Late lead erased as Blackhawks fall to Blues in overtime


Late lead erased as Blackhawks fall to Blues in overtime

As the time ticked down the Blackhawks still had a shot at securing home ice, still had a chance to control a little bit of what happened down the regular-season stretch.

But two Vladimir Tarasenko goals later, the only thing the Blackhawks know is that they’ll start their postseason on the road.

Jonathan Toews scored his 28th goal of the season, but Tarasenko scored the tying goal late in regulation and the winner in overtime as the Blues came back to beat the Blackhawks, 2-1, on Thursday night. The loss means the Blackhawks will start on the road. Who they play is still unknown. The Dallas Stars and Blues are tied atop the Central; the Blackhawks will play whoever finishes in second place.

The Blackhawks clung to their 1-0 lead until late in regulation. A few seconds after Blues goaltender Brian Elliott vacated the net, Tarasenko scored his 38th to tie it at 1 with 1:16 remaining in regulation. It was Tarasenko again 3:37 into overtime.

“Yeah, it hurts. Hurts for sure,” said Patrick Kane, who assisted on Toews’ goal for his 103rd point of the season. “I thought we played a great game up to that point against a good team. You give one up with (1:16) left, and we’re in a position where you’ve got to score in (1:16) to basically put yourself in a good position to try and get home ice. Obviously it didn’t happen.”

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Coach Joel Quenneville was disappointed but not overly so. The Blackhawks had won their three previous games despite missing players. Considering this was one more game where they were missing Duncan Keith (suspension), Marian Hossa, Andrew Shaw, Artem Anisimov and Corey Crawford (all injured), Quenneville could live with it.

“I don’t mind the way we’re playing here,” he said. “We’re missing five guys right now in a game (in which) I thought we played pretty good. I thought we did some good things in a lot of ways, a lot of areas so, I didn’t mind it.”

The Blackhawks weren’t giving the Blues much prior to that final minute-plus. What they did give up, Scott Darling stopped. Darling, making his 11th consecutive start, stopped 24 of 25 in regulation and overtime.

“Yeah, it’s tough, definitely tough,” Darling said. “You want to close out a close game. They made a good play on the goal, and 3-on-3 is anybody’s game.”

The Blues, who are also dealing with some injuries, had their chances. Giving Tarasenko space can be lethal. The Blackhawks did, and it was. Elliott stopped 33 of 35 shots, making several big stops including one on Andrew Ladd’s penalty shot in the third period.

The Blackhawks entered this game potentially having some say in what happened in the first round. Now it’s out of their hands. They know they’re heading on the road, they just don’t know where yet. They played a pretty good game considering some of their top guys were out. Nevertheless, this one hurt.

“We were in a good situation,” Kane said. “I thought we played pretty well all night. I don’t think we gave up much. We had some chances going the other way that could have made the score a little bit different, but didn’t turn out that way, obviously. We’ve got to be better at finishing off those games.”

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks


Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

The Blackhawks announced Monday that they have officially agreed to terms with forward Dominik Kahun, defensemen Lucas Carlsson and Darren Raddysh and goaltender Kevin Lankinen on entry-level contracts.

Kahun ($925,000 cap hit), Lankinen ($925,000) and Raddysh ($730,000) each signed two-year deals that run through the 2019-20 season while Carlsson's is a three-year deal that runs through the 2020-21 campaign and carries a cap hit of $792,500.

So who are these guys? Let's meet them:


Drafted in the fourth round (No. 110 overall) by the Blackhawks in 2016, Carlsson set a career-high with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 44 games this season with Brynäs IF of the Swedish Hockey League. He was tied for fourth among all blue liners with seven goals.

Carlsson, 20, doesn't have major upside, but he's a reliable, well-rounded defenseman and that's what drew the attention of Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley.

“When he’s on the ice, he makes things happen," Kelley told Scott Powers of The Athletic last summer. "I think what impressed the Sweden under-20 coach was Lucas’ ability to challenge in all three zones. He’s an active defensively. Offensively, he challenges. He keeps plays alive.”


