The Chicago Blackhawks lost yet another game to the Florida Panthers.
While the tough schedule was expected this March, it truly has hit the Blackhawks rather hard. After playing teams like Columbus and Detroit in February, these tougher matchups against the best of the best, are hurting the Hawks.
While the 6-3 final might not be as bad as it actually was as Florida did get a few empty-net goals to end the game, the fact that Chicago also gave up a shorthanded goal in the third period to give Florida the lead basically sold their fate.
The Chicago Blackhawks were led by Duncan Keith, Connor Murphy, and Patrick Kane who led the team for the Hawks. Their ice times were 24:41, 22:12, 20:18 respectively and while the team did not get the win, those three players all helped Chicago put a good effort out for the first two periods.
Florida was led by Aaron Ekblad, Gustav Forsling, and Alexsander Barkov. Those three players led the Panthers in ice time, and they also combined for three goals and three points amongst each other. It does hurt seeing yet another former Blackhawk in Gustav Forsling shine on another team after not making an impact in Chicago.
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Shots on goal:
Florida – 36
Chicago – 29
Florida – 16
Chicago – 20
Florida – 40
Chicago – 25
Power Play Numbers:
Florida – 2 for 3
Chicago – 0 for 4
Patrick Kane assisted by David Kampf (1-0 Chicago)
Owen Tippet assisted by Gustav Forsling and Alexander Wenneberg (1-1 tie game)
Philipp Kurashev assisted by Calvin de Haan and Mattias Janmark (2-1 Chicago)
Brandon Hagel assisted by Duncan Keith and Dominik Kubalik (3-1 Chicago)
Aaron Ekblad assisted by Keith Yandle and Jonathan Huberdeau (3-2 Chicago)
Gustav Forsling assisted by Carter Verhaeghe and Aleksander Barkov (3-3 tie game)
Aleksander Barkov assisted by Noel Acciari and MacKenzie Weegar (4-3 Florida)
Carter Verhaeghe assisted by Aleksander Barkov (5-3 Florida)
Alexander Wennberg assisted by Jonathan Huberdeau and Patric Hornqvist (6-3 Florida)
Patrick Kane gets things going with the first goal of the game.
Kurashev gets the lead back for the Hawks with a great goal in the second period.
Hagel gets to the front of the net to give the Blackhawks a three-to-one lead. If you turned off the game after this goal thinking it was over, I apologize.
Lankinen’s stellar save in the second… the Hawks still lost though.
The Blackhawks still have a ways to go before they are going to be serious contenders again in the NHL, and that is okay. We can still enjoy this season as fans even if the team is not going to win the Stanley Cup. I am personally excited to see how the team gets back on track. This is a young roster and the perseverance this group could show might be a game-changer for years to come.
While Kevin Lankinen has been lights out, for the most part, he still does need some work on his positioning. That should not come as a surprise as he is a rookie goalie. I can not wait to see what he can accomplish over the course of the next few years with this team.
Can the Blackhawks score a power-play goal sometime?
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Aleksander Barkov
2. The Special Teams Units for Florida
3. Gustav Forsling
I do not think any of these choices need much introduction. Barkov put up a goal and two assists, Forsling scored a big goal and the special teams’ units brought in two goals on the man advantage, was perfect short-handed, and also scored a short-handed goal.
The Blackhawks are going to need to be better if they want to compete against Tampa Bay coming up.