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It won’t be this bleak forever (yeah, right): Stars 5, Blackhawks 2

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Dallas Stars v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

Not that the rest of the season has been much different, but the Chicago Blackhawks opened the “playing out the stretch” portion of the season with a 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at the United Center.

Stars forward Roope Hintz had himself a night, scoring a hat trick, and he started down that road with this power-play goal about halfway through the first period:

The Blackhawks tied the game about five minutes later when Cole Guttman jumped on this juicy rebound:

There was some early talk on the broadcast about Dallas struggling on the power play. That proved to be a jinx, as Hintz scored a few minutes later with his second PPG of the opening period, giving the Stars a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play:

Just 32 seconds into the second period, it became a tie game once again when this Seth Jones shot from the point found its way into the net:

The second period ended in a 2-2 tie but the third period did not, with Jamie Benn breaking that deadlock at the 45-second mark of the final period:

Dallas kept it in cruise control from there, adding empty-net goals from Esa Lindell and Hintz — completing the latter’s hat trick — for the final goals of the night.

Notes

  • Caught a chunk of the Patrick Kane debut with the New York Rangers this evening — like just about everyone else in the Chicagoland area — and there was a palpable energy at Madison Square Garden as that game started. When was the last time the United Center felt like that? Genuinely asking that question because the answer escapes me — which is one helluva depressing thought.
  • Guttman’s now up to three goals in nine career games and while there’s no reason to write his name in permanent market as a definite part of this team’s future, being presented with an opportunity and, at least, doing something with it is a positive development. As more prospects join this team in the future, the expectations will go up and Guttman will have to continue improving. But it’s at least a start.
  • On the other end of that spectrum: can anyone point to a specific game or moment that involved Taylor Raddysh this season? It says here that Raddysh has 26 points (14 G, 12 A) in 61 games played with an average ice time of 16:27 heading into this game yet it’s legitimately difficult to point to a moment when he did something memorable this season. Raddysh is now up to 13 games without a goal after scoring in back-to-back games at the end of January. He turned 25 a few weeks ago, so he’s not that old, but it’s also around the age when you’d like to see a player start taking steps forward and it’s hard to say Raddysh has done that.
  • This was pointed out on Twitter but it is hysterical that, once Max Domi’s trade becomes offical, Seth Jones will be the team’s point leader with twenty-freaking-eight points (his goal moved him up to 28). Just delightful.
  • Lukas Reichel skated 16:57 in this game and was credited with a shot on goal, a hit and two blocked shots. His possession metrics were ... fine, maybe? It’s hard to think of any standout moments from this game for him. Not a deal-breaker by any means and the Blackhawks have done him zero favors this season. But it would be nice if we could get at least one Lukas Reichel Game before this season ends — just to give us a morsel of entertainment when precious little is being offered everywhere else.
  • That’s 61 games down and only 21 left. We’re pretty much 75 percent of the way through. Can’t recall a Blackhawks season that’s needed to end faster than this one.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Roope Hintz (DAL) — Hat trick
  2. Miro Heiskanen (DAL) — 2 assists
  3. Jamie Benn (DAL) — 1 goal

What’s next

The Blackhawks return to the United Center to take on the Dallas Stars at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night.