Blackhawks

Five takeaways from Blackhawks loss to Stars: The streak comes to an end

Five takeaways from Blackhawks loss to Stars: The streak comes to an end

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night:

1. Missed chances in first period.

With three days to prepare for the first of a six-game road trip, the Blackhawks appeared to have fresh legs and dictated the pace of play early on. They recorded 27 shots with 11 of them hitting the net and allowed 22 attempts with only seven on goal.

The Blackhawks also generated 13 scoring chances, but couldn't capitalize on any of their opportunities, which included two post-shots. The Stars had just five scoring chances but converted on one of them when Jamie Benn scored seconds after their power play expired late in the frame to make it 1-0 Dallas.

It was all down hill after that.

2. Patrick Kane's 300th will have to wait another day.

Sitting on 299 goals for his NHL career, Kane came out flying looking to score his 300th right off the bat. He slowed down a bit after the first period but still finished with six shot attempts (two on goal). 

Ultimately, he was held off the scoresheet altogether — as was the entire team — and snapped a four-game point streak and three-game goal streak.

3. Forgettable night for penalty kill.

This is an area the Blackhawks have been good in all season long, entering the contest with the fourth-ranked penalty kill unit in the league (83.5 percent success rate). In this one though it wasn't so great.

The Stars went 1-for-3 on the power play on paper, but their first goal of the game came three seconds after it had expired when Jamie Benn buried a one-timer from Remi Elie to put the Stars on the board. 

Tyler Seguin scored his first of two on the night with the man advantage when he gathered a loose puck, made a nice deke and backhanded a shot past Corey Crawford, who suffered his first regulation loss since Nov. 12. He was 9-0-2 over that span.

4. Injury scare for Jonathan Toews.

The Blackhawks had a minor injury scare in the first period when their captain was sent to the dressing roomo after taking a big hit from former Blackhawks defenseman Stephen Johns. He missed a couple of shifts but returned in the period and finished with only 14:03 of ice time.

Toews won 10 of 16 faceoffs and was the only player on the team that finished with a win percentage of at least 50. The Blackhawks were 23-for-60 (38 percent) at the circle as a team.

5. Quiet return for Richard Panik.

Joel Quenneville said a reason he decided to healthy scratch Patrick Sharp for the first time this season in favor of Panik was because he didn't want guys sitting too long. A message was clearly sent to Panik, who sat for the previous three games, to up his game but he didn't exactly take advantage of being back into the lineup.

Panik registered just one shot on goal and one hit, the latter of which came on the power play with roughly three minutes remaining. Was it enough to keep himself in the lineup for Saturday's game against the New Jersey Devils?

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?