Five Things from Blackhawks in Game 3 loss: Missed chances


Five Things from Blackhawks in Game 3 loss: Missed chances

Well, the Blackhawks have a fight on their hands now, don’t they?

The Blackhawks liked a lot of what they did on Monday night. But it was the little mistakes and the inability to hold a lead for very long that proved costly. And now the Blackhawks are looking at a deficit, as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat them 3-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

[MORE: Ben Bishop holds off Blackhawks as Lightning take a 2-1 series lead]

Will they rebound in Game 4? We’ll find that out in less than 48 hours. For now, let’s look at the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ loss to Tampa Bay.

1. Giving up the lead too quickly. Ten times this postseason, the Blackhawks have given up a goal within two minutes of their scoring one. It happened again on Monday, with Ondrej Palat scoring just 13 seconds after Brandon Saad had given the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead. It’s unacceptable, it’s costly and it’s unlike the Blackhawks in postseasons past. Said Corey Crawford, “After you grab momentum after a goal, you want to build on that. Giving up a goal after that is not what we want.”

2. Ben Bishop comes through. It didn’t look like Bishop would make it past the first period. But he withstood what the Blackhawks threw at him that period, giving up just one goal on the 19 shots they had. Bishop stopped 36 of 38 shots. Coach Jon Cooper wasn’t surprised. “We're not going to put anybody in a game that is going to be in harm's way of hurting himself. We talked long and hard if he could play tonight. There wasn't a doubt in his eyes.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans]

3. Is Johnny Oduya OK? Oduya left the game in the second period, not long after Victor Hedman tripped him up. He returned in the third period but didn’t play a lot. Coach Joel Quenneville said he’ll see how Oduya feels on Tuesday. If the Blackhawks lose him, they’ll be in big trouble.

4. Missed chances in the first. Oh, the Blackhawks had some glorious opportunities and they definitely had the Lightning and Bishop on the robes. Marian Hossa looked skyward after missing a gaping net – he was tripped up on the play. Teuvo Teravainen missed just wide on another open net. “That was too bad, because we created so much pressure, so many shots,” Hossa said of the first. “I think we missed two empty-netters, so definitely that hurts a little bit.”

5. Road warriors. Give credit to the Lightning: they’ve found ways to win away from home this postseason. The Lightning are now 8-3 on the road, their last loss coming in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final (at the New York Rangers). The Lightning are taking advantage of chances and getting great goaltending from Bishop. The Blackhawks will need to figure out how to stop Tampa Bay’s road prowess on Wednesday.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut


Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.

Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.

The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on Thursday:

1. Return of the Crow

The Blackhawks got their man back between the pipes after a 10-month layoff due to a concussion. And he looked like same old "Crow."

Crawford stopped 27 of 30 shots for a save percentage of .900. He faced 12 shots and eight scoring chances in the first period, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The biggest save he made was on a Michael Grabner breakaway in the third period, bailing out a turnover in the neutral zone.

"I think I felt better in the second and third," Crawford said. "But they really didn’t get that many opportunities early. It was nice. I think they flipped one in for the first one, so that was kind of good just to get in it and feel one early. We were close in that one all game and we created a lot. I thought [Antti] Raanta played really well.

"It was a tough, tough break at the end. Still felt I should have stopped that one. We were right there, we were creating a lot and gotta try to come up with that one. Just gotta forget about it and worry about the next game."

2. Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews extend point streaks

The hot start continues for the Blackhawks' two leading scorers, both of whom assisted on Erik Gustafsson's goal in the second period to stretch their point streaks to six games. DeBrincat and Toews each have 10 points this season.

3. Overtime streak ends

The Blackhawks made history by forcing five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team has ever done in the four major sports (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). But they didn't have the comeback magic in them this time.

Entering Thursday, the Blackhawks were 1-0-1 when trailing after two periods. They were 5-28-2 last season for a win percentage of .143.

4. Familiar faces, new places

Five former Blackhawks took the ice for the Coyotes: Vinnie Hinostroza, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jordan Oesterle, Richard Panik and Antti Raanta.

It was Hjalmarsson's first trip back to Chicago since being traded in the 2017 offseason. He received a nice video tribute during the second TV timeout of the first period, which made him very emotional.

"I almost got emotional too seeing his reaction," Toews said. "He's one of those guys you'll never forget what he meant to this locker room. He was a quiet guy in the room but we all know how he played and put everyone else before himself. Pretty cool reaction from the fans too. I think we were all sad to see him leave this locker room, he did a lot of special things and was a massive part of our championship wins. Happy for him to get that reception. It's well-deserved and obviously we miss having him around."

As far as the game, Hjalmarsson logged a team-high 22:18 of ice time and blocked three shots. Oesterle registered a secondary assist on Arizona's first goal, which was its first 5-on-5 of the season.

Hinostroza, who was also part of the Marian Hossa trade over the summer, scored twice in his return to his hometown, beating Crawford with a wrist shot to make it 2-1 in the second period and an empty-netter in the third; his second goal turned out to be the game winner, the fourth of his career and first as a member of the Coyotes.

Panik recorded four shot attempts (three on goal). And Raanta improved to 16-0-3 in his career at the United Center, a remarkable record for any goaltender in any situation.