Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks' 3-2 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday night:
1. Special teams swing in the first period.
After going 1-for-7 on the power play during Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss to Dallas, the Blackhawks had an early opportunity to get on the board when Gustav Forsling drew a tripping penalty 2:49 into the game, but they couldn't capitalize.
Twenty one seconds later, John Hayden was whistled for high sticking and the Stars made 'em pay.
Jan Rutta's clearing attempt didn't get past the neutral zone, and while that was going on, Artem Anisimov darted for the bench but at the last second decided to stay on the ice after realizing the puck didn't get deep. Jamie Benn found Tyler Seguin in the slot, and Alexander Radulov buried the one-timer to put Dallas up 1-0.
The Blackhawks have now allowed at least one power-play goal in four of their last six games after being perfect in seven of their last eight.
2. Cody Franson is on the board.
The Blackhawks would even it up at 1-1 shortly after Radulov's goal when Franson scored his first goal in his 16th game as a member of the Blackhawks.
Ryan Hartman fed Franson a pass off the boards, Patrick Sharp provided net-front presence and Franson's quick snapshot got past Ben Bishop.
It was a nice way to bounce back for the 30-year-old defenseman after he logged a season-low 12:39 of ice time on Thursday, although his 13:10 in this one was his second-lowest of the season.
3. Brandon Saad goal salvages second period.
The Blackhawks slowed down in the middle frame.
They committed two penalties, had 15 shot attempts (12 on goal) compared to the Stars' 29 attempts (15 on goal) and allowed 12 scoring chances to their six. The Stars were rewarded when Radek Faksa scored his fifth goal in his last three games after scoring five in his first 22 games to start the season.
But the Blackhawks added a huge equalizing goal with 41 seconds left in the period when Connor Murphy's wrist shot from the blue line was redirected by Saad, who tallied his third goal in five games after scoring just one in his previous 15.
The Blackhawks also drew a penalty with five seconds left in the period, opening the third period with a power play and a 2-2 game despite being outplayed in the second.
4. Gustav Forsling gaining Joel Quenneville's trust.
For the second straight game, the 21-year-old defenseman led the Blackhawks in ice time (24:38) after logging a season-high 26:59 on Thursday.
In fact, normally Quenneville goes with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith to start 3-on-3 overtime, but this time Forsling got the start. He's certainly gaining the trust of his head coach.
Forsling has logged at least 21 minutes of ice time in 10 of his last 11 games after registering fewer than that in all of his first 12 games of the season.
5. Anton Forsberg stands tall in first start since Corey Crawford injury.
Corey Crawford is irreplaceable for the Blackhawks, but Forsberg did just fine in his first start since the starting netminder was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.
Forsberg stopped 33 of 35 shots (.943 save percentage), and gave his team a chance to win until the very end. Most notably, he made a terrific save on Radulov during a 2-on-1 opportunity for the Stars towards the latter stages of the first period to keep the game knotted up at 1-1.
Forsberg allowed both goals in the shootout, but the Blackhawks didn't do him any favors by not scoring either. He was a big reason the Blackhawks got a point, and it'll be interesting to see whether Quenneville will give him the nod in the second of a back-to-back against Los Angeles on Sunday.