Blackhawks

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks lost 7-3 against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Here are five takeaways:

Missing Keith

Duncan Keith's absence was noticeable on Saturday as the Hawks allowed seven goals, the most this season, in Colorado. The two-time Norris trophy winner left Friday's game with a groin injury and is day-to-day. 

Saturday was a poorer performance for the Blackhawks than their first game of the back-to-back, home-to-home set against the Avalanche, a 5-2 loss on Friday at the United Center. Despite allowing five goals Friday, the Hawks held the Avs. to 23 shots, tying their season low (Oct. 24 against the Philadelphia Flyers). Slater Koekkoek came in for Keith.

The ferocious speed of the Avalanche wore down the Blackhawks and dismantled their defensive zone coverage. Mikko Rantanen had a goal and three assists after missing the past 16 games with a lower-body injury. 

"He's a big part of our team," Colliton said of Keith after the game. "But teams across the league play with guys shorthanded. Colorado is a perfect example, they've had multiple guys out for a long time and they continue to find ways to win and get points and that's what we need to do as well." 

Another tough first 

The Blackhawks allowed three first period goals in both games against the Avalanche. On Saturday, Colorado put the trio in the net in a span of 3:15. Prior to Friday, Chicago had allowed just 15 first period goals in their past 24 games. 

 

Lehner pulled

Robin Lehner was pulled in the second period after allowing five goals on 14 shots. Crawford saved 13 of 15 shots to finish the game after coming in with 5:50 remaining in the second period. 

Lehner was 2-1-1 in his past 4 starts with a .942 save percentage and his .938 save percentage in 13 games prior to Saturday led the league. 

"I felt good, honestly," Lehner said. "I felt good. [The Avalanche] score three pretty good ones real quick: in-close one-timer, kind of like a half-breakaway with a screen, then a bounce off an unlucky redirection and we're scrambling. It's definitely not good enough from all of us. There's not much to say about it."

Kane extends point streak

Patrick Kane scored a power-play goal at 14:38 of the third period to make it 7-3. That marked the final score of the game and extended his point streak to 15 games (24 points; 11 goals, 13 assists). 

"I don't think you're really thinking about [the point streak] at that point," Kane said. "I wasn't very good tonight, I got to be better going into the next game. Obviously a huge game against St. Louis coming up at home, Stanley Cup champs coming into our building, so I got to be better for us."

Another scrap

Frustration boiled over for Alex DeBrincat, who dropped the gloves with Sam Girard towards the end of the first period, giving the Hawks their second fight in two games. Andrew Shaw danced with Ryan Graves Friday. 

DeBrincat, who hasn't scored a goal in 10 games, took a hit from Girard in the corner shortly after striking iron with a quality scoring chance on an open net from the crease. 

"I was frustrated, I think," DeBrincat said. "Just missed an empty net a few seconds before, went in the corner, he gave me a little hit and I was just frustrated, I think. Just kind of happened."