Heading into Game 3 of the opening round against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Chicago Blackhawks needed to generate a victory in order to stay in the series. They failed to do this, resulting in an improbable 3-0 deficit that the Windy City now faces.
The Chicago Blackhawks came into Saturday night’s affair already down 2-0 to the Vegas Golden Knights. While they did play a bit better than they had all series, they still were unable to record the victory. Marc-Andre Fleury essentially stole the game for Vegas, as he was very dominant in between the pipes.
Right off the bat, the game started off poorly for the Blackhawks. William Karlsson was able to find a way through the Blackhawks defense and score a shorthanded goal on the backhand to give the Golden Knights and early 1-0 advantage.
After a long stretch of both teams trading chances, Vegas was finally able to put another goal on the board late in the second period. Patrick Brown was able to net his first career playoff tally on a rebound to double the Golden Knights’ advantage.
The Hawks came out and looked like the dominant team to start out the third period. They controlled the majority of opportunities and possession. Olli Maatta was able to fling a shot on net that squeaked through Fleury, which was his only hiccup of the night. The goal cut the Vegas lead to only one early in the third.
After the goal, the Blackhawks momentum was no more. Vegas took control, finishing the period with more shots than Chicago. The Hawks struggled majorly with the relentless forecheck that the Golden Knights presented after they pulled Corey Crawford with 1:55 seconds remaining.
Evidently, the Hawks fell by a final score of 2-1. One bright spot for Chicago was that Crawford played a lot better in this matchup compared to his previous two starts. He will need to keep this up in tonight’s battle if the Blackhawks want to stay alive.
Here are my three takeaways from last night’s loss: