In a result that’d be much more annoying in any other season, the Chicago Blackhawks saw a third-period lead disappear during a 4-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night at the Mullett Arena in Tempe.
Before most of the possibly (probably? let’s go with probably) drunk crowd in Arizona had found its seats, the Blackhawks were up 1-0 when Jujhar Khaira deflected this Jarred Tinordi point shot into the goal:
Jujhar Khaira scores against the Arizona Coyotes to make it 1-0 #ARIvsCHI #Yotes #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/IWNVCVCj3A— nopClips (@nopClips) March 19, 2023
That goal survived as the game’s only one until the 17:48 mark of the second period, when Barrett Hayton tied the score:
Barrett Hayton scores against the Chicago Blackhawks to make it 1-1 #ARIvsCHI #Yotes #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/v1JqYW4iIO— nopClips (@nopClips) March 19, 2023
Chicago went back ahead on a bit of a fluky goal, as Arizona goalie Ivan Prosvetov lost a skate blade and could not kick over in front of this Caleb Jones shot, resulting in a power-play goal and a 2-1 Chicago advantage:
Caleb Jones scores a power-play goal against the Arizona Coyotes to make it 2-1 #ARIvsCHI #Yotes #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/yIFp7xPzHz— nopClips (@nopClips) March 19, 2023
It was all downhill from there, though. Clayton Keller tied the game a few minutes later:
Clayton Keller scores against the Chicago Blackhawks to make it 2-2 #ARIvsCHI #Yotes #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/LAAZrrXzQB— nopClips (@nopClips) March 19, 2023
And then Juuso Valimaki provided the game-winner with about three minutes left in the third:
Juuso Valimaki scores against the Chicago Blackhawks to make it 3-2 #ARIvsCHI #Yotes #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/pdncUjYcEj— nopClips (@nopClips) March 19, 2023
Matias Maccelli added an empty-netter for the final margin of victory.
It’s late, so let’s wrap this up.
- Brace yourselves for some bad news:
#Blackhawks have been eliminated from playoff contention. https://t.co/BSJlqNjxaw— NHL News (@PuckReportNHL) March 19, 2023
Just kidding! Kind of surprised that hadn’t happened already.
- The main story from this game was the debut of 2020 third-round pick Wyatt Kaiser, who joined the team earlier this week after the end of his college career. Overall, Kaiser seemed ... fine? The possession metrics don’t look great and he’s near the bottom of the game chart below but coach Luke Richardson seemed impressed:
Wyatt Kaiser played 16:11 in his NHL debut tonight. Scoring chances were 6-5 ARZ during his ice time.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 19, 2023
Richardson: "He was everything we heard about him. He's competitive, he's not afraid to get in there and his feet are really good for his speed, so he surprised a few guys."
- Kaiser skated 16:11 in this game and was credited with one blocked shot and one hit. He was on the ice for Keller’s goal and it appeared as if there was some miscommunication between he and Seth Jones on which player was going out to get in Keller’s face, giving Keller time to pick a corner. Won’t go on his highlight reel but it’s far from a cardinal sin and it’s hard to think of any egregious errors from Kaiser’s NHL debut.
The crew breaks down Wyatt Kaiser's NHL debut with the Blackhawks tonight#CloserLook | @Verizon pic.twitter.com/Ovnir4lQk8— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) March 19, 2023
- Just because:
No points for Wyatt "Von" Kaiser in his NHL debut. Oh well. pic.twitter.com/T4TQ6sk3Yl— Second City Hockey (@2ndCityHockey) March 19, 2023
- Seemed like the moral of the story this evening is that the Coyotes have a guy in Clayton Keller who can make opponents pay for crucial mistakes on the wrong parts of the ice. The Blackhawks don’t really have that guy right now, which is why it’s going to take things like redirected point shots and goalies losing an edge for pucks to go into the net in certain games. That six-goal eruption against Boston probably won’t be happening again this season.
- The San Jose Sharks lost again on Saturday night and remain two points behind the Blackhawks with 52 points in 70 games (Chicago’s at 54 in 69). Don’t want to infringe on Eric’s bit too much here, but the Sharks seem to have that similar malaise that the Hawks did in November and December when Chicago lost 21 of 23. San Jose’s won just two of its last 16 games to sink down the standings. Hopefully, it’ll find a bottom soon and come back up for air like the Blackhawks did: Chicago won six of seven at one point in January. As for Columbus ... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Just 13 games left now. Won’t be long.
#NHL GameScore Impact Card for Chicago Blackhawks on 2023-03-18:#Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/V8B2nRMvX4— HockeyStatCards (@hockeystatcards) March 19, 2023
- Clayton Keller (ARI) — 1 goal, 2 assists
- Juuso Valimaki (ARI) — 1 goal, 2 assists
- You — for reading this!
The Blackhawks head to the Rocky Mountains for a Monday night game against the Colorado Avalanche at 8 p.m.