The Blackhawks lost 4-3 to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. Here are three takeaways:
Blackhawks blow three-goal lead
After Patrick Kane's beautiful stick-side snipe at 4:16 of the third period, the last place Hawks led the defending Stanley Cup champs 3-0 in St. Louis. It was going to be a huge moral victory for Chicago, who had lost three straight games and been outscored 10-3 in their past two.
Twenty four seconds later, Tyler Bozak scored the first of four unanswered Blues' goals to give St. Louis their first lead of the game, and the final score in regulation, 4-3.
"Sucks to blow that one with the lead that we had, but there's situations where we've got to get pucks out, and I lost my check a few times," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said after the game. "Those guys can make plays when you turn the puck over and you lose your check, so just got to keep going back to the drawing board."
Alex Nylander turned the puck over in Chicago's D zone to Robert Thomas near the high slot, who gave the puck to Bozak for the Blues' first goal of the game which sprung three more.
“If we benched every player who made a mistake, we wouldn’t have any players," Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said after being asked if he thought about benching Nylander after the mishap.
Shot suppression has to happen
As they've done a lot this season, the Hawks allowed the opposition way too many shots on their net. The Blues were able to pepper Corey Crawford with 38.
"I thought we had a good start to the third, obviously," Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "Crow was huge for us all night, really kept us in the game the whole game and I think we let him down."
Crawford and Robin Lehner have been leaned on too much this season by a struggling defense who's definitely missed Calvin de Haan (right shoulder) and Duncan Keith (groin) the past few games. Even before the pair's injuries, the netminders facing around 40 shots was happening too frequently.
"We all take responsibility," Colliton said. "With the coaches, we have to find a way to prepare these guys better so that they can execute those types of reads when the game's on the line. So, that's it."
Colliton also said Keith began skating in Chicago. There's no set timetable for his return, but it should be sooner rather than later now.
Saad doubles down
Forward Brandon Saad scored his ninth and tenth goals of the season in St. Louis on Saturday. His first goal came 19 seconds into the first period, assisted by Toews.
Saad's second goal of the game came 30 seconds into the third period. Toews used his body to maintain possession on the boards and feed Saad the puck in front of the net for his second helper.
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