Blackhawks

Four takeaways: Blackhawks squander multi-goal lead, remain winless against Golden Knights

blackhawks_golden_knights.jpg
AP

Four takeaways: Blackhawks squander multi-goal lead, remain winless against Golden Knights

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights at the United Center on Saturday:

1. Winless against Vegas 

Going into Saturday, the Blackhawks had lost each of their first five games against Vegas over the past two seasons. This was their final chance to pick up a win against them this year, and it looked like they were on their way to do so.

But the Golden Knights rallied from 3-1 down, forced overtime and sealed the deal when Shea Theodore scored the winner to improve to 6-0-0 against Chicago. 

"Thought the game was in our control and then all of a sudden they score one late there in the second, and you could feel we definitely tightened up there in the third," Patrick Kane said. "Sat back and it was bound to happen the way it happened there in the third for them to tie it up.

"They're a good team. I think they're probably a team similar to the style of a team we want to play in here. So we can learn a lot from them."

2. Three unanswered goals

The Blackhawks appeared to be in control of the game for the first two periods. Well, at least the first 39 minutes.

In the final minute of the second period, Ryan Carpenter snapped a wrist shot past Collin Delia to trim the Golden Knights deficit to 3-2 and it gave them life. And the Blackhawks could feel it in the third period after allowing 12 scoring chances at even strength and generated only one, according to naturalstattrick.com.

The Golden Knights eventually scored the next two as well, and secured the victory despite failing to hold a lead at any point in the game.

"The first period was really good and such a good situation," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Same thing in the second. It’s an early goal in the second period where we’re in control, and it seemed like they got goals at key times that gave them life when maybe they didn’t have any. The goal at the end of the second is a similar situation where it came from nowhere and it’s in the back of the net. Then they have some hope, and we have a little doubt. And that’s the issue."

3. Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane stay hot

The positive development in the loss was the continued hot streaks of DeBrincat and Kane. DeBrincat scored twice to extend his goal streak to a career-high four games and became the seventh player in Blackhawks history to score his 50th career NHL goal prior to their 130th game.

Kane, on the other hand, turned in a multi-point effort for the fourth consecutive contest. The duo also connected for a one-time goal for the fourth straight game, which is becoming a lethal weapon on the power play.

“We're doing well," DeBrincat said. "We’re passing it around pretty well. Obviously that seam play’s been working pretty well, too. We have a lot of different options that we can score on. Kaner’s a threat by himself over there, too. It’s tough for the other teams to defend if we’re zipping it around and we have a lot of different options to score, so I think we’re pretty confident right now and we look to keep going with it.”

4. Brandon Pirri's resurgence

One of the hottest topics in the NHL right now is why Pirri can't seem to latch on to a team. He's been with five different clubs in nine seasons, and has finally played his way into a big role on the Golden Knights. Or so we think.

The former 2009 second-round pick by the Blackhawks has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 10 games this season, but still finds himself bouncing up and down the NHL and AHL.

Here's what Pirri said before the game on whether it's been frustrating that he's putting up strong offensive numbers, yet still seems to be fighting for a permanent spot on the roster.

"No, I can't control that," said Pirri, who has held off the scoresheet against Chicago for only the second time this season. "If I start worrying about that then I'm doing myself a disservice. I get to play hockey regardless if I'm in the American League or in the NHL for a living. It's a good opportunity for me and it's a lot of fun. It's a different role here and there but at the same time it's a good opportunity."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Hawks Talk Podcast: What will it take for Blackhawks to make playoffs?

blackhawks_usa_today.jpg
USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: What will it take for Blackhawks to make playoffs?

What will it take for the Chicago Blackhawks to earn a playoff spot with 10 games remaining? Pat Boyle, Steve Konroyd and Charlie Roumeliotis discuss where the Blackhawks stand after a rough 3-2 loss in overtime to the Vancouver Canucks.

With Corey Crawford at the top of his game again, should the Blackhawks try to ride him into the playoffs? How have Jeremy Colliton’s line changes impacted Patrick Kane’s game? Plus, breakouts from Eric Gustafsson and Brendan Perlini have been huge for the Blackhawks during their recent streak of six straight games with a point. 

0:45 - Missed opportunity for Blackhawks against Canucks

2:45 – Hawks changing up lines has slowed down Patrick Kane

5:45 – Should the Blackhawks ride Corey Crawford while he’s hot?

8:00 – Hawks will need 13-15 points in final 10 games to get playoff spot

10:30 – Brendan Perlini has finally figured it out for Hawks

12:35 – Eric Gustafsson’s breakout year has been vital to Hawks success

15:35 – Dylan Sikura still hasn’t scored, but he’s been all over the ice

18:50 – Prediction time…will the Hawks make the playoffs?

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Four takeaways: Blackhawks manufacture point against Canucks despite inconsistent effort

blackhawks_canucks_usa_today.jpg
USA TODAY

Four takeaways: Blackhawks manufacture point against Canucks despite inconsistent effort

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center on Monday:

1. Manufacturing a point

The Blackhawks had a good opportunity on the table. After Arizona lost, they could've pulled within three points of a wildcard spot with a game in hand if they pulled out a victory.

Instead, they settled for the one point, which was obviously important because it moved them within two games. But they weren't satisfied with their effort, especially against a Canucks team that was on the second of a back-to-back and started their 23-year-old rookie goaltender who had only five career NHL starts going into the game.

"We had a chance to jump on ‘em, try to wear them down early and take control of the game and just let them hang around," said Jonathan Toews, who's now three goals away from tying his career high of 34 set during the 2008-09 season. "We didn’t have the speed and pace we needed early on. Obviously it’s nice to get that point. But tough finish."

2. The pros and cons

There's good news and bad news regarding the effort the Blackhawks turned in.

The good news? The defense was solid, allowing only nine total high danger chances, according to naturalstattrick.com, after giving up 24 to Montreal and 18 to Toronto.

The bad news? The offense generated just six of their own and were held to two goals, which is below their season average of 3.35 per game. There weren't many high quality opportunities. But the Canucks took advantage of theirs and the Blackhawks didn't until late.

"We didn’t come out hard enough," Erik Gustafsson said. "We know they’re playing back to back and we talked about it before. We needed to come out much harder today. Just a bad 60 minutes. At least we got one point. But we need two now. It’s not fun."

3. Playing down to opponents?

The Blackhawks are fighting for their playoff lives. Every point matters, no matter who the opponent is. But lately they haven't been bringing their A-game against teams below them in the standings. They lost to Los Angeles, barely escaped Anaheim and were fortunate to pick up a point against the Canucks.

Is that a trend or just a blip?

"There's been nights where we've played down, for sure," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "I don't know if that's a consistent thing, but obviously there's been some instances where we would've liked to play better against teams we're ahead of in the standings. But we also had a pretty good run there in January where we were beating teams that we needed to beat and that's why we're here. We didn't have it tonight, but we did manufacture a point and gotta just use the two days to reload here and get back at it."

4. Patrick Kane hits century mark

For the second time in his NHL career, Kane has hit the 100-point mark. It was only a matter of when, not if. And after going pointless in Montreal, he didn't have to wait too much longer to do it. 

With a primary assist on Toews' power-play goal in the first period, Kane became the third player in franchise history to record multiple 100-point seasons, joining Jeremy Roenick (three times) and Denis Savard (five). He also became the fifth American-born player to accomplish that feat.

Kane joins Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov and Edmonton's Connor McDavid as the first three players to reach 100 points this season. Kane's career high is 106, set during the 2015-16 campaign when he won the Art Ross and Hart Trophy. And with 10 games remaining, there's a good chance he breaks that, too.