Please Take Me Away From Here: Wild 3, Blackhawks 1
Counting down the days until the end of the season.
After allowing a tie-breaking goal in the waning minutes of the third period, the Chicago Blackhawks fell 3-1 to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday in St. Paul.
Only 10 games left before this throwaway season is over for the Blackhawks.
The game was scoreless until Ryan Reaves gave the Wild a 1-0 lead 7:45 into the second period. Reaves stole the puck from a falling Wyatt Kaiser, tried for a wrap around, and the puck bounced off something in front of the net — probably Jason Dickinson — and in.
Scoring machine REAVO#mnwild pic.twitter.com/xeIvnk6E3t— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 25, 2023
The Blackhawks tied the game at 1-1 just 75 seconds into the third period after Lukas Reichel skated in on a 2-on-1 rush and snapped a shot that beat Gustavsson far-side.
Right on target 🎯🎯🎯 pic.twitter.com/Ix5zuITKI5— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 25, 2023
The Wild regained the lead with 1:11 left in the game off a Ryan Hartman breakaway: he had a couple of good dekes before sliding the puck past a sprawling Alex Stalock.
HARTZY HEARTBREAKER >>>#mnwild pic.twitter.com/qbtRa0UhDe— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 25, 2023
The Wild added an empty-net goal with 33 seconds remaining, courtesy of Frederick Gaudreau from practically the other side of the rink, making it 3-1 Wild for the final score of the game.
Put a pretty little bow on that one 🎀#mnwild pic.twitter.com/8pI3dJn1Zq— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 25, 2023
- Was that first period the most boring one of the entire season? It might have been, and that’s saying something, considering how many boring games the Blackhawks have played this season.
- The second and third periods were much better, though mostly because things got pretty feisty. Murphy, especially, seemed to have gotten under the skin of several Wild players. This isn’t a good group of players for the Blackhawks, but they do try hard.
- Kaiser got his first real feeling of the different weight classes between the NCAA and the NHL on tonight. But, I’m with Richardson: this was pretty textbook holding by Reaves here./
Richardson on officiating: "I didn't like the non-call on the first goal (Reaves on Kaiser). If that's a defenseman, that's a call every time with the free hand...— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 26, 2023
[The Wild] were yelling off their bench at times too, so that's just part of the game."
Luke Richardson was not happy that Ryan Reaves got away with a penalty on Wyatt Kaiser that immediately led to a Wild goal. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/Y8zRmTUWia— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) March 25, 2023
- The refs missed some calls on the Blackhawks, too — especially a few roughing penalties inflicted on Joel Eriksson Ek — so it was at least equal opportunity incompetence.
- That was a pretty goal by Reichel. He has a really good shot, but he does need to shoot more for his goals production to really kick start: he’s been averaging fewer than two shots per game before tonight. Reichel was legitimately one of the best players for the Blackhawks in this game, too.
- Hartman doing his former team a favor by scoring late and helping the Blackhawks stay competitive in the race to the basement for Connor Bedard.
- With Philipp Kurashev out of the lineup, the Blackhawks already shallow center depth is pretty much dried up, but Andreas Athanasiou stepped up to play top-line center and looked pretty good doing so. He’s listed as a center, but he has played wing almost exclusively for years now. Athanasiou did go 0-for-8 at the faceoff dot, though.
- Speaking of Kurashev, it’s unknown how long he’ll be out after leaving the last game against the Washington Capitals with an upper-body injury, but he was seen before the game tonight with his arm in a sling. Not great.
- Let’s end this on a positive note: practically all of Kaiser’s former teammates from Minnesota Duluth were at the game tonight to cheer him on. /
WELCOME HOME WYATT🏒— Alexis Bass (@lex_basss) March 25, 2023
After making his NHL debut with the @NHLBlackhawks last weekend, the former @UMDMensHockey defensemen, Wyatt Kaiser makes his home ice debut against the @mnwild in front of his former teammates & biggest fans tonight! pic.twitter.com/wddBoK0dN9
#NHL GameScore Impact Card for Chicago Blackhawks on 2023-03-25:#Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/fjmj5AHu3Z— HockeyStatCards (@hockeystatcards) March 25, 2023
- Ryan Hartman — 1 goal
- Filip Gustavsson — 0.957 save-percentage
- Lukas Reichel — 1 goal
The Blackhawks are back at it on Sunday night, heading home to take on the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center for a 5 p.m. start.