Even dressing an extra defenseman couldn’t help the Blackhawks penalty kill on Friday night.
With Marian Hossa hurting and Vinnie Hinostroza struggling, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville opted to have seven defensemen in his lineup against the Blue Jackets. Trevor van Riemsdyk, rumored to be on the trade block, dressed for the first time since opening night; Brian Campbell, who was rumored to be in line for a night off, dressed as well.
The first time the Hawks were short-handed, Columbus took advantage.
Zach Werenski scored 24 seconds after Michal Kempny was sent off to give Columbus a 1-0 lead. Columbus out-skated Chicago badly in the first period, out-shooting the Blackhawks 17-10 despite having to kill off two penalties of their own.
Tyler Motte, who played with Werenski at the University of Michigan