Kane extends scoring streak in Blackhawks' loss to Wild


Kane extends scoring streak in Blackhawks' loss to Wild

The United Center was buzzing early on Tuesday night, with the Blackhawks playing there for the first time in about two weeks.

Problem was the Blackhawks weren’t buzzing at the start. And while they had their chances here or there, it was another game where they couldn’t muster enough.

Patrick Kane’s power-play goal extended his point streak to 20 games, but the Blackhawks didn’t have enough outside of that in a 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Corey Crawford stopped 34 of 36 shots and Duncan Keith added an assist, giving him a four-game point streak.

It was a frustrating return home for the Blackhawks, who had the last two days off – traveling back home on Sunday – but didn’t have enough energy at the start or enough finish at the end.

The Blackhawks and Wild were tied 1-1 to start the third period, with the Wild beginning the final frame much like they had the first – with great scoring chances off Blackhawks gaffes. They broke through when Ryan Suter scored off Mikael Granlund’s rebound with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation.

“The start was ordinary. But Crow kept us in there and we were fine,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Good pace in the second period, killing that six-minute [power-play] stretch at the end put us in a good spot in the third period. You get an offensive-zone faceoff that ends up in your net, those are tough ones.”

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Much like their last three games, the Blackhawks didn’t have their best puck possession or their usual amount of time in their opponent’s zone. They continue to struggle with line consistency – Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov and Kane once again had the best chances and were accumulating themost time in the offensive zone.

“We got more chances than we generally do against that team. At the same time you look back at the last three games, we’re back to where we were when we began that stretch on the road when we weren’t very productive,” Quenneville said. “That one line’s been great, consistent and effective. We don’t want to change how we have to play, we just need some finish.”

Not surprisingly, Kane had the finish again on Tuesday. His goal 5:21 into the second period tied the game and brought him to within one game of tying the franchise record for a point streak (set by Bobby Hull inDecember 1971-January 1972). The Blackhawks sometimes struggle in that first game back home after the Circus Trip but again, they had two days away from the ice coming into this one.

“Yeah, for whatever reason, you don’t really know why, coming off the time change or whatever it may be. I think everyone had that in the back of [his] head coming into tonight’s game,” Kane said. “But when you have two days to get ready to get back at it, there’s really no excuse not to have a better effort there.”

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The Blackhawks thought they were getting somewhere after their victory in San Jose. They even took momentum out of their come-from-behind victory in Anaheim, even though they were outplayed for most of that game. On Tuesday, however, they were back to generating little and giving up one too many.

“It’s different things throughout the game,” Keith said. “At the end of the day, I think they probably came ready to play a little better than we did, outworked us in certain areas. So we can look at all different things but we could’ve been better."

Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27


Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27

DALLAS — Despite taking Adam Boqvist with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks took a second defenseman at No. 27 with the selection of Nicolas Beaudin.

Beaudin is a 5-foot-11, 172-pound defenseman who's known to be a puck-mover. He's a left-handed shot, which is something the Blackhawks could use more of in the organization along their blue line.

The 18-year-old registered 69 points (12 goals, 57 assists) in 68 games with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, and added three goals and eight assists in 10 postseason contests.

Beaudin is the third defenseman the Blackhawks have taken in the first round the last two years, with Henri Jokiharju and Boqvist being the other two.

Blackhawks select Adam Boqvist with the No. 8 overall pick

Blackhawks select Adam Boqvist with the No. 8 overall pick

DALLAS — For the first time since drafting Patrick Kane first overall in 2007, the Blackhawks owned a top-10 pick in the NHL Draft. There was speculation that Stan Bowman might get aggressive and trade the No. 8 selection for immediate help if a deal made sense.

Instead, the draft couldn't have unfolded more favorably for the Blackhawks, who elected to keep the pick and drafted defenseman Adam Boqvist.

“You can never have enough D," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said on the NBCSN broadcast. "He moves the puck, he’s very active in the play, very dynamic in a lot of ways. He can help our power play down the road, I am looking forward to seeing how he does in the summer and going into camp."

"There’s opportunity here on the back end with our team, and it’s going to be competitive along the way, but certainly you got a guy that can move the puck and get involved offensively, those guys are hard to find.”

Boqvist is a 5-foot-11, 168-pound right-handed shot blue-liner who's drawn comparisons to Erik Karlsson, given his offensive ability.

"I know they have lots of Swedish defensemen," Boqvist said of the Blackhawks. "They played pretty well as a team and like to have the puck, you know, [Patrick] Kane. Yeah, I like it."

He compiled 24 points (14 goals, 10 assists) in 25 games for the Brynas J20 squad in the SuperElit league, and added three goals and two assists in three playoff games. But his production dropped off when he moved up to the Swedish Hockey League, where he registered only one assist in 15 games.

As we mentioned in our NHL Draft Profile this week, there are a few concerns about Boqvist.

He's only 17 years old and his defensive work needs improvement, meaning the Blackhawks must be patient with his development. He's also sustained a couple head injuries over the course of his young career, which adds some risk to the equation.

But there's clearly major upside if you're being compared to Karlsson.

"I think I need to improve my defensive play and need to be bigger and stronger," Boqvist said. "Of course, my offense can be better, too, so almost everything."

Boqvist joins Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell as the team's top three defensive prospects, all of whom have right-handed shots.