The 22-year-old forward spent the last four seasons with EHC München of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany's top professional hockey league, where he established career highs in assists (29), points (41) and tied a personal best with 12 goals, leading Munchen to their third straight championship in 2018 after recording four goals and 10 assists in 17 playoff contests.

He raised eyebrows at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, where he compiled five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games and won 55.4 percent of his faceoffs (41 of 74), helping Germany capture a silver medal.

“He has made an enormous step this year, has become much more stable and mature," German national team coach Marco Sturm said after the Olympics. "I am sure that he would grab it in the NHL,” Sturm told the Hamburger Morgenpost.

Most recently, Kahun had a goal and two assists in seven games for Germany during the IIHF Men's World Championship. He's 5-foot-11, 176 pounds whose known to be a solid two-way player and can play center but may need some time to adjust to the smaller ice surface and NHL style of speed and physicality.


Lankinen is 23 years old and coming off a season in which he was in the discussion for the Urpo Ylönen trophy, annually awarded to the top goaltender of the Finnish Elite League, after registering a league-best 1.33 goals against average and .946 save percentage in 15 games with HIFK.

He missed a large portion of the season because of an injury, but it didn't stop him from turning in a strong postseason, guiding his team to a bronze medal after posting a 1.99 GAA and .936 save percentage in 13 playoff games. The year before that, he led the league with seven shutouts in 42 games, backstopping his team to a silver medal.

This is a low-risk, medium-sized reward signing for the Blackhawks, who could use some more young goaltending depth in the pipeline, especially given how this season unfolded with the big club.


The Blackhawks signed Raddysh to a one-year AHL contract last June, and he turned it into an NHL one after a strong season with the Rockford IceHogs.

Raddysh, 22, accumulated 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 66 regular-season games with the IceHogs, and has appeared in each of the team's playoff games en route to the Western Conference Final.

Last season Raddysh was named the OHL's top defenseman after scoring 16 goals and 65 assists for 81 points in 62 games for the Erie Otters, where he was teammates with current Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat. He's the Otters' all-time leader in assists (143) and points (184) among defensemen.

Raddysh might be nothing more than a depth defenseman, but his development is worth monitoring because the offensive production is there and that's something the Blackhawks lacked this past season from their back end.

Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa: 'I will not play hockey anymore'


Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa: 'I will not play hockey anymore'

Days after putting his Gold Coast condo on the market, Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa revealed to a Slovakian newspaper that he is moving back to his hometown country and doesn't plan on returning to the NHL.

"I will not play hockey anymore," said Hossa, who missed the entire 2017-18 campaign due to a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat it. "I have a valid contract with Chicago for the next three years, but I have only one health and it does not allow me to return."

Because he has three years left on a deal that carries a $5.275 million cap hit, Hossa is not expected to sign his retirement papers until the contract is completed or else it would result in salary cap consequences.

The news is not surprising, but it officially allows the Blackhawks to move on without him in the fold roster-wise and toy around with some options this summer.

The first is stashing his contract on long-term injured reserve, as they did last season when they utilized the in-season preference.

The second, which Hossa wondered could happen, is finding a trade partner that would absorb the remainder of his contract, usually done by lower payroll teams aiming to reach the cap floor.

And it wouldn't be difficult trying to find a buyer, considering Hossa's actual salary is $1 million per year over the next three seasons. Hossa, of course, has a no movement clause but it's likely he would waive it given his status at this point.

The good news for Chicago is, the three-time Stanley Cup winner didn't rule out joining the Blackhawks organization in some capacity after his contract expires in 2020-21, whether it's in a front office role or as a team ambassador.

In 19 NHL seasons, Hossa accumulated 525 goals and 609 assists for 1,134 points in 1,309 regular-season games, and added 149 points (52 goals, 97 assists) in 205 postseason contests. He's one of 45 players in league history to net at least 500 goals in his career.