A wise man once said, “If you don’t learn from history you are doomed to repeat it”. The Chicago Blackhawks have not learned from previous games this season. Once again the Blackhawks blow a lead in the third period. This game felt eerily similar to the shootout loss to the Tampa Bay lightning on October 5th.
It was the same story tonight, just like in the game against the Lightening. The Blackhawks dominate the game for two periods. Goals were scored by Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell. It was Toews first points in four games and Bickell’s second goal in two games. The Blackhawks had been keeping the play in the Panthers zone for the majority of the first two periods.
The defense was also playing well through two periods. Corey Crawford had pitched a shutout for two periods. Crawford was making great save after great save. Crawford even turned away a penalty shot from Jonathan Huberdeau. Among the Blue liners, Sheldon Brookbank might have played his best game as a Blackhawks.
Then the third period happened for the Blackhawks. For a reasons unknown; the Blackhawks cannot hold a lead in the third period. Goals by Tomas Fleischmann and Dmitry Kulikov tied the game at two. The Panthers seemed to have all the momentum going forward until a critical injury occurred. Tim Thomas in net for the Panthers had tweaked his groin. Thomas has been dealing with a groin issue all season. Thomas would leave the game and give way to the backup Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom had to come in cold off the bench.
Markstrom and Crawford would weather storms in overtime to send the game into a shootout. In the shootout, Toews would score five hole on Markstrom. Crawford would turn away Huberdeau. Kane would dangle himself out a shot on net and not score. Crawford would stonewall Brad Boyes. Finally Patrick Sharp would dangle Markstrom out of his pads and score the game winner. Blackhawks win 3-2 in the shootout.
Despite the Blackhawks victory there is still one major issues plaguing the them. The Blackhawks cannot hold a lead in the third period. The Blackhawks have been outscored 10-3 in third periods this season. Coach Quenneville and Blackhawks need to get issue straighten as the season progresses.
However tonight was not all gloom and doom, the Blackhawks did win. Crawford has stopped all six shootout attempts he has faced this season. Bickell is starting to find his offensive game after a mini-slump. Toews also got back on the score sheet for the first time in four games.
Let’s hope the Blackhawks have learned from the season’s recent history otherwise they will be DOOMED to repeat. The Blackhawks will take on the Tampa Bay Lightening on Thursday in Tampa at 6:30pm central time.