clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rough Landing, Holly: Panthers 4, Blackhawks 3

Blackhawks squander yet another lead in loss to Panthers.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Florida Panthers Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks blew a two goal lead and lost for the sixth time in their last seven games Friday night, falling 4-3 in overtime to the Florida Panthers.

The Blackhawks opened the scoring 6:49 into the first period. Caleb Jones received a feed from Taylor Raddysh and fired a shot from the circle past Sergei Bobrovsky for the Blackhawks to go up 1-0 early.

The Blackhawks doubled their lead with 2:07 left in the first after Boris Katchouk, from the slot, deflected Joey Anderson’s shot to make it a 2-0 game.

There was no scoring in the second period, and the third is when the Panthers took over, including a 29-second stretch when Florida scored twice to tie the game.

First, a wide open Sam Bennett buried Matthew Tkachuk’s rebound, cutting the Blackhawks lead to 2-1 at the 8:29 mark of the third.

Then, on the power play, Sam Reinhart tipped Tkachuk’s long shot in past Mrazek, making it 2-2 at 8:58 of the third.

The Panthers took the lead with 7:18 left in the period. Tkachuk sent a centering pass to Eetu Luostarinen in the high slot, who then scored with a beautiful wrister to put the Panthers up 3-2.

The Blackhawks would not go quietly into the night, though, and Cole Guttman shoveled in a loose puck in the crease, tying the game 3-3 with 44 seconds left in regulation and sending it to overtime.

After a back-and-forth couple of minutes to open overtime, Brandon Montour backhand-swatted a bouncing puck to win it for the Panthers.


  • Tonight was the fourth game in a row the Blackhawks scored first, and they’ve done so in five of their last seven games as well. It hasn’t helped them win that much — as evident by the results of this game and how they’ve lost six in that span — but it’s good to see them improve in that area when bad starts were what often doomed the Blackhawks much of the season.
  • The lack of finish is probably because, despite scoring early, the Blackhawks don’t tend to do so in sustainable ways. Take this game for example. The Blackhawks only had 40.63 percent of the shot attempt share and 37.16 percent of the expected goal share. If the opposing team keeps that up, chances are likely — though obviously not guaranteed — that the Blackhawks will be unable to hold a lead. That’s what happened tonight, as the Panthers finally broke out in the third.
  • Although ... credit the Blackhawks push in the final minutes. It’d be better for their lottery chances if they’d stop picking up loser points, but you can’t fault the players for giving their all.
  • The power play was extra terrible tonight, scoring no goals while generating only three shots on goal in six opportunities — and that included 40 seconds of 5-on-3. Not good at all.
  • Anders Bjork was injured after a hard hit near the end of the first period and did not return for the rest of the game. The broadcast showed him being unable to put weight on his right leg. Coach Luke Richardson said Bjork would not be available for the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
  • Mrazek and his .923 save percentage in regulation was a big reason the game was so even for so long. He did let in three goals on 16 shots in the third, but most of them were just great plays by the Panthers.
  • Credit both Jones brothers on Caleb Jones’ goal in the first: Seth stole the puck from behind the Blackhawks net to start the play and Caleb flashed some smarts and skill by jumping into the rush.
  • The only line that didn’t drown tonight was Tyler Johnson, Cole Guttman, and Taylor Raddysh. It was a good bounce-back game for that trio after being one of the worst against the Red Wings.
  • Speaking of Guttman, his goal to send the game to overtime is something seen pretty often from him in Rockford: his willingness to get into net-front scrums and battle for the puck. He has decently fast hands for those types of dirty goals, too. I don’t know if Guttman is a legit NHL player, but he’s doing a good job trying to prove he can be. The Hogs will definitely miss him in the AHL playoffs.
  • This season’s Blackhawks were designed to be bad, and they’re especially lacking in talent after the NHL trade deadline, yet they do try very hard under Richardson. There are still some questions if he can be a successful/winning coach — and that can only be answered once he has a legitimate roster — but his players are definitely willing to play hard under him.

Game Charts

Three Stars

  1. Matthew Tkachuk (FLA) — 3 assists
  2. Brandon Montour (FLA) — 1 goal (GWG), 1 assist
  3. Eetu Luostarinen (FLA) — 1 goal, 1 assist

What’s Next

The Blackhawks are back at it on Saturday, heading upstate to Tampa to face the Lightning on Saturday for a 6 p.m. start.