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There have been better periods of hockey than the Chicago Blackhawks played in the opening 20 minutes of tonight’s 8-5 loss. Petr Mrazek started the game and allowed four goals on the first five shots he faced. He was promptly pulled for the returning Alex Stalock, who just got back to the team after a short illness kept him out. Stalock allowed two goals on the first two shots he faced to make it a 6-1 game for the Kraken just over 13 minutes into the contest. There would ultimately be no comeback on this night.
The five unanswered goals the Kraken scored on five-straight shots came in the third-fastest span of time in NHL history.
So there was that.
Following the onslaught in the first period, the Blackhawks were able to muster-up a better effort in the second period, allowing no goals and scoring one of their own, hey hey!
In the third period, Max Domi made the game interesting with a powerplay tally, his 13th goal of the season, to make it a 6-3 game just 51 seconds into the period. But, to those that maybe half-jokingly said, “Don’t call it a comeback,” well, we didn’t have to worry. The Kraken scored 63 seconds later to make it 7-3 and then again 43 seconds after that to make it 8-3.
Those who stayed the entire game were treated to not one, but two more plays of “Chelsea Dagger” as Jonathan Toews setup Taylor Raddysh for his 12th goal of the season to make it 8-4 and then Max Domi assisted to Patrick Kane to make it 8-5.
That would be the final to this throwback 1980’s hockey game.
This happened in front of a sellout United Center crowd to boot. They’re second sellout of the season and first since Marian Hossa had his No. 81 retired. After the game, Toews said maybe the most disappointing part of the night was their effort in front of the Blackhawks faithful.
“We have the best fans in the NHL. The Blackhawks fans are above and beyond. They’re showing us support through thick and thin. We got to give them something more than that.”
When it came to the effort in tonight’s game, Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said his team didn’t come to play. “Nobody was prepared to play tonight. Physically or mentally,” Richardson said following the 8-5 loss. “We weren’t prepared to play physically and weren’t prepared to skate. That team [Seattle] plays that way. They skate with the puck and they skate as hard, or probably harder, without it. We just weren’t prepared to play that game.”
Seattle came into tonight with a seven-game winning streak, outscoring teams 33-11 in that stretch. They leave with an eight-game winning streak and a plus-26 goal differential in those eight games.
And you all were worried about the tank.
Patrick Kane returns
After missing the last three games with a lower-body/knee injury, Patrick Kane returned to the Blackhawks lineup at the detriment of Lukas Reichel heading back to the Rockford IceHogs. Kane was welcomed back by a 6-1 drubbing in the opening period of the game against the red-hot Kraken.
Kane did contribute to the faux “comeback” effort in his return to the lineup tonight, registering seven shots on goal, with his final shot of the night going in as the last tally of the night in the 8-5 loss.
With Kane returning to the lineup, head coach Luke Richardson said before the game that he stressed to the team to continue to shoot the puck when they have the opportunity to do so, rather than deferring to Kane when he is on the ice. Much like they couldn’t do in the past three games with Kane out. Three games the Blackhawks won.
Blackhawks scoring first streak ends
All good things must come to an end. It didn’t take long for that good thing to end either.
The Blackhawks came into tonight’s game having scored the opening goal of the contest in six-straight games. Something they had only done six times this season prior to this streak beginning. But 2:50 minutes into the first period, Daniel Sprong was sprung into action and scored his 14th goal of the season to open the scoring for Seattle.
Chicago was 3-3-0 during their six-game scoring first streak and hold a 7-3-2 overall when scoring first this season. With tonight’s win/loss, they are 4-23-2 when the opponent scores first.
They continue to have the least games scoring first this season in the NHL. 12.
Isaak Phillips scores first NHL goal
In a game filled with low-lights, it was one of the young Blackhawks that provided some life into the team following the 6-1 onslaught in the first period.
Just past the mid-way point of the second period, defenseman Isaak Phillips netted his first career NHL goal with a sweet backhand the went into the top far corner over Martin Jones.
Phillips is carving-out a nice spot for himself in the Blackhawks’ defensive rotation. He has his first NHL goal and two assists in nine games this season since being called up to Chicago on December 19.
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