The Chicago Blackhawks were battered black and blue by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, losing 7-4 with rookie goaltender Arvid Soderblom getting his first NHL start since Jan. 2 and just the second of his entire career.
The Blackhawks started the game off on the wrong note, allowing two quick goals to the Blue Jackets.
Boone Jenner broke the scoring 6:58 into the game with Dylan Strome in the box for hooking. Jenner knocked a puck out of mid-air and past Soderblom.
Just 13 seconds later, rookie Yegor Chinakhov streaked into the offensive zone, received a pass from Gustav Nyquist and put the puck past Soderblom, making it a 2-0 game.
The Blackhawks responded on their first power play of the night, which Strome drew, and Philipp Kurashev scored off of a pass from Dominik Kubalik:
PHIL POWER PLAY GOAL ‼️ pic.twitter.com/7L1f25duvD— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 18, 2022
Ryan Carpenter scored on a breakaway after Kurashev created a takeaway near the offensive zone, Brett Connolly grabbed the puck and flipped it to Carpenter and Carpenter tied the game:
CARPY NAILS IT!— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) February 18, 2022
Heck of a pass, too pic.twitter.com/ROKB8ttEnF
However, Max Domi scored to put the Blue Jackets up 3-2 before the end of the first period, having received a pass from Chinakhov.
Patrik Laine scored just nine seconds into the second period to start off the frame, although it took a review to see the puck fully crossed the line.
After the teams traded penalties, Seth Jones looked to have scored later in the second period, as the Blackhawks’ defenseman crashed the net and one-timed a Patrick Kane pass towards the goal, but the puck double-doinked off the posts and did not cross the goal line, keeping the game 4-2.
However, MacKenzie Entwistle did bring the Blackhawks back within one goal, collecting a bouncing puck that generated with a point shot from Calvin de Haan and scoring from right next to the net:
Entwistle cuts the deficit to 1 heading into the 3rd! pic.twitter.com/7EMEc1ZX27— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) February 18, 2022
Laine scored again for the first goal of the third period nearly halfway through the frame, making the game 5-3.
Just seconds after Laine’s second goal, Alex DeBrincat scored, erasing the two goal lead and putting the Blackhawks back within one:
However, Oliver Bjorkstrand scored three minutes later, putting the Blue Jackets up 6-4. With less than a minute left in the game, Laine secured a hat trick by putting the puck into the empty net, making the score 7-4 Blue Jackets.
- The Blackhawks really did not defend Soderblom correctly, if at all. Chicago allowed 67 shot attempts to the Blue Jackets across all strengths, including 48 at 5-on-5, and that’s even with score effects in place for much of the game. Columbus generated 24 shots, the same number as the Blackhawks and 1.81 expected goals at 5-on-5, as well as six high-danger chances.
- While the Blackhawks scored four goals, just two players finished with multiple points, Kurashev and Carpenter. Seth Jones, in his first revenge game against the team that traded him in the offseason, scored only a secondary assist, although he did come close to another goal. Five Blue Jackets scored multiple points in this contest.
- Soderblom made 28 saves on 34 shots, facing 2.85 expected goals and making four saves on six shots from high danger. It’s not what the Blackhawks wanted, but for a goaltender in his rookie season at just age 22, and not having played in an NHL game in nearly two months, how much more could have realistically been expected?
- It’s not like Elvis Merzlikins across the way had a perfect game himself. The Blue Jackets’ goaltender made 28 saves on 32 shots, facing 2.39 expected goals and making nine saves on 11 shots from high danger.
- Derek King opened up his own line blender during this game, as nine different line combinations played at least 90 seconds together at 5-on-5 for the Blackhawks, with just two — Josiah Slavin, Sam Lafferty and Dominik Kubalik and DeBrincat, Strome and Patrick Kane — playing more than five minutes. The Strome line dominated the puck when they managed to get on the ice together, with a 78.31 percent expected goal share and 80 percent shot share. The Lafferty line should not have gotten as much time as they did, leading the team with 8:03.
- Both Blackhawks’ special teams units have played better games, although the power play scored, the penalty kill made up for it by allowing one as well. The Blackhawks had just three shots on goal in 4:38 on the power play and the penalty kill allowed seven shots in 3:28.
- In a game where Kurashev scored two points and was arguably one of the Blackhawks’ best forwards, he still played just 9:13. Come on! It’s getting ridiculous.
- Patrik Laine (CBJ) — 3 G, 5 SOG
- Boone Jenner (CBJ) — 1 G, 2 A
- Philipp Kurashev (CHI) — 1 G, 1 A
The Blackhawks stay home for the second half of the back-to-back as they welcome the Dallas Stars to the United Center at 7:30 p.m.