Lightning's third-period onslaught too much for Blackhawks

Lightning's third-period onslaught too much for Blackhawks

The Blackhawks were hardly in a safe position entering the third period on Tuesday night, but they were definitely in a familiar one, taking a lead into the final 20 minutes. Even with some hiccups in recent third periods, they still found a way to keep their winning intact.

On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning had other ideas.

Tyler Johnson scored twice in 30 seconds, part of a four-goal third period for the Lighting as they stormed back to beat the Blackhawks 5-2 on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks remain in second place in the Western Conference, two points behind the Minnesota Wild, who still have three games in hand.

The Blackhawks' three-game winning streak is snapped. The bigger, more impressive number of 78-0-5, the Blackhawks' regular-season record when leading after two periods (dating back to the start of the 2014-15 season), is also done.

In all honesty, that record was going to end at some point. How it ended wasn't so pretty. The Blackhawks, taking a 2-1 lead into the third period, trailed 4-2 just 6:44 into it. Nikita Nesterov, Johnson (twice) and Nikita Kucherov (empty-net goal) inflicted the third-period damage.

"They got a big shot right off the faceoff. Didn't look dangerous, and then they scored two quick goals and now we're behind it against a dangerous team," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We did some good things around the net. We had a lot of scoring chances. We didn't have the finish."

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Jonathan Toews did early. The Blackhawks captain had another strong outing, recording a goal and an assist. He was active all night and creating scoring opportunities, especially in the first 40 minutes. But the Lightning were active and aggressive all night and, as Quenneville said, had the finish to go with their chances. Tied 2-2, the Blackhawks were fine. Once Johnson scored his two in 30 seconds — Quenneville wasn't happy with the third goal (Johnson's first) the Blackhawks allowed — the Blackhawks looked stunned.

"It doesn't happy very often," Trevor van Riemsdyk said. "I don't think we were too shell-shocked or whatever you want to say. It takes a little more than that to really do that to us, but obviously we didn't respond the way we wanted to and they got another one there and that was tough. You want to respond a little better right after that first one. The next shift, just put the puck in their end and keep it going that way rather than our end."

On Sunday the Blackhawks squandered a two-goal lead they built entering the third period. They came back to win and extend that impressive when-leading-after-two-periods streak. On Tuesday, they had no answers. Quenneville wasn't in too angry of a mood after this one but considering how good the Blackhawks have always been in third periods, they wanted to be much better in this one.

"We can't be letting games like that slip away," Toews said. "I think the talk for a long time has been starting games a little bit better. I think we've been seeing that. Obviously if we're in the right spot, we're in the driver's seat going into the third periods with a lead. Whether it's one goal or more than that, we've got to find ways to play better. I think a team like that, especially with their speed, they're going to come hard and the finish wasn't there tonight."

3 Takeaways: Blackhawks have hole to climb out of after road trip


3 Takeaways: Blackhawks have hole to climb out of after road trip

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, but the Blackhawks lost 3-2 to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday to close out their five-game road trip. Here are three takeaways:

Bad trip

After losing in Winnipeg, the Blackhawks finished their five-game road trip with a 1-4-0 record. They began the trip last Sunday in Winnipeg with a 5-2 loss. 

Sunday's game against the Jets had flashes of good, but it was mostly strong plays from the go-to guys like Kane and Jonathan Toews. All three Jets' goals came from deflections off shots from the point. Overall, the effort and productivity paled in comparison to the lone victory of the trip, Saturday's 8-4 win over the Flames in Calgary on Saturday. 

The Blackhawks, six points out of the second wild card spot, will return home and face the New York Rangers at the United Center on Wednesday. They have 23 regular season games remaining. 

Kane keeps climbing 

With a two-point outing in Winnipeg, Kane tied former Blackhawk Steve Larmer for 87th on the NHL all-time points list with 1,012. 

"Showtime" set up Ryan Carpenter for the first goal of the game at 15:44 of the first period by backhanding a pass towards the front of the net for the crashing Carpenter to bury.

Kane scored with less than a minute remaining in the second period to tie it 2-2 off a three-way passing play with Jonathan Toews and Dominik Kubalik. Kane has 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) in his past 18 games. 

With the primary assist on Kane's goal, Toews earned his sixth point (two goals, four assists) of the road trip. 


Sunday's Blackhawks-Jets game was the only NHL contest this season to have zero penalties. This was good news for Toews, who had five minor penalties over the prior four games. 

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All-female crew to broadcast and produce Blackhawks-Blues coverage on March 8


All-female crew to broadcast and produce Blackhawks-Blues coverage on March 8

On Sunday, NBC Sports announced an all-female crew will broadcast and produce coverage for March 8's Blackhawks vs. Blues contest at the United Center.

The broadcast will coincide with International Women’s Day and mark the first NHL game broadcast and produced solely by women in the U.S.

Kate Scott will handle play-by-play duties, U.S. Olympic gold medalist Kendall Coyne-Schofield will serve as the "inside the glass" analyst and AJ Mleczko - also a gold medalist with the U.S. - will work as an analyst from the game in Chicago. 

Back in the studio, Kathryn Tappen will anchor with three-time Canadian Olympic gold medalist Jen Botterill on hand. Producer Rene Hatlelid and director Lisa Seltzer will lead game production.

From NBC Sports' release:

"The first-of-its-kind broadcast will be in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, which dates back over 100 years. Throughout the broadcast there will be nods to those who have made their mark on women’s hockey, and sports in general, with the hopes to inspire future generations of women to excel on the ice and behind the scenes."

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