Blackhawks

Jeff Carter, Kings nip Blackhawks in overtime

Jeff Carter, Kings nip Blackhawks in overtime

LOS ANGELES – The Blackhawks looked at Saturday’s Circus Trip finale for what it was: their sixth game in nine nights, second game in as many days and second straight game without their captain.

All things considered, they’ll take the point.

Patrick Kane scored his eighth goal of the season but Jeff Carter had the winner in overtime as the Los Angeles Kings slipped past the Blackhawks 2-1 on Saturday. The Blackhawks wrapped up their Circus Trip with a 3-3-1 record. Scott Darling did his best to give the Blackhawks a chance, stopping 27 of 29 shots.

For the Blackhawks, who had some ups and downs on this trip, finishing at .500 wasn’t so bad. With Jonathan Toews missing his second straight game with an upper-body injury sustained against San jose, the Blackhawks will take three out of four points on Friday and Saturday.

“We played six in nine nights. It was a busy schedule,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “You’re missing your key guy in playing him in all situations in Tazer. I thought the guys hung in there and did what they needed to do.”

They didn’t do a lot early, though, as the Kings outshot the Blackhawks 13-4 through 20 minutes. The Kings appeared to make a statement early in this one when Tyler Toffoli’s backhand slipped past Darling. But coach Joel Quenneville challenged for goaltender interference and won – officials ruled that Tanner Pearson pushed Niklas Hjalmarsson into the net, “caused Hjalmarsson to contact Darling, preventing him from playing his position in the crease.”

“I didn’t know exactly what happened,” Darling said. “All I know was somebody interfered with me making the save so I had to wait and watch the replay. Once I saw the replay I made the signal to the coaches to challenge it. That’s what they did. We were fortunate we got it overturned.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]Los Angeles kept the pressure and the shots but they wouldn’t lead after one. Kane gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 edge after redirecting Duncan Keith’s shot. It was the Blackhawks’ first shot on goal in the game. The Kings had 11 by that point.

But the Kings got revenge 57 seconds into the second when Alec Martinez scored from the right circle for a 1-1 tie. The Blackhawks couldn’t muster much in the third period. They killed off a Brent Seabrook delay of game 59 seconds into overtime but Carter scored the winner moments later.

The Blackhawks are finally heading home. The trip didn’t start well and it ended pretty well. It’s been one hell of a trek, the latter part of which their captain wasn’t there to complete with them. All things considered, the Blackhawks will take the decent ending over a bad one.

“They’re a good team. I know they’re not known for getting a high shot total but they were throwing everything at the net the first two periods. We really shut it down in the third,” Darling said. “We battled, played well. It’s the end of a long road trip. To battle to a 1-1 tie on the road, seventh game, anyone can win in overtime. You obviously want two points but at least we got one.”

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Robin Lehner calls out team defense plus Mike Gapski on his 2500 games with the Blackhawks

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Robin Lehner calls out team defense plus Mike Gapski on his 2500 games with the Blackhawks

Another night and another awful showing by the Blackhawks team defense, and this time, Robin Lehner let the team hear about it. Pat Boyle, Adam Burish and Scott King discuss the Blackhawks' ugly loss to the Coyotes and whether there should be some more line mixing happening soon. Plus, head athletic trainer Mike Gapski took part in his 2500th game with the Blackhawks and he sat down with Pat Foley 1-on-1 to re-live his 33 years with the organization.

1:13 - The odd-man rushes are piling up against this defense

5:54 - Is the power play getting going kinda maybe a little bit?

7:43 - Should Jeremy Colliton mix up the lines once again?

9:20 - The Kirby Dach playing-time dilemma

13:45 - Celebrating Mike Gapski's 2500 games with the Blackhawks

17:00 - Pat Foley's 1-on-1 interview with Mike Gapski

Listen here or via the embedded player below:

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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4 Takeaways: Blackhawks lose 5-2 to Coyotes

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USA Today

4 Takeaways: Blackhawks lose 5-2 to Coyotes

The Blackhawks fell 5-2 to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, giving them their third straight loss. Here are four takeaways:

Ex-Hawks Haunting

Former Blackhawks forward and Bartlett, Illinois native Vinnie Hinostroza helped dig the Hawks a three-goal hole to climb out of in the first period. Hinostroza picked up secondary assists on goals from Michael Grabner (2:56), Clayton Keller (5:03) and Brad Richardson (15:04) in the opening frame. 

Another former Hawk, Nick Schmaltz got past Patrick Kane and scored off a faceoff in Chicago's zone at 8:25 of the second period. 

D hurtin'

Calvin de Haan, one of the Hawks' more reliable defensemen this season, left the first period of Thursday's 5-1 loss against the Golden Knights in Vegas with a right shoulder injury. He could miss a decent amount of time as he had surgery on the same shoulder in the offseason, which sidelined him for several months. 

Chicago has given up 10 goals since de Haan left the lineup. His injury came with two-time Norris trophy-winning defenseman Duncan Keith (groin) not on the current three-game road trip which wraps up in St. Louis on Saturday. 

A positive for the Hawks' defense tonight was Dennis Gilbert getting his first NHL point by assisting on Jonathan Toews' second period goal, which came off a Dominik Kubalik rebound. 

Olli Maatta was back in the lineup on Thursday after missing the last four games with flu-like symptoms. Maatta had a +/- rating of 0 and recorded three shots. 

Top players on scoresheet

Another positive was The Captain, Kubalik, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat all finding the scoresheet. Strome scored at 12:58 of the third period on a power play, giving the Hawks their fifth straight game with a power-play goal. Kubalik got an assist on Toews' goal and DeBrincat has three goals and an assist in his past four games.

If the defense can find a way to tighten up a bit, the Blackhawks will be able to ride two very capable goalies and their top two lines, which are gaining some confidence. 

2,500 for 'Gapper

Blackhawks head athletic trainer Mike Gapski worked his 2,500th game with the Blackhawks Thursday. Gapski is the longest tenured trainer in the NHL. 

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

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.