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Thnks Fr Th Mmrs: Golden Knights 5, Blackhawks 3

Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Chicago Blackhawks playing the defending Stanley Cup Champions closely for the first two periods, a late-game breakdown cost the Blackhawks, and they fell 5-3 to the Vegas Golden Knights Saturday at the United Center.

The start of the game couldn’t have been scripted better: Connor Bedard scored the first home goal of the season on his first shot of the game, giving the Blackhawks a 1-0 just 1:30 in the first period. While on the power play, Taylor Hall won a puck battle in the corner and set up a wide-open Bedard in the slot.

Fans were certainly excited about a new era of Blackhawks hockey starting:

The Golden Knights answered back with their own power-play goal less than three minutes later. Paul Cotter’s shot was blocked and the puck bounced to William Karlsson on the opposite side, who backhand-shoveled the puck in to tie the game 1-1.

The Golden Knights took a 2-1 lead at the 7:30 mark of the second period as Johnny Marchessault’s shot from distance squeaked through Arvid Söderblom.

Noted nice guy Reese Johnson scored about a minute later to re-tie the the game — this time 2-2 — by tipping a long shot from Connor Murphy.

The Golden Knights regained the lead just 14 seconds into the third period. Nicolas Roy buried Keegan Kolesar’s cross-crease feed on the backdoor to put the Knights up 3-2.

Mark Stone extended the Golden Knights’ lead to 4-2 at just under the 14-minute mark of the third. Michael Amadio went around the back of the net before executing a cross-crease pass to Mark Stone, who knocked the puck into the net. Not the best sequence for Connor Murphy here.

The Golden Knights added another goal on the power play with 3:51 left in the game to make it 5-2. After some extended cycling, Amadio fed Cotter in the slot for a one-timer that beat Söderblom clean. Not sure how Cotter was so wide open there.

Corey Perry scored a slapper of a goal for the Blackhawks late, but with only 15 seconds remaining in the game, it didn’t make any difference to the outcome, and the Blackhawks fell 5-3 to the Golden Knights.


  • Everyone at the game noted that the United Center was the loudest it’s been in years for player announcements — well, for Bedard — and the anthem. Even though this is still a transition season, it’s so great to see fans being re-energized about Blackhawks hockey.
  • It’s hard to judge the first period with all the special teams, but the Knights did own the better share of all shot metrics: about 56 percent shot attempts and 70 percent of the scoring chances. Not ideal, but it felt more even than that. The second was more favorable to the Blackhawks, who had 50 percent and 53 percent in the same stats, respectively. Much better.
  • The quick Vegas goal in the third reminded me a lot of the Blackhawks’ unpreparedness to start periods last season. It was a frustrating habit of theirs to allow a goal against in the first three minutes of any period, and I’m hoping this was a one-off and not a precursor for that trend to haunt the Blackhawks for another season.
  • The Blackhawks did a good job of pushing hard after Vegas’ third goal, until the wheels inevitably fell off in the final 10 or so minutes of the game.
  • That Bedard goal was exactly what we’ve waited to see from him, a beautifully placed shot that beat Adin Hill cleanly. Hopefully that unlocks his goal scoring powers and we see a lot more of that in the coming games.
  • Despite only scoring once, the power play seemed much better tonight: the Blackhawks generated 14 shot attempts, eight scoring chances, and three high danger scoring chances on five power play opportunities, which is very solid.
  • Is it me, or does it feel like Taylor Raddysh shoots in slow motion? I don’t know how else to describe it, but everything about his shooting feels slow.
  • Reichel’s line finally looked like it had some pep in their step, thanks to the generally good chemistry between Reichel and Andreas Athanasiou. They still felt like they were missing something — *cough* Kurashev *cough* — but it was good to see some spark there.
  • Even though the Blackhawks played the Knights pretty decently from a defensive standpoint — again, at least until parts of the third period — there was a huge problem with giveaways tonight. The NHL credited the Blackhawks with 18 giveaways, and while those count stats can be skewed a bit, that number seems fairly accurate from the eye test.
  • This subject is already old, but omg why does Tinordi do the things that he does??? This might have been his worst game yet, and that’s saying something considering the others have been quite ugly for him already. He was out of position almost the whole game — paid for it on the Vegas power play goal — and I’m pretty sure he checked a teammate instead of an opponent at least twice this game.
  • Seth Jones had a few oops moments tonight too. His decision to focus on shoving William Carrier instead of getting back for numbers left Kevin Korchinski alone on a 2-on-1 that resulted in the game-winning goal. Yes, Bedard was at fault here too — he lost his cover, and he took the blame for it postgame — but Jones is a veteran that should know better about getting back properly. It wasn’t a terrible game from him, but just enough iffy decisions to have fans commenting on his contract all over Twitter (never calling it X).
  • Keeping with the other vets, Murphy was a mixed bag tonight also. He led the team in blocked shots (4), had an assist, and had some good moments both offensively and defensively. However, he also had some rough moments, the worst two being in the same sequence ahead of the Stone goal: first he gave the puck away to Stephenson and then couldn’t prevent Stone from getting his stick on the puck at the net. Korchinski also couldn’t contain Amadio at all, but there’s no goal without the two mistakes by Murphy.
  • Obviously the veteran defensemen weren’t the only ones to make mistakes — as noted above, Korchinski had some questionable moments and his stats were pretty ugly while Kaiser had a non-entity type of game — but it’s more palpable to watch those because we know the kids are learning. We expect more from the vets.
  • Taylor Hall missed the second half of the second period after taking a hit from Vegas defenseman Brayden Pachal, but he did return for the start of the third period.
  • There was a lot of complaining in these notes, but honestly, this was a respectable performance from the Blackhawks. They had issue (penalties, giveaways, defensive mistakes) but Chicago also played pretty tight with one of the best teams in the league for a majority of the game — a history making team even, as Vegas’ 6-0-0 record to start a season is the best from a defending champ in NHL history. So yeah, the loss was the expected outcome, but at least the Blackhawks looked like they could skate with Vegas for 40-50 minutes of the game.

Game Charts

Three Stars

  1. Paul Cotter (VGK) — 1 goal, 1 assist
  2. Michael Armadio (VGK) — 2 assists
  3. Connor Bedard (CHI) — first Blackhawks goal at the United Center

What’s Next

The Blackhawks get a couple of days off before hosting the Boston Bruins at the United Center Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.