Blackhawks

3 Takeaways: Blackhawks drop third straight with 4-0 loss to Blues

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USA Today

3 Takeaways: Blackhawks drop third straight with 4-0 loss to Blues

The Blackhawks lost 4-0 to the Blues on Monday night. Here are three takeaways: 

Uphill battle

The Blackhawks were already facing adversity at puck drop against the defending Stanley Cup champions on Monday. The Hawks were playing with 11 forwards and six defensemen due to salary cap constraints after allowing 12 goals in their past two games, both against the Avalanche.

Chicago was without Duncan Keith (groin), Drake Caggiula (concussion protocol), Dylan Strome (concussion protocol), Andrew Shaw (undergoing further evaluation) and Robin Lehner (flu). The Hawks failed to score in the first period and allowed another two goals in the opening frame. They've been outscored 8-2 in their past three first periods, a -6 goal differential. They had a +9 differential in their first 24 games. 

The effort picked up as the Blackhawks kept the Blues from scoring in the second period and managed to outshoot them 11-9 after shots on goal were tied 10-10 in the first. But, the Hawks wouldn't be able to sustain the Blues' pressure despite outshooting them 17-11 in the third and would fall 4-0 in their third straight loss, being outscored 16-5 in the stretch.

"First of all, very disappointed with the result," Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We didn't play with the energy we needed to be good and I thought execution wasn't there either. Obviously, they get the lead there early. 

"That plays right into their hands. They're a very good defensive team and they played a smart road game. They didn't expend a ton of energy. They were just smart and made us work for our chances. I wish we'd have made them work for theirs a little harder."

Toews milestone 

Jonathan Toews became the 10th player in Blackhawks history to play in their 900th game. The captain has 769 points (331 goals, 438 assists) with the Hawks.

"Every time you're able to hit a milestone like games played or points, or whatever it is, it's definitely a moment to stop and say, 'Hey this is pretty special and I can be thankful for what I've been a part of and what I've been given, especially playing here in Chicago for the fans and for this team," Toews said after Monday's morning skate. 

Kane's streak ends

Patrick Kane's 15-game point streak (24 points; 11 goals, 13 assists) ended. 

"It was a good run," Kane said. "I think I kind of see the chances were fading the last few games and that maybe it was going to end here soon. I hadn't really been generating as much as I want to. Try to get a couple days rest here and come back strong against Boston, get things going again."

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Kris Versteeg recently retired and now the Blackhawks are honoring him with the team’s “One More Shift.”

Versteeg began the season with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, but retired in November after playing six games for the IceHogs this season.

The 33-year-old wrote an emotional letter to the Blackhawks organization after requesting his contract with Rockford be terminated.

Versteeg will be honored before Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He will join the team on the ice for the national anthem and highlights of his career will be featured in the United Center.

Versteeg won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, in 2010 and 2015. He is part of the Blackhawks celebrating the 10-year anniversary of that 2010 Cup win. Brian Campbell was given the same treatment on Nov. 21.

The first 10,000 fans into the UC can get replicas of the 2010 ring.

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

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USA Today

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane recently surprised recovering hockey player Payton Bruns in the hospital, spreading some cheer across Chicagoland this holiday season. The players spent time with Bruns and his family talking hockey and his recovery.

“I had no clue that they were coming,” Bruns told the camera.

Bruns cited Kane as one of his favorite players, making this moment even sweeter.

You can watch the heartwarming video here.

Bruns, a senior at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, broke two of his vertebrae sliding into the boards while chasing down a loose puck this past September. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and has since been recovering and doing physical therapy at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.  

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