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The Days Will Run Away: Wild 4, Blackhawks 3

A brutal overtime loss to a Central Division foe.

Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks were a lot better on Saturday night. It just wasn’t good enough to win, though, as the Minnesota Wild scored a tying goal late in regulation, then added the winner in overtime for a 4-3 victory to sweep a weekend back-to-back between the Central Division foes.

Following Friday’s disastrous start, the Blackhawks had a much better beginning in this one. Henrik Borgstrom opened the scoring at the end of an impressive shift, which ended with him redirecting an Erik Gustafsson point shot into the Minnesota net:

A brilliant passing sequence from Dylan Strome to Seth Jones to Alex DeBrincat resulted in a DeBrincat goal, snapping a four-game goalless drought for DeBrincat:

Chicago had all the momentum as the first period neared its end, but a bad penalty by Gustafsson put Minnesota on the power play. Joel Eriksson Ek turned that into a goal just seven seconds later:

The second period was the Kevin Lankinen show. Here are a few of the hits:

The game went bananas in the third period. First, Kirill Kaprizov scored during a four-minute power play to tie the game at two.

Just over a minute later, though, the Blackhawks took the lead back when Borgstrom tallied his second of the night by whacking home a loose puck:

That lead wouldn’t last through regulation, though, as Kevin Fiala pounced on a loose puck and snuck it by Lankinen to tie the game with just over two minutes remaining in regulation.

Apparently, scoring goals with its net empty is a Minnesota trademark this season:

After an entertaining overtime session featuring chances at both ends, the Wild tallied a second point with Marcus Foligno providing the game-winner:

Notes

  • This loss feels like as much of a kick in the teeth as any this season. Minnesota got away with some nonsense — including Hartman’s gutless shoulder to the back of DeBrincat well after the puck was gone in the third period — and still skated away with both points. It’s not a pleasant feeling.
  • Speaking of that hit, Toews — as the team’s captain — has every right to be furious with the officials for not calling it. But he simply can not take an extra penalty with his team up by one late in the third period. Toews owned it after the game but he still put his team in a real, real bad spot:
  • Lankinen deserves all the bouquets for how well he played in the second period which kept the Hawks in this game — but he coughed up the rebound that became the tying goal late in regulation. Being an NHL-caliber goalie is just as much about making every single one of the routine plays as it is about making the non-routine ones. That puck has to be either corralled by Lankinen or guided behind the net where it can’t be turned into a goal. When Lankinen gets a handle on plays like that just as much as those high-danger saves he was making in the second period, then he can be worthy of consideration for the No. 1 spot for the long-term. He’s not there yet, though.
  • A two-goal night from Borgstrom that’s going to be mostly forgotten by all of the other night’s happenings but hopefully there are more nights like that awaiting No. 13. He did it while skating on a line with Ryan Carpenter and MacKenzie Entwistle — not exactly offensive dynamos. Borgstrom was noticeable beyond those two goals, as well, which is a good sign. Just need to see that more often.
  • The Blackhawks’ most effective line this evening was Kubalik-Dach-Kurashev, which had a 63.16 percent share of shot attempts and a 59.41 share of expected goals. They had a 6-3 advantage in scoring chances and 4-1 in high-danger chances. Didn’t score, but they were a threat. Hopefully those threats turn to goals soon.
  • Sam Lafferty seems like the type of NHL player who’d be a fourth-liner on a really good team and would be excellent in that role.
  • Strome had the best faceoff numbers — 14-for-20 — on the team and started the passing sequence that led to DeBrincat’s goal. If he’s healthy, he should never be out of the lineup again.
  • So this is what it feels like to be on the losing end of all those dramatic Blackhawks-Wild finishes from the last decade, huh?

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Marcus Foligno (MIN) — GWG
  2. Henrik Borgstrom (CHI) — 2 goals
  3. Joel Eriksson Ek (MIN) — 1 goal, 7 SOG, 4 hits

What’s next

The Blackhawks head to the Rocky Mountains for a Monday night game against the Colorado Avalanche with an 8 p.m. start.