Blackhawks

Not this time: Blackhawks come up short in comeback vs. Canucks

Not this time: Blackhawks come up short in comeback vs. Canucks

Stop us if you've heard this before: Blackhawks play mediocre for about 40-plus minutes, pull their heads out of the sand the final 10 to 15 minutes, erase a multi-goal lead and come back to win.

Well, in this one it was an overtime loss, but they'll take the point with how it started.

Ryan Hartman scored twice, his second tying the game with 1:03 remaining in regulation, but Daniel Sedin scored the winner and the Vancouver Canucks took a 5-4 overtime victory over the Blackhawks on Tuesday night. With the Minnesota Wild beating the San Jose Sharks, the Blackhawks' lead in the Western Conference and Central Division is now six points.

Scott Darling, in after Corey Crawford was pulled early in the third, was frustrated at the end. He felt Henrik Sedin, in front on Daniel's shot, interfered with him. The league reviewed and ruled "no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line," allowing the goal.

"I know I got bumped," Darling said. "I'm not talking about when he hit my head, I'm talking about when I tried to move my blocker over. It slowed me down, the puck is in the net. He's six inches inside the crease. I know the rules. It was a bad call."

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Overall, however, coach Joel Quenneville didn't consider this the same game as Sunday's vs. Colorado. He liked what the Blackhawks did overall, adding, "we didn’t give up much."

"Usually that's how I measure our team," he continued. "We had the puck a lot, and they cashed in on their opportunities, which were few. Then we're chasing the game. But I thought we made a good attempt on a really good third period. When you look at what we gave up, you'll win more than 90 percent of your games."

The Canucks took a 4-1 lead early in the third when Brandon Sutter scored his second goal of the game. Crawford was out after giving up four goals on 10 shots.

"They didn't give Corey any help," Darling said. "They didn't have too many shots, but all those goals were A-plus chances."

Regardless, the Blackhawks started responding with goals. Marian Hossa added his 23rd of the season, the Blackhawks' second power-play goal of the night, early in the third, and Richard Panik added his 20th of the season about three minutes later. Then Hartman came with the equalizer.

"We didn't bury some of our chances when we could've and they did. We fell behind but once again, no quit in our team," Hartman said. "It's tough we didn't get the extra point, but we got it to OT so we have to look at that in a good way."

Quenneville didn't mind this deficit as much as he did the Sunday deficit. Still, it was the second time the Blackhawks had to climb back in a game, and they'd rather avoid that going forward.

"It's not easy," Hossa said. "It's nice we can come back against some teams. At least we get a point. But we shouldn't let teams get too many goals ahead of us."

A recap of Kirby Dach’s AHL debut and Blackhawks explanation for conditioning stint

A recap of Kirby Dach’s AHL debut and Blackhawks explanation for conditioning stint

Kirby Dach made his pro debut on Saturday, but it wasn't with the Blackhawks.

The No. 3 overall pick from this past June was activated from his injured/non-roster designation and assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League for conditioning purposes and jumped right into the lineup. He didn't appear in any NHL preseason games because he was under the league's concussion protocol during training camp.

In his season debut, Dach recorded two shots on goal and had a minus-1 rating in a 4-2 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins. He centered the fourth line with Brandon Hagel and Nick Moutrey.

Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton discussed the decision to send Dach to Rockford after Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Jets, and it sounds like the organization remains committed to giving him a look at the NHL level whenever his conditioning stint is over.

"He hasn't played in a long time," Colliton said. "Missed training camp, missed the exhibition season. We think he can help us so we're trying to set him up, give him the best opportunity so when he does get the chance here he'll be as ready as he can be. It's a good league down there and a chance for him to get his feet wet against men. And I think he's been getting better and better in his practice time here with us. So I'm excited. Hopefully, he can gain confidence down there and then be ready to help us."

Because he's not eligible to play in the AHL full-time this season due to Canadian Hockey League rules, Dach's conditioning stint in Rockford can last up to 14 days, according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, before the Blackhawks are forced to either recall him or send him back to the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League.

Rockford has four more games over that span, with its next one on Monday against the Laval Rocket at BMO Harris Bank Center.

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Four takeaways: Blackhawks squander two-goal lead in overtime loss to Jets

Four takeaways: Blackhawks squander two-goal lead in overtime loss to Jets

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 3-2 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center on Saturday:

1. Squandering a two-goal lead

For the second straight home game, the Blackhawks jumped out in front and even built an early cushion by scoring the first two goals in the opening frame. But they allowed the Jets to score three unanswered, including the overtime winner by Mark Scheifele, to remain winless on the season (0-2-1).

"We did a good job in the first and they took it to us in the second," said Brandon Saad, who scored a shorthanded goal. "Lehnny made some big saves and the third was kind of even. But we definitely had chances to close it out and we didn’t. At least we got a point and we have to move on from it."

2. Another lackluster second period

If there's one thing you can point to that's been a trend in all three games so far, it's that the Blackhawks have been lackluster in the second period. And it's difficult to pinpoint why.

In the middle frame, the Blackhawks have 10 scoring chances for and 35 against at 5-on-5, two high-danger chances for and 10 against at 5-on-5 and a minus-19 shot differential, according to Natural Stat Trick. That's an area of the game they're trying to clean up and has been the downfall to their attempts of putting together a full 60-minute effort.

"Obviously it's been three in a row where we haven't been very good in the second period and to me that's where you show how good you are," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "The best teams, they dominate the second period, so it's a point of emphasis for us. We'd like to control the tempo of the game and control the territory, out-chance the other team. That's where you show how good you are, so we're not close to where we want to be in that area."

3. Robin Lehner's debut

After going two weeks without game action, the Blackhawks gave the nod to Lehner, who went into Saturday with a 4-0-0 record, 2.76 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in five career games against the Jets. He took the loss, but certainly did his part to deserve a win.

In regulation, Lehner stopped 30 of 32 shots for a save percentage of .938. The first goal was on the power play, the second came at 5-on-5 when Andrew Copp found himself all alone in front and the third was in overtime during 3-on-3 action. His 5-on-5 save percentage was .962, which will definitely work.

"I felt good," Lehner said. "I felt like I saw the puck well. I thought rebound control was good. Again, the first one is unfortunate, it squeaks through. But I was where I wanted to be in position and somehow it goes in. Gotta try to clean that up. And the third goal, it just dove on me. He missed his shot. It’s unfortunate. But I thought I made some good saves and felt comfortable. We got a point, which is something, but should’ve got a win today."

4. Penalty kill shows improvement

The Blackhawks gave up a power-play goal for the third consecutive contest, but this was close to being a perfect night for the penalty kill. They went 3-for-4 and gave up only four shots on goal in the 7:38 of shorthanded time.

On the first Jets power play of the night, Saad scored a shorthanded goal for his first of the season and the Blackhawks later generated two more scoring chances before the two minutes expired.

The power-play goal against should've been stopped by Lehner but he did everything right and had the shortside sealed, the puck just found a mini hole. The Blackhawks responded with a big kill and had one late in the third period also. No complaints.

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