The Blackhawks did something that hadn’t happened since 1946, but in the end outshooting the Tampa Bay Lightning 39-16 with history involved still wasn’t enough to get the Hawks 2 points on Saturday night. Here is how the action went Saturday.
The Hawks and Bolts traded offsides and icings for the best part of the first period of their contest. The Hawks finally got some action going with the best line of the first period from Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad, Ben Smith line that created a lot of havoc early in the contest. The best part of the Hawks defense was the shot blocks from Brent Seabrook and Johnny Oduya. The Hawks did something they hadn’t done since 1946 against the Detroit Red Wings which is hold a team without a shot on goal for an entire period. The Lightning took out a page from the Nashville Predators and just tried to clog up the neutral zone which they did pretty well while not getting anything going offensively. Shots on goal after 1 period was 12-0.
The Hawks kept up the pressure they had established in the 1st period, and with some great work by Bryan Bickell in front of the net Patrick Kane skated in and from a ridiculous angle scored the first goal of the game. The Lightning opened up their game without much offensive spirit. The Hawks kept taking it to the Lightning and with the sustained pressure they continued to create powerplays. The Hawks cashed in on the powerplay with a fluky goal with the puck shot high on the glass, Lightning goalie Ben Bishop wondered out of his net and the puck ended up right in the crease for a gift goal for Brandon Saad. Late in the period, Kane and Saad both had chances that were stopped on the doorstep. At the end the domination continued with the shot totals 25-6. Crawford only had one real chance against him in the first two periods and oh by the way he picked up an assist on the Saad goal.
The game looked like a walk in the park with the Hawks dominating every aspect of the game, but a strange thing happened on the way to a W in the win column. Halfway through the period Martin St. Louis shoveled one toward the net that beat Corey Crawford. After getting totally dominated for 50 minutes all it took the Lightning was 1:43 to tie up the contest when Teddy Purcell beat Crawford to tie up the game. The Hawks went 1/5 on the powerplay and had a very good one that came up empty in the later stages of the third period. The Hawks and Lightning skated to a tie and a pretty boring overtime. In the shootout Valtteri Fippula was the only one to score on either side and the unthinkable comeback was complete by the Lightning.
-Ben Smith, Andrew Shaw, and Brandon Saad were by far the most effective line of the night for the Hawks.
-Michael Kostka played well in his Blackhawks debut
-Niklas Hjalmarsson picked up his 50th career assist on the Patrick Kane goal
-The penalty kill is not where it needs to be yet, but of course it’s extremely early in the season
-After two games it doesn’t appear that Nordstrom is ready for the NHL yet and should be playing in Rockford very soon.
-Nordstrom did take out a referee during the game which caused for a third period with only 3 refs
-Two games into the season and Keith has led the team in ice time in both games.
-Next up for the Blackhawks is the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday Night!
What is your takeaway from the Blackhawks shootout loss tonight?