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Better Class of Losers: Hurricanes 6, Blackhawks 3

Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks pushed for it in the third period Monday night but it was just too little, too late as they fell 6-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes, bringing their road losing streak to 21 games.

The Hurricanes started things off with a Michael Bunting goal 11:45 into the first period. Martin Necas set up Bunting from behind the net, and the latter backhanded the puck in to make it 1-0.

After setting up the prior goal, Necas then added his own around two minutes into the second period to put the Hurricanes up 2-0. Nick Foligno made an errant pass to the middle in his own zone, and Necas darted in to pick the puck off and flipped it over Petr Mrazek.

The Hurricanes picked up their third goal 8:22 into the middle frame off an absolute snipe from Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

Just over two minutes later, Sebastian Aho made it 4-0 with a wrap-around move from behind the net but then pulled out to go top-shelf instead.

The Blackhawks got on the board with 4:37 left in the second. Connor Bedard picked off a Brent Burns clearing attempt along the boards and passed to Foligno in the slot, who twirled a bit to backhand the puck past Spencer Martin.

Carolina regained their four goal lead 2:34 into the third period thanks to a power-play goal by Brent Burns. Aho’s rebound went directly to Burns near the goal line, who one-timed it past Mrazek.

The Blackhawks thought they got one back just a few minutes later, but this beauty by Connor Bedard was overturned due to it being offsides.

However, Bedard couldn’t be stopped: he ended up getting his goal and making it 5-2 at the seven-minute mark of the third while on the power play. He was setup for an easy tap-in goal off a slick backhand feed from Philipp Kurashev.

The Blackhawks got within two a couple of minutes later, again on the power play. Tyler Johnson redirected a Bedard shot-pass to make it 5-3 with 11:52 left in the game.

Unfortunately, the offensive push by the Blackhawks wouldn’t be enough, and Jordan Martinook scored an empty-net goal after a neutral zone faceoff to put this one away, 6-3 Hurricanes.


  • This was always a longshot game for the Blackhawks, and it played out as expected for the first 40 minutes with the Hurricanes dominating, suffocating an already lackluster Blackhawks offense. Seriously: the Blackhawks only had four shot attempts, three shots on goal, and one scoring chance at 5-on-5 in the first 20 minutes. The second was somewhat closer in terms of possession (42.42 percent shot attempt share) but the Hurricanes still limited them to just four shots on goal. Not even hitting double digits after the first two period is pretty yikes.
  • The third did get entertaining, though: they were still overpowered at 5-on-5 for the most part — Chicago still only had four shots on goal at 5-on-5, but their power play scored twice, a rare occurrence for sure — to make the game seem closer than it was. Some of that kind of felt like the Hurricanes sitting back a little with a four-goal lead, but kudos to the Blackhawks for taking advantage when they could.
  • Bedard having a three-point night — and a disallowed goal — against one of the best defensive teams in the league in his third game back from being out over a month is crazy. He’s also been involved in six of the seven goals the Blackhawks have scored since his return which shows how special he really is.
  • Speaking of the disallowed goal, it was his third one overturned due to an offsides challenge this season, and his second in as many games. Again, crazy. They’ve all been really cool goals too. Jokingly, I feel like even if it’s illegal, if the goal is cool, it should stand.
  • It also helped that Kurashev was having quite the night himself. He didn’t have a shot on goal, but he was really making it happen in transition with puck retrievals, and setting up his linemates for their chances. The latter effort was rewarded with had two assists and it felt like Kurashev deserved another on the Foligno goal. Kurashev extended his point streak to six games (1 G, 6 A).
  • Foligno extended his point streak to six games with his goal tonight. Quietly effective lately.
  • Even with how impressive Bedard and Kurashev looked this game, their line with Foligno was deep underwater in terms of shot metrics: 40.91 percent of shot attempts and only 20.47 percent of expected goals at 5-on-5. And they were pretty much the best line on the team tonight. That just shows how good the Hurricanes really are at owning the puck.
  • The other forward that seemed the most noticeable was Tyler Johnson: he not only scored a goal and played a role in another, but he was one of a few other players who seemed able to handle Carolina’s stifling play. He also has four points in his last four games.
  • Mrazek had a rare iffy outing with just a .878 save percentage, though there’s not a lot to blame on him considering how effective the Hurricanes are.
  • I’ll never understand a goalie getting mad at an opponent when the goalie’s teammate pushed/knocked said opponent into them. Take that up with your pal Demitry, Spencer.
  • Ultimately, does it suck that the Blackhawks picked up their 21st consecutive road loss? Yeah, but the good news is that it was at least fun to see Bedard pop off a bit, Kurashev shined, and the a few other young guys — like Alex Vlasic — are really standing out. As always, it feel like it’s important to remind everyone that this was always meant to be a transition, learning type of year more than anything else. And hey, it’s one loss closer to having the best lottery odds: currently, the Blackhawks will pick third at worst, which isn’t a bad position to be in when rebuilding.

Game Charts

Three Stars

  1. Connor Bedard (CHI) — 1 goal, 2 assists
  2. Martin Necas (CAR) — 1 goal, 1 assist
  3. Sebastian Aho (CAR) — 1 goal, 1 assist

What’s Next

The Blackhawks are back at the United Center on Wednesday to take on the Philadelphia Flyers at 6:30 pm, kicking off a five-game homestead.

Talking Points