The Chicago Blackhawks blew a third-period lead on Monday night and were defeated 4-2 by the Minnesota Wild.
It was Chicago's third loss in a row.
Matt Boldy got the Wild on board first, 12:32 into the game, by cleaning up his own rebound. Boldy tucked the puck into the net behind a sprawling Alex Stalock after the latter's save on Boldy's initial shot.
Joey Anderson scored for the Blackhawks after a good cycle from his line and a scramble in front of the net, tying the game at one with 1:49 left in the first period.
The Blackhawks went up 2-1 just over two minutes into the second period on what appeared to be a whiff by Anders Bjork on a Buddy Robinson rebound, but the puck ended up sliding in behind Filip Gustavsson.
The Blackhawks briefly thought they'd gone up 3-1 on a Jonathan Toews' goal, but it was taken away:
Marcus Foligno really wanted to fight someone: he tried to pick one with Seth Jones and then dropped his gloves against Andreas Englund.
Foligno destroyed Englund and then taunted him:
On the ensuing Blackhawks power play, Jason Dickinson turned the puck over in the neutral zone, and Marcus Johansson scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game at two with seven minutes left in the game.
Johansson then put the Wild up 3-2, burying a beautiful feed from Boldy off the rush at the side of the net. This time, it was Jonathan Toews with the turnover before the goal.
Gustav Nyquist put a pin in this one by scoring an empty-net goal with 61 seconds remaining in the game, and the Blackhawks fell 4-2 to the Wild.
Only two games left.
- The Wild are mediocre at suppressing shots or attempts at volume, and they're missing several key players, but how does any team allow this Blackhawks team to get 55 shot attempts at 5-on-5 with about 30 minutes left in the game?
- In the second period alone, the Blackhawks out-attempted the Wild 39-14 at 5-on-5. They had a 22-2 edge in shots on goal and 18-7 edge in scoring chances in the same period. Crazy.
- And the line generating so many of those shot metrics was Bjork-Athanasiou-Robinson, which is just silly, IMO.
- Even after dominating the first two periods, it still felt like the Blackhawks could easily lose the game, and they did just that by allowing special teams to be a larger factor in the third period – an area where the Wild have a huge edge. Not only did the Wild score shorthanded, they used the momentum of that goal to get another.
- The Bjork goal was such an interesting combination of intention and luck: Robinson intentionally shot into the goalie pads to create a rebound that would get to Bjork but Bjork whiffing on his shot is the main reason why Gustavsson couldn't track the puck.
- Turnovers were also a big issue last game, and while the Blackhawks were pretty clean tonight, the Dickinson and Toews' ones were enough for the team to lose.
- Speaking of Toews, coach Luke Richardson disagreed with the refs about what constituted possession:
- Stalock was really into the stretch pass this game:
- Very small sample, but Wyatt Kaiser has not looked out of place in the NHL so far. He had an excellent game defensively and had several great offensive activations as well.
- Neither the Columbus Blue Jackets nor Anaheim Ducks played tonight, so the Blackhawks are technically in last place, but it's still going to be a race to the end.
- Watch Marc-Andre Fleury just be adorable with some Blackhawks fans:
- Marcus Johansson (MIN) – 2 goals, 1 assist
- Matt Boldy (MIN) – 1 goal, 1 assist
- JimL23 and devildog29 (SCH) – for answering my questions in the game discussion thread
The Blackhawks have no time to rest as they head to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night.