Just when you thought the Chicago Blackhawks were better than a .500 they remind you that they are probably not. The Blackhawks had seven power plays versus the Dallas Stars and scored just once, but also gave up a shorthanded goal. They got a point because they lost 4-3 in overtime, but they didn’t deserve it.
One would think in a period in which you had had four power plays that you would not be outshot 15-7 and trail 2-1 on the scoreboard, but that is exactly where the Blackhawks found themselves after 20 minutes.
Many thought Alex DeBrincat gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 on their second power play of the night, but his shot through traffic hit the crossbar and stayed out.
Mattias Janmark eventually opened up the scoring at the 14:46 of the first period as he went around the back of the Blackhawks net and beat both Jonathan Toews and Corey Crawford back to the near post with a wraparound shot.
DeBrincat and the Blackhawks responded just nine seconds later to tie the game. Off the ensuing faceoff, Ryan Hartman’s centering pass hit off of Stephen Johns and yet still found DeBrincat’s stick in the high slot where he quickly fired a shot that beat Ben Bishop to the blocker side. Connor Murphy picked up the secondary assist on the rookie’s 11th goal of the season.
Two minutes later the Blackhawks received their third power play of the night and disaster struck. Radek Faksa got a shorthanded breakaway and earned a penalty shot when Patrick Kane was called for “hooking” even though the replay sure looked like a text book lift of the stick. Faksa converted on the chance as Crawford looked like he was expected some sort of move and just stood still on a fairly basic forehand shot.
The Blackhawks fourth power play of the night carried over into the second period where they finally converted 1:02 into the middle frame. Artem Anisimov headed to the front of the net where he tipped home a pass very few people in the NHL not named Patrick Kane can make. Kane’s pass found its way through three Dallas defenders right on to the tap of Anisimov’s stick. Nick Schmaltz had the secondary assist Anisimov’s team-high 12th goal.
After taking two minor penalties in the first period, Remi Elie gave the Stars a 3-2 with just under six minutes remaining. Brent Seabrook turned the puck over in the neutral zone, Faska chipped the puck ahead where Elie beat a flat footed Duncan Keith and flipped the puck past Crawford.
The Blackhawks mustered just three shots during the second period, but came out like a house on fire to start the third period. Their ninth shot of the period got in behind Bishop at 4:34 mark to tie the game. Kane drifted to the front of the net and got his stick on a blast from the point by Gustav Forsling to redirect the puck into the Dallas net. Schmaltz picked up another assist on Kane’s 10th goal.
As good as the Blackhawks were early in the third period, Stars were just as good, if not better during the late stages. The game headed to overtime thanks to numerous big saves by Crawford including robbing both Elie and Tyler Seguin.
The Stars only needed 51 seconds of overtime to earn the extra point as Janmark skated right around Keith and caught Crawford cheating to his left only to beat him back to the right side.
The Stars have been bad on the road and even worse versus Central Division opponents, but the Hawks let them come into the United Center and beat them. While there were a lot positives to take out of the loss in Nashville Tuesday, there are not many reasons to feel good tonight.