At least the Blackhawks scored three on Saturday night?
Unfortunately, searching for a silver lining has become common after recent Hawks games. Chicago has lost five of six and has been doubled-up in all five losses, with even lineup changes making little difference in the end result.
Cody Franson and Michal Kempny joined the lineup on Saturday night in place of Connor Murphy and Jordan Oesterle.
In Denver in the second half of a back-to-back, the Hawks came out flat after a rough home performance against Nashville. Mikko Rantanen scored twice with a Nathan MacKinnon goal in between and the Avs stormed out to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. Colorado’s second and third goals game on the power play and the Avs held a 13-8 shot advantage after the first.
MacKinnon and Sven Andrighetto stretched the lead to 5-0 in 6:44 to open the second and Anton Forsberg’s night was over. He allowed five goals against 20 shots before giving way to Corey Crawford.
Chicago showed a little bit of life after the change in net. Nick Schmaltz scored his third of the season to get the Hawks on the board 1:09 after Andrighetto’s goal.
Kempny and John Hayden picked up assists on the Schmaltz goal.
Artem Anisimov scored 6:12 later to cut the lead to 5-2, with assists coming from Alex DeBrincat and Kempny.
Production from Schmaltz and Anisimov were both good signs as the Hawks desperately search for secondary scoring, but the five-goal hole they were in made the uphill climb too much.
Rocco Grimaldi beat Crawford at 8:45 to make the lead four again and the Hawks didn’t have enough the rest of the way.
Ryan Hartman scored at 15:05 to close the books on the offense in a big fantasy night in Denver.
The Hawks put 21 shots on net in the third period but only Hartman was able to beat Jonathan Bernier, who had a good night for Colorado. He made 39 saves in the victory. Crawford stopped seven of eight in relief.
Jonathan Toews won 14 of 21 at the dot but failed to register anything in another statistical category. No assists, no shots on net, no hits and not takeaways in 20:27 on the ice. Patrick Kane put four shots on net but was minus-two in 19:49. Brandon Saad skated 18:13 with only two shots on Bernier.
Simply put, the Blackhawks need more from their big guns at this point.
DeBrincat had one assists, two hits and two takeaways in 12:12. John Hayden had an assist and two hits in 13:23. Schmaltz won half of his 14 faceoffs with a goal and two takeaways in the loss. Hartman scored a goal but picked up four more penalty minutes while skating only 8:30.
The Hawks power play continues to suck, going 0-5 in Denver. They rebounded to kill three of five penalties in the game, but the two power play markers for Colorado in the first were a back-breaker.
Brent Seabrook led Chicago with three blocked shots and put four shots on net in 21:51. Duncan Keith skated 28:36 and led the Hawks with five shots on net. The Hawks combined to block nine shots, with six skaters having one block behind Seabrook’s three.
Kempny had two assists in 19:24. Lance Bouma and Tommy Wingels had assists on Hartman’s goal.
The Hawks are now off until hosting Philly at the United Center on Wednesday. Hopefully they find something that clicks in the four days between games.