OK, usually we try to come with some creative lead paragraph here. But much like the Blackhawks’ power play in Game 3, we’re not getting the desired result.
So let’s just cut the chitchat and go right into Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
1. That power play, or lack thereof… Hey, we were giving it full credit for its Game 2 start. The Ducks were reckless in the opening minutes of Tuesday’s game and the Blackhawks made them pay for it with two goals on their first two power plays. Taking a glance at the score sheet tonight and, if it’s accurate, the Blackhawks had just one shot on goal on five power plays. That’s unacceptable from any team, let alone one this talented.
2. The switcheroo didn’t work. Bringing Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom in and taking Antoine Vermette and Teuvo Teravainen out wasn’t why the Blackhawks lost the game, but it didn’t help. It was a puzzling and ineffective change.
3. Ducks making the sacrifices. Anaheim is still bringing the hits – they were credited with 45 in Game 3. But the bigger contribution on Thursday night was their 27 blocked shots. The Blackhawks were going into that perimeter game again and the Ducks were making sure a lot didn’t get through.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
4. Lethargic? The Blackhawks said they weren’t feeling the effects of that triple-overtime game but they definitely didn’t have as much zip as we’re used to seeing. Granted, the Ducks weren’t exactly the swiftest team out there, either. Still, we’re guessing there will be more energy in Game 4.
5. Still no third-period goals for the Blackhawks in this series. That’s stunning, isn’t it, considering how big the Blackhawks were in third periods during the regular season? But that is indeed where they are right now. The Ducks have a way of shutting teams down in that final 20minutes, however; they’ve outscored opponents 18-3 in third periods this postseason.