WASHINGTON, D.C. – Coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t as perturbed with Thursday night’s loss as he was Wednesday’s. At least against the Washington Capitals, the Blackhawks had some choice scoring opportunities.
But it was another loss nonetheless and another one in which the Blackhawks’ offense just could not find many answers.
Viktor Svedberg scored the first goal of his NHL career but the Blackhawks were otherwise quiet in a 4-1 loss to the Capitals at the Verizon Center. It wasn’t as dismal a game as Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers, where the Blackhawks looked listless from start to (just about) finish. But it was the same result, nonetheless.
“You don’t like the way things are going,” Quenneville said. “The game’s over before you know it.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
It was another night where the Blackhawks looked for some chemistry or jump throughout their lines. The fourth group, the reunited Andrew Desjardins, Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw, was the Blackhawks’ best combination with the best scoring opportunities. But be it Braden Holtby, who stopped 26 of 27 shots, iron or near misses, the Blackhawks couldn’t capitalize much.
On the other side, the Capitals were energetic from the start. They had eight shots before the Blackhawks got their first, a Svedberg shot that came about 10 minutes into the game. Embarrassed by the San Jose Sharks here on Tuesday night, the Capitals looked like a motivated bunch on Thursday. T.J.Oshie, John Carlson, Matt Niskanen and Alexander Ovechkin scored for the Capitals.
“I mean, we expected it; they didn’t have a great last game and we knew they were going to come out flying. That’s exactly what they did,” Shaw said. “It took us a period to get into it.”
The Blackhawks were very good in the second period, outshooting the Capitals 17-7. But as Quenneville put it, “we had some great chances, empty net missed, not sharp around the net.”
The feeling-out process with the revamped lineup apparently continues.
“I think it’s a little bit of that, but at the same time we know we can work a little bit harder,” Duncan Keith said. “I think once we win a few more puck battles and races to the puck, that’s going to help us out a lot.”
The Blackhawks have been in these scoring slumps in the past. It’s not fun, but it’s not any reason to panic. Still, they’d like to start finding solutions sooner rather than later.
“We’re not happy with how we played the last few games. Of course, we’re going to try to find ways and that’s usually what we do. That’s just how it is,” Kruger said. “All of us have to be better and take responsibility.”