The Blackhawks finished their season on a low note, as Chicago lost 5-4 in overtime to the Stars in the final game of the 2021 season. Chicago ends the season one game below .500.
The Blackhawks started fast, though. Less than a minute into the game, Alex DeBrincat received a pass from Pius Suter and went on a breakaway:
Less than 30 seconds later, the duo did it again. Suter and Dylan Strome forechecked effectively, getting the puck in the corner and Strome got it out to DeBrincat who passed back to Suter for the score:
The Blackhawks scored on each of their first two shots.
Later in the first period, the Blackhawks drew iron on what could have been their third goal. The Stars, instead, cut the lead to 2-1 as Joe Pavelski scored.
After Miro Heiskanen drew iron late in the second period, Strome and Vinnie Hinostroza countered with a 2-on-0 opportunity started with a Dominik Kubalik pass that resulted in a goal from Strome:
Strome was back in for the first time in three games and made it count with a goal and an assist.
Hinostroza took the first Blackhawks penalty in almost five periods with five seconds remaining in the second period. Heiskanen almost immediately scored (just 3.5 seconds in), making the score 3-2.
In the third period, Hinostroza doubled the lead after David Kampf chipped the puck into the offensive zone from the neutral zone:
A reminder that Hinostroza still needs a contract extension.
Later in the third period, despite being covered by three defenders during his entrance into the zone, Joel Kiviranta got to the net and scored to cut the Chicago lead back down to one. About two minutes after Kiviranta’s goal, Jason Dickinson tied the game after he was given an open net.
Regulation ended with Connor Murphy taking a high stick to the face, resulting in a double minor penalty for Dallas. The four-minute power play extended into overtime. The Blackhawks did nothing on it.
After that missed opportunity, Jason Robertson scored the overtime winner on a rebound from a Jamie Benn shot to seal the 5-4 win for Dallas:
- Special teams were rough for the Blackhawks throughout the game. Not only did the penalty kill give up a goal three seconds into its first time on the ice, the power play failed to capitalize despite eight minutes of man advantage time. The Blackhawks generated 1.07 expected goals on the man advantage (allowing 0.53 on the penalty kill) and still never found a way to score. A poor showing from the special teams to end the season.
- The Blackhawks were massively outshot for the entirety of the game despite never trailing on the scoreboard until the game ended. The Blackhawks finished regulation outshot 40-13 at 5-on-5 (expected goals were 3.66 for Dallas to 0.75 for the Blackhawks). At all strengths, the Stars outshot the Blackhawks 50-23 (expected goals: 4.5 to 1.88). The Blackhawks never had double-digit shots in a period (Dallas did in each regulation period) and only outshot the Stars in overtime, when much of the period was spent on a power play. A really bad game from everybody off the scoresheet and not named Collin Delia.
- Speaking of Delia, the Blackhawks netminder made 45 saves on 50 shots, facing 4.5 expected goals against and made 12 saves from high danger on 15 shots. For the sheer volume Delia faced, he did a really good job of holding up against pretty consistent pressure. If the Blackhawks had any spark of puck possession in the game, Delia likely would have had a better chance of winning this game too.
- The score of this game never really mattered, so how did the Blackhawks do in developing their young players in this game? DeBrincat’s ice time was 24:21, just behind Patrick Kane’s team-high 24:22. Suter played more than 20 minutes as well (21:57)and those were likely the two best skaters for Chicago in this game. Riley Stillman was third on the Blackhawks’ blue line at 20:34, trailing Connor Murphy (24:06) and Nikita Zadorov (21:06). Still, those are the veteran or older players that probably need development the least. MacKenzie Entwistle finished with just 9:27, Nicolas Beaudin with 10:15, Ian Mitchell with 11:16, Alec Regula with 11:46 and Philipp Kurashev with 13:51. It wouldn’t be the 2021 season without asking for more ice time for Kurashev.
- Jason Robertson (DAL) — game-winning goal, 1 assist, 20:54 time on ice
- Alex DeBrincat (CHI) — goal, assist, 24:21 time on ice
- John Klingberg (DAL) — three assists, 22:25 time on ice
- The Seattle Kraken expansion draft is on July 21st. The NHL Draft is on July 23rd. NHL Free Agency is on July 28. We’ll have coverage of all of this for you here at Second City Hockey.
- Wild stab in the dark: the Blackhawks will face the Stars to open the 2021-22 season sometime in early October.
- The NHL playoffs will start Saturday. The Blackhawks aren’t participating but we can root against the Blues (for one round).
- I mean? Nothing? In the immortal words of a great coach: I can’t guarantee anybody will be alive Sunday.
- Go watch the White Sox. They’re supposed to be good but are also haunted by inept coaching.