Blackhawks

Five Takeaways from Blackhawks' high-scoring loss to Devils: Disappearing act in the second

Five Takeaways from Blackhawks' high-scoring loss to Devils: Disappearing act in the second

Here are Five Takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 7-5 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

1. Disappearing in the second.

The Blackhawks couldn’t have asked for a better first period, when they took a 4-2 lead. But they did a 180 in the second. Part defensive lapses, part New Jersey opportunism, but by the end of the period the Devils were up 6-5. The Blackhawks have had their second-period struggles in the past – and not just relegated to this season – and Patrick Kane’s power-play goal at the end of it took some of the sting away. Still, the Devils were dominant through those 20 minutes.

2. Alex DeBrincat looks good again.

It was a nice weekend for the 19-year-old, who finished with three goals and an assist in the last two games. DeBrincat wasn’t on any specific line – the Blackhawks went with seven defensemen, and we’ll expand upon that in the next takeaway – but no matter who he’s been with, DeBrincat has made things happen.

3. Ryan Hartman scratched.

The Blackhawks changed things up on Sunday, going with seven defensemen. Sitting was Hartman, who didn’t play the final eight-plus minutes against the Carolina Hurricanes, either. Asked if there was something specifically Hartman did or didn’t do, coach Joel Quenneville said, “we just have some guys who are all comparable and we make decisions on who’s in and out of the lineup. And we wanted to try the seven [defensemen] look with double-shifting a couple of guys with Cat whether it was anybody off Arty’s line, particularly Kaner, was the thought process with that.”

4. A bad night for Corey Crawford.

The Blackhawks have the points they do in large part due to Crawford’s work this season. But Sunday was not his night. Crawford was as shaky as the defense in front of him, allowing six goals on 25 shots through the first 40 minutes. Anton Forsberg replaced him to start the third period.

5. Great game for the Devils.

New Jersey could’ve faded late in the first period, when the Blackhawks took a 4-1 lead. Instead the Devils buckled down and outplayed the Blackhawks through the final 40 minutes. We talked about their second period above. They were just as good to start the third, peppering Anton Forsberg with eight shots in the first 2:21 of the period and scoring a power-play goal for a 7-5 lead (Miles Wood completed the hat trick).  

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: