for a time) as the most among Blackhawks blueliners.

Lankinen was pulled in favor of Malcolm Subban to start the second period. Subban gave up a goal to Brayden Point just over six minutes into the middle frame, as Point made it a 4-2 game in Tampa’s favor.

Coleman gave the Lightning a three-goal lead later in the second period. Alex Killorn added another on a redirection about four minutes later.

Adam Boqvist left the game with a wrist injury prior to those penalties and did not return, with coach Jeremy Colliton confirming postgame that Boqvist broke his wrist and is done for the season.

Connor Murphy took an instigator penalty, a fighting penalty and a 10-minute misconduct against Cernak in the middle of the second period, leading to Killorn’s goal. That left the Blackhawks with four defensemen for a good bit of the game.

Duncan Keith scored to cut the lead to three with 32 seconds left in the second period:

Keith tied Kalynuk at four goals in the same game as the rookie set the high mark.

In the third period, Alex DeBrincat drew a double minor from Mathieu Joseph to give Chicago a lengthy man advantage. Mikhail Sergachev took a seat for sending the puck over the glass during that double minor, leaving the Blackhawks with a 5-on-3. The Blackhawks capitalized on the power play as Kubalik cut the lead down to two:

Killorn scored on an empty net (athough Subban was technically on the ice for the goal), making the score 7-4. That’s where it ended.


  • Mike Hardman made his NHL debut with the Hawks on Tuesday. The newly signed NCAA free agent from Boston College played 9:24, the least amount of time among Blackhawks forwards but led the team with seven hits.
  • The Blackhawks goaltending throughout Tuesday’s contest was ... an issue. Lankinen allowed 3 goals on 11 shots in 20 minutes. He faced 1.55 expected goals against. Subban was not much better, allowing 4 goals on 19 shots. Subban faced 1.75 expected goals against. With how poorly both goaltenders played Tuesday, there’s a case to be made for Collin Delia to play his first game since Jan. 17 on Thursday against the Panthers.
  • The Blackhawks’ 5-on-5 defense was poor in this game. Chicago gave up 13 high-danger chances (finishing with a 40.91 percent share of the high-danger chances) and 2.48 expected goals against (39.67 percent) at full strength. Six of Tampa Bay’s goals came during 5-on-5 play.
  • The Blackhawks’ penalty kill wasn’t bad for how much they had to play, however. In 7:18 of 4-on-5 time, Chicago gave up just four shots and one goal to the league’s fifth-best power play. The Blackhawks’ power play, in 11:36 of 5-on-4 time, generated 10 shots, but it took a 5-on-3 opportunity for the Chicago man advantage to score. Tampa’s penalty kill also had three high-danger chances to Chicago’s two on the power play.
  • Dylan Strome, Pius Suter and Kubalik, despite not scoring a goal at 5-on-5, took five shots to two against and had 0.4 expected goals to 0.19 against in 4:01. That should have been worth more time, but apparently not. The Blackhawks experimented with seven lines getting at least one minute at 5-on-5 in this game.
  • Hey, at least the Pride warmup jerseys were cool. The stripes inside the alternate captain A’s were especially cool, as was the way the numbers on the back were done.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Brayden Point (TBL) — 1 goal, 2 assists
  2. Alex Killorn (TBL) — 2 goals, 4 high-danger chances
  3. Patrick Kane (CHI) — 2 assists, 22:48 time on ice

What’s next

The Blackhawks continue to host teams from Florida as the Panthers come to town on Thursday at 7 p.m.