It’s hard to get motivated for something when there’s really nothing at stake. The Blackhawks experienced that on Sunday, a game that meant nothing to them in the standings but meant plenty to the Boston Bruins, who won 3-2.
We’ll see who plays and who sits over the final three regular-season games. Don’t expect the race for the Presidents’ Trophy to impact the Blackhawks’ decisions. Now before we hit the road, the notables in this one.
What Worked: Boston’s early game. The Bruins started Sunday in a wildcard spot and came out like a team wanting to improve on that position. Getting a 2-0 lead in the first – their second goal came with just 1:03 remaining in the period – went a long way to getting them there. Their goaltender did the rest.
What Didn’t Work: The power play. The Blackhawks’ first one only lasted 17 seconds, so you can’t really assess that one. But the next two generated little for the Blackhawks, who looked better at 5-on-5 than they did 5-on-4 on Sunday.
Star of the game: Anton Khudobin. He faced 43 shots in this one, the quality of them increasing as the game continued. With the Bruins trying to hold onto a postseason spot they needed everyone on board. Khudobin more than did his job, stopping 41 of those 43.
He Said It: “I think we want to play our hockey. We want to play good hockey. We want to play our game, [be] [laying our best hockey going into the playoffs. The fun hockey. The real hockey’s going to start here in a week, 10 days and we want to be rolling and playing our best hockey and that’s what these games are for.” Brent Seabrook on the Blackhawks’ final three regular-season games.
By the Numbers:
10th – Where Artemi Panarin currently sits among NHL forwards in points (72), thanks to his goal on Sunday (Evgeni Malkin is currently listed at No. 9 with the same amount of points). If Panarin finishes the season in the Top 10 among forwards, he will collect bonuses for the second consecutive season.
36 – Assists for Brent Seabrook this season. He’s three shy of his career high of 39 set in 2010-11.
5 – Shots on goal for Brent Seabrook, one of four Blackhawks players to have that many on Sunday. It’s the fourth time this season Seabrook’s had five or more shots on goal in a game.
18 – Faceoffs won, out of the 30 he took, by Jonathan Toews. He was the only Blackhawks player to finish above 50 percent in that category.