Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, lose to Blues in OT


Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, lose to Blues in OT

The Blackhawks headed into first intermission pretty happy with their first 20 minutes.

They had reason to be. After struggling to score goals for several games, the Blackhawks put up five goals on a St. Louis Blues team coming off a loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night. But by the second period, the Blackhawks’ lead was gone. And near the end of 3-on-3, so was the chance at two points.

Teuvo Teravainen, Andrew Shaw and Brent Seabrook had a goal and an assist each, but Vladimir Tarasenko had the overtime winner in the Blues’ 6-5 comeback victory on Wednesday night. It was a disappointing end for the Blackhawks, who looked like they were in great shape after the first 20 minutes. But the Blues, who didn’t get into Chicago until 4 a.m. — dense fog forced them to land in Milwaukee and then take a bus here — had more answers.

Asked if this was one that got away from the Blackhawks, coach Joel Quenneville said, “Yeah, it certainly did.”

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“You certainly want to put a team away,” he said. “You’re up 5-2, they played last night and you think we have a lot more hockey coming there. They got the momentum back. We slowed them down in the third and in overtime we had our turn. They got it.”

The Blackhawks had it in the first period, a bizarre 20 minutes that featured seven goals and St. Louis changing goaltenders twice — Brian Elliott started, was replaced by Jake Allen after Teravainen’s goal, came back in and then was replaced by Allen again after being part of a collision in the Blues net. Marko Dano scored his first goal with the Blackhawks and Shaw scored his first of the season on a penalty shot.

But the euphoria disappeared in the second period, when the Blues scored three times. David Backes’ goal with about 33 seconds remaining in the period tied the game 5-5 and quieted a once happy United Center crowd.

“I just think that we had those lapses where we gave up chances against that ended up in our net,” Jonathan Toews said. “Obviously, the players they had on the ice, they were getting those bounces and they made us pay. So it’s unfortunate that it kind of took the wind out of our sails a little bit in that second period and gave them life a little bit for that second 20 minutes.”

Corey Crawford, who has been strong through this early season, had a rough night.

“It seemed like it wasn’t as much urgency as there was at the beginning of the game. As a goalie too, when your team has a good start, especially five goals, you want to be able to shut it down,” said Crawford after allowing six goals on 29 shots. “It seemed like, no matter what was happening, everything seemed to find its way in.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The Blackhawks managed a point in getting to overtime and had some chances there. But Tarasenko scored with 1:06 remaining in 3-on-3. It was the first overtime loss for the Blackhawks this season; they won the previous three.

“There [are] a lot of chances both ways. Anything can happen. Obviously at some point, if you’re caught on a bad change, kind of like I was tonight, you put your team in an awkward spot and it just takes one chance to lose the game like that,” Toews said. “I think that’s what obviously happened.”

The Blackhawks started the night with plenty of offense. It was they allowed, however, that hurt them.

“I never have to worry about offense. We didn’t score [in regulation] against two good teams who know how we play and are very familiar with us and both teams were content playing that type of style,” Quenneville said. “But we’ll measure our performance with how we play without the puck and knowing there are enough ways we can score.”

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

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?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: