The Blackhawks have played well as of late but against the Nashville Predators, you better be close to perfect. They weren’t, so they left sans two points. Still, it wasn’t a bad outing.
Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 3-2 loss on Tuesday night:
1. Second-period swing.
The first period wasn’t a bad one for the Blackhawks. But Duncan Keith took an unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of it, and while the Predators didn’t score on the power play that opened the second period they swung momentum their way. The Predators outplayed the Blackhawks and took a 2-1 lead.
2. Tough night for Panik.
Much like some of his teammates, Richard Panik has dealt with a scoring slump. While other teammates have broken out of their doldrums, Panik is still struggling. He looked to be fighting the puck that much more on Tuesday.
3. Solid outing for Anton Forsberg.
You can debate who should’ve started which back-to-back game. Coach Joel Quenneville opted for Corey Crawford against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday before starting Forsberg against the Predators.
Despite the Blackhawks loss, it’s hard to hang this on Forsberg. He had a good performance, stopping 28 of 31. Said Quenneville, “tough one at the end, hitting off us (Roman Josi’s goal going off Brent Seabrook’s stick), and it was a big goal. But he made some key saves all alone on broken plays, made some key saves to give us a chance to stay in the game.”
4. Pekka Rinne vs. Patrick Kane.
The Predators goaltender got the edge in this matchup. Kane had some outstanding chances against Rinne, especially early when Rinne stopped Kane on successive opportunities. Rinne would stop 37 of 39 in the victory.
5. Fourth line chances.
Lance Bouma brought the Blackhawks within one goal midway through the third period. Tommy Wingels, who had the team’s opening goal, had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds. The trio of Bouma, Wingels and John Hayden has been solid and has brought a little offense, and was rewarded with late play. Said Bouma, “we were feeling it tonight. A couple of great chances. It was nice to get out there to try and get more.”