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This Too Shall Pass: Lightning 4, Blackhawks 1

Blech.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Chicago Blackhawks
Vladislav Namestnikov of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Isaak Phillips of the Chicago Blackhawks compete in NHL action
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks at least made it fast on Tuesday, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 for their sixth-straight loss.

The Blackhawks started the scoring on the power play in the first period, as Seth Jones got into the high-danger zone and scored on a pass from Taylor Raddysh:

It’s Jones’s second goal of the season, as the defenseman turns out not to be too bad at forward. It also shocked a shockingly long drought of Blackhawks defenseman scoring power-play goals.

However, the Lightning tied the game at one before the first period was over, as Patrick Maroon put in a shot from Victor Hedman:

The only news of the second period came at the end, as Patrick Kane left with an injury. Kane did not return to the game, and his injury status will continue to be monitored (more info on that injury below).

After a scoreless, very bad second period for the Blackhawks, the Lightning got back on the board early in the third period, as Alex Killorn put the puck in from his back after Connor Murphy took out his legs.

Killorn drove the net before Murphy took his legs out, and any contact with Stalock was incidental. The Lightning’s passing game was on point throughout this contest, as shown in the Killorn goal, and Chicago failed to close passing lanes.

On Tampa’s own power-play opportunity, former Blackhawks forward Brandon Hagel put an errant puck into the net after finding himself free in high-danger position.

Hagel out-positioned Jack Johnson on the play while the center of the other defenders’ focus was on Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point in the other direction, understandably.

Nick Paul later put a wobbly puck into an empty net while shorthanded to make it a score of 4-1, which is how the game ended.

The loss on Tuesday night drops the Blackhawks to an 8-25-4 record on the season, now on pace for a 44-point season.

Notes

  • Is there a single player in this lineup who should definitely be in the long-term plans at this point? There’s guys like Ian Mitchell and Isaak Phillips and even they’re questionable right now. That’s ... a troubling thought.
  • Speaking of Phillips, he had the fourth-best on-ice expected goal share for the Blackhawks. He finished with 40.34 percent. It was a bad night.
  • When Seth Jones is the lone goal-scorer, it may make some sense that he leads the team in shots, but four throughout the game seems like a lot. Still, Jones was fourth in expected goals (0.21, Connor Murphy, with 0.33, was the lone defenseman ahead of him) and being able to convert on that is a good sign.
  • Alex Stalock played better than his .893 save percentage indicates, as he faced 3.76 expected goals. The defense in front of him allowed 15 high-danger chances at 5-on-5 and 35 shots across all strengths. He continues to be the best option for the Blackhawks in net.
  • Just in general not a lot to say about this game. Another disappointing effort from a disappointing team, especially defensively.
  • Being on pace for 44 points though is a positive, especially because it seems Connor Bedard will be able to join and then probably be joined by another elite talent from the next year’s class. It took Toews and Kane to complete the Blackhawks’ cup rosters, after all.
  • Speaking of Kane, it appears that more information on his injury status will come on Wednesday:
  • One more thing: we haven’t updated the Trade-O-Meter in a while. So let’s do that:

Kane’s health may have a slight impact on this chart, of course.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Brandon Hagel (TBL) — 1 G, 1 A
  2. Brian Elliott (TBL) — 25 SV, 2.15 xGA
  3. Victor Hedman (TBL) — 2 A

What’s next

The Blackhawks host the other team at the bottom of the Central Division in the Arizona Coyotes on Friday at 7:30 p.m.