Monday night’s game against Carolina made Chicago’s fears official as the Blackhawks were eliminated from a chance at the playoffs with their 5-2 loss. Chicago (sixth place in the division) not only fell prey to the Central Division leaders but they did so with fewer than half as many shots on goal (38-17). The two teams meet again on Tuesday night in Carolina.
The Blackhawks have been realistically eliminated from the playoff race for a while.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) May 4, 2021
But their mathematical chance finally died tonight. Goodbye 2021, officially.
Postgame story: https://t.co/ICBePGBiGo
Following Monday’s defeat, the Blackhawks (22-24-6) have lost five straight games (0-4-1) and are now 2-3-1 in six games with the Hurricanes this season.
Malcolm Subban (6-8-1 for the season, 3.20 GAA and a .900 save percentage) started in goal on Monday, but after allowing 4 goals out of 18 shot in during the first two periods, Colin Delia (.891 save percentage) made a cameo, stopping all 19 shots against him. Delia will start Tuesday night’s game.
"Just trying to stay sharp, keep my habits pretty good and just be ready. Especially in an opportunity like this, backing up, you have to be ready regardless of the situation."— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) May 4, 2021
@NBCSChicago | #CHIvsCAR
Chicago’s first goal was netted by Ian Mitchell (3 goals, 6 points this season) and Alex DeBrincat (26 goals, 49 points this season) also scored with a gorgeous shot that temporarily gave the desperate fans hopes for a win.
Monday’s game marked the fourth consecutive win for the Hurricanes (35-10-7). Sebastian Aho (24 goals and 55 points this season) banked a hat trick sealed with the late empty-netter, Martin Necas (12 goals and 38 points) recorded a goal, while Dougie Hamilton (10 goals and 42 points) sealed the game with a goal and an assist.
Alex Nedeljkovic (15-4-3 with a .932 save percentage) minded the net during Monday’s game making 15 saves. But Petr Mrazek (5-1-2, .939 save percentage) is set to return Tuesday after missing six games with an injury.
Brind'Amour says starting goalie will be Mrazek— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) May 4, 2021
The probability of a Hawks win tonight at the PNC arena is again at a paltry 27 percent, according to NBC’s Steve Kornacki, who shared some math during NBC Sports Chicago’s pregame show on Monday:
Hopes aren’t high for a Hawks redemption during Tuesday’s game. But playing with the knowledge that a winning effort is almost all for naught is a psychological nightmare, and ensuring that you stay injury free until next season is certainly more of a motivating factor that will most likely govern the game.
Nevertheless, let’s go Hawks!
Blackhawks — Statistic — Hurricanes
46.43% (29th) — Corsi For — 48.68% (3rd)
44.63% (31st) — Expected goals for — 54.40% (3th)
2.81 (17th) — Goals per game — 3.21 (10th)
3.27 (25th) — Goals against per game — 2.33 (3rd)
46.6% (28th) — Faceoffs — 53.8% (2nd)
22.4% (10th) — Power play — 27.1% (1st)
76.4% (27th) — Penalty kill — 84.8% (3th)
Projected lineups (subject to change)
DeBrincat — Kurashev — Kane
Hinostroza — Dach — Hagel
Kubalik — Strome — Gaudette
Hardman — Kampf — Connolly
Zadorov — Murphy
Keith — Kalynuk
Stillman — Mitchell
Svechnikov — Aho — Teravainen
Lorentz — Trocheck — Necas
Niederreiter — Staal — Foegele
McCormick — Shore — Geekie
Slavin — Hamilton
Bean — Pesce
Skjei — Hakanpaa
How to watch
When: 6 p.m.
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Live stream: NBC Sports app, NHL.TV