The Blackhawks wound up on the losing side once again despite outplaying the Golden Knights for most of the game.
The Chicago Blackhawks dropped to 2-3-2 after losing to the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in a shootout on Tuesday night. 18-year-old rookie Kirby Dach scored the lone goal for the Blackhawks in just his second NHL game. Robin Lehner played tremendous in net as he stopped 33 of 34 shots on goal.
While the outcome of the game didn’t go in the Blackhawks favor, they were the better team for most of the contest. Marc-Andre Fleury stood on his head for Vegas, making big save after big save. The only goal Fleury allowed bounced in off Kirby Dach’s shin pad.
The Blackhawks held the lead for nearly the entire game until Vegas defenseman Nick Holden scored with Fleury pulled. Robin Lehner played magnificently, but the one goal he allowed was a bit of a cheapy.
Neither team found the back of the net in overtime, so the game went to a shootout. Jonathan Toews scored in the opening frame, but that would be the last time the Blackhawks beat Fleury. Jonathan Marchessault scored in the second round, and Shea Theodore put the game away in the third to steal two points.
The Blackhawks locker room remained optimistic even after the crushing defeat. Goaltender Robin Lehner spoke positively about the team when asked about trusting the process.
“I think the last few games have been really really good. Small, small details and we’re going to be very dangerous,” the Swedish netminder said. “If we just keep playing like we’re going, we’re going to get good results and we’re going to have a good season.”
Five Takeaways From Tuesday’s Loss
- The Blackhawks’ powerplay continues to struggle. After another 0-for-4 outing on Tuesday, they are just one for their last 16. Coach Jeremy Colliton may need to shake up the top powerplay unit to send a message to his team.
- Kirby Dach played a team-low 8:22, but it wasn’t due to his play. Dach doesn’t get time on special teams yet, and there were nine penalties in this game. The 2019 third overall pick generated a couple of quality scoring opportunities and nearly had his second goal of the game early in the second period.
- Ryan Carpenter has been the unsung hero of this Blackhawks team through seven games. The ‘Hawks fourth-line center has three assists, seven hits, and has won 61.4% of his faceoffs. Carpenter had another strong game against Vegas with two takeaways, three blocked shots, and a 57.1% faceoff-win percentage. The former Golden Knight’s 17:50 time-on-ice was by far high season-high.
- Robin Lehner had his third consecutive strong start to begin the season. He’s allowed just six goals in those three games and has stopped 100 of 106 shots on net. Corey Crawford hasn’t played horribly, but Lehner has simply been better so far. Lehner deserves to be in net once again on Thursday night vs. Philadelphia.
- Defenseman Connor Murphy left the game early due to an apparent groin injury. Coach Jeremy Colliton said after the game that Murphy is expected to miss a couple of weeks. Colliton didn’t speculate whether it was the same groin that kept Murphy out of the season opener. Murphy recently settled into a top-pairing role for the Blackhawks alongside Duncan Keith and had been playing well.
The Blackhawks will be at home for the seventh consecutive game on Thursday, Oct. 24 as the Philadelphia Flyers come to town. This will be the second meeting between these two teams already this season, as the Flyers bested the ‘Hawks 4-3 in the season opener. The contest is slated for 7:30 p.m. and is scheduled to be on NBCSCH, NBCSP, and ESPN+.
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