The Chicago Blackhawks’ struggles continue as Los Angeles Kings win it in a sloppy overtime period.
Another night, another game where the Chicago Blackhawks are utterly dominated in the shots department. After giving up 51 shots to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, the Blackhawks would follow it up by being outshot 49 to 27 on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
There is no excuse for allowing 100 shots in the last two games. This has been an ongoing trend since last season. In order for the Blackhawks to break this trend, they need better all-around efforts from both forwards and defensemen on both ends of the ice.
With Jeremy Colliton going with Corey Crawford on the first half of the back-to-back, it was a bit disappointing to see Crawford cough up two early goals to the Kings. With Crawford giving up two goals within the first five minutes of the game, it was difficult to see how the Blackhawks would be able to salvage any part of the game, but David Kampf and Dominik Kubalik showed up.
Kubalik would bring the Blackhawks to within one of the Kings, as he would notch a power-play goal for the second unit. He also proved that the Blackhawks do have some weapons on the power play. This would mark his third NHL goal and reward him for what has been a strong start to his NHL career. Hopefully, his continued strong play will start to show up on the score sheet a bit more regularly.
Another strong play from Kubalik, one that he won’t get an assist for, where he would check the stick of Kings’ goaltender, Jack Campbell, causing him to cough up the puck to an awaiting Kampf who would also pot his second goal of the season.
After such a rough start to the game, the Blackhawks were able to tie it up and go into the second period even. That even scoring would continue as there would be none of it in the second frame. One positive note coming out of the second frame was the Blackhawks’ penalty kill as they were able to negate all four minor penalties they faced throughout the game. On a whole, it was the Blackhawks’ best special teams night of the season, as they were 100% on the penalty kill and the power play.
In the third period, Crawford and the Blackhawks would be the first to crack as Michael Amadio would find the back of the net on a feed from Dustin Brown. This goal put the Blackhawks in dire straights. After five minutes of the Blackhawks lacking any chances, coach Jeremy Colliton would get aggressive by pulling Crawford for an offensive zone draw with nearly three minutes left.
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Colliton’s aggressive call would be rewarded, as the Chicago Blackhawks’ stars would work their magic. Patrick Kane would send Jonathan Toews a cross-ice feed that Toews would snipe over Campbell’s shoulder sending the game to overtime.
Unfortunately, the Blackhawks rally would end here, as a sloppy overtime period by both teams would conclude with Drew Doughty tapping in a goal that would dribble though Crawford leaving the Blackhawks with just one point against the lowly Kings.
The trend of getting outshot is continuing to be a worrying one. Giving up 51 shots to the Predators is one thing, but giving up 49 to a team like the Kings is something else. The Blackhawks goaltending tandem has kept them in these high shot games, and if the Chicago Blackhawks want to start turning things around, this is where the change needs to happen.
Toews scored his first regulation goal of the season with the tying goal tonight and had multiple grade-A chances. This was without a doubt Toews’ best game of the year, and hopefully, the goal and overall strong play will help propel him forward and start showing up on the score sheet a little more regularly.
Adam Boqvist made his NHL debut tonight logging 15:28 of ice time and had a pretty subdued showing. Unfortunately, his first game will be marred by him making the turnover that would lead to the overtime winner. However, he did not look out of his element and I am interested to see what else we see from him during his first NHL stint.
Kirby Dach continues to not see a ton of ice time with a team-low 7:29 in total ice time. However, he did take an awkward hit during the third period that might have limited his time the rest of the game, but this trend of light ice time is concerning, to say the least.