Well, things just got a whole heck of a lot more interesting for the Blackhawks. It's not that they lost on Thursday it's how they lost. Frustrated, at this point, seems like an understated description. The Blackhawks were losing their cool at the end of Game 2, emotions boiling over after an ugly 5-0 loss to the Nashville Predators.
So where do the Blackhawks go from here (other than Nashville, of course)? The D-word (desperation) was uttered following this one, and understandably so. The Blackhawks are in a terrible position against a team that's got all the momentum. Still, we'll see what Game 3 brings on Monday. Until then, let's look at the Quick Hits from Game 2.
What worked: The Predators' attack. The Predators got up 1-0 in the first period, much like they did on Thursday, but they kept looking for more. There was no sitting back for the visiting team on Saturday. The Predators were already up 1-0 in the series but they played with more urgency from start to finish.
What didn't work: Anything the Blackhawks tried. Change up lines. Change up defensive pairs. Didn't matter, the Predators just stifled them and thwarted them at every opportunity. The frustration was clear with the Blackhawks, who struggled to get in sync throughout the evening. Ryan Hartman's unnecessary shot to Craig Smith's head was another (unnecessary) show of how the Blackhawks are not even close to responding in the right ways.
Star of the game: Pekka Rinne. Yeah, we're giving it to him again because he earned it again. The Blackhawks' best push came in the third period but he was still up to task, stopping all 30 shots he saw for his second shutout in as many games. He also added two secondary assists (on Harry Zolnierczyk and Ryan Johansen's goals) Rinne has been the question mark in previous series. He's made statements in the first two of this one.
He Said It: "It wasn't fun to watch, standing from behind the bench. As a teammate, as a player, as a coach, it was one of those games that, hey, it's as bad as you can be. We're looking for a response because we've put ourselves in this tough hole, and we need a collective group here to come together and show them that we have to be way better and bring our best. Because we haven't seen anywhere near our best." Coach Joel Quenneville on the Blackhawks' Game 2
By the Numbers:
11 – Postseason games without a goal for Jonathan Toews, dating back to Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lighting on June 10, 2015.
1 – Goal in his last nine playoff games for Patrick Kane. His last came in Game 5 against the St. Louis Blues last April 21.
12 – Combined shots for Kane (three), Hossa (four) and Toews (five) in Saturday's game.
59 – Stops for Pekka Rinne in Games 1 and 2. He's the first goaltender to record back-to-back shutouts to open a postseason series since Michael Leighton (vs. Montreal Canadiens, May 16 and 18, 2010).
156:40 – The Blackhawks' current postseason scoreless streak. Their last playoff goal came from Andrew Shaw at 3:20 of the second period in Game 7 against the St. Louis Blues last April.