The Blackhawks lost 4-3 to the Florida Panthers, but welcomed former head coach Joel Quenneville back to Chicago and honored Patrick Kane for capturing his 1,000th NHL point. Here are three takeaways:
Welcome back, "Q"
Quenneville returned to the United Center for the first time since being fired on Nov. 6, 2018. "Coach Q", now the head coach of the Panthers (third place in the Atlantic Division), received a thunderous ovation during a video tribute from the Hawks organization in the first period.
"I think that ovation was incredible," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "I think all of us that played for him were all smiles. His ovation might have been bigger than Kaner's, I don't know. Close call. But obviously, the fans showing him lots of respect and love... pretty cool to see."
"Q" guided the Blackhawks through three Stanley Cup championships (2010, 2013, 2015) and helped end a 49-year cup drought in Chicago in 2010. Quenneville returned to face the red-hot Hawks, who had won five-straight games, with his red-hot Panthers, who had also won five straight prior to Tuesday.
"You got to give them a little credit," Quenneville said of Jeremy Colliton's Blackhawks before the game. "They're playing fast, they've got some speed in their lineup. They're quick in all lines. They can score, they're dangerous.
"I think we've got to be respectful for what their rush game can bring and I think that it was kind of reminiscent when I talk about our team a lot. I say we can always score goals.
"It's 'try to keep it out of our net' is a priority and we've been scoring a lot of goals and we want to make sure we can get better without the puck, and I think that's been a work in progress for us but it's [a] comparable time in our team's development right now. But we're seeing progress and I think tonight that's going to be a good test of how well we defend."
The Blackhawks held a ceremony before the game to honor Kane for recording his 1,000th NHL point off an assist in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. The ceremony included a video of the superstar winger as a small child saying: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the greatest show on earth.”
Kane is the 90th player in NHL history to reach the milestone and the youngest US-born player (31 years, 61 days) to record 1,000 points in the show.
On Tuesday, Kane scored with 1:15 remaining in regulation to bring the Blackhawks within one of the Panthers, extending his point streak to 11 games (five goals, 11 assists), but it wouldn't be enough.
The Hawks' five-game winning streak ended and they remain three points out of a wild card spot. Their next game won't be until Feb. 1 in Arizona with the All-Star break and bye week.
A horrid second period is what did the Hawks in on Tuesday. Chicago gave up four second-period goals, including a hat trick from Frank Vatrano.
The Blackhawks did see contributions from Kirby Dach, who scored off a backhand over Sergei Bobrovsky's shoulder. Dach, who turned 19 on Tuesday, ended a 13-game goal drought, making it 3-1 in the second period. Drake Caggiula scored off a redirect on a third-period power play to make it 4-2. Caggiula has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games after returning from a concussion on Jan. 9.
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