Blackhawks

Blackhawks ready to 'learn from' loss to Devils

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Blackhawks ready to 'learn from' loss to Devils

The Blackhawks were close to getting a point, and every one of them helps with as inconsistent as they’ve been in this early season.

Then there was a penalty. Then there was the New Jersey Devils power-play goal. And just like that, the Blackhawks were once again letting one get away.

Patrick Kane scored his 11th goal of the season and Artemi Panarin also scored, but the Blackhawks gave up a late power-play goal en route to their 3-2 loss to the Devils on Thursday night. It was another frustrating night for the Blackhawks, who are now 2-4-1 in their last seven games.

Coach Joel Quenneville was fine with what the Blackhawks did on the offensive side – “generate zone time, shots, traffic, everything we looked for. I think we deserved a better fate.” It was what they gave up that frustrated Quenneville.

“All three goals tonight nothing plays,” he said. “Nothing dangerous about them at all. [They] end up in our net.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Blackhawks did make some miscues and the Devils capitalized. Their biggest goal came with 2:27 remaining in the game when Sergey Kalinin scored just eight seconds into Kane’s high-sticking penalty. Quenneville said after that he didn’t think it was Kane but another Blackhawks player who committed the infraction. Regardless, it was costly.

Corey Crawford allowed three goals on 22 shots.

“They didn’t create much offensively, a chance here or there throughout the game. We’re back in it and gave up another one late. Gotta learn from it,” Crawford said. “I made a mistake, too; I go reaching for a puck I shouldn’t be reaching for. We’ve just gotta learn from these little things that are costing us games.”

The Blackhawks may have liked how they played on the offensive side of the puck but they’re still just getting goals from the same players: their second-line guys. Kane scored with 20 seconds remaining on the Blackhawks’ 5-on-3 power play for an early 1-0 lead. Panarin scored with just over six minutes remaining to tie it, 2-2. Besides that, there were once again a lot of quiet Blackhawks.

“Yeah, you can’t have one line doing it every night,” Andrew Shaw said. “We’re trying to come together as a unit. Everybody’s trying to chip in as best they can. We’re going to learn from tonight’s game and move forward.”

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The Blackhawks aren’t playing the hockey that’s gotten them so far in the last few seasons. They’re losing valuable points in the early going. They’ll get defensive help soon; Quenneville expects both Duncan Keith and Michal Rozsival to be playing at some point this weekend. But no matter who’s in the lineup, the Blackhawks have to start collecting points.

“We’ve got a bunch of new faces, new guys in the locker room. We can’t keep blaming it on that, we’ve got to come together as a team here,” Shaw said. “I think we played a good game tonight. A couple bounces didn’t go our way. Letting them score late in the game like that, it’s not acceptable. We’re going to learn from this game and move forward.”

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?

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

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USA TODAY

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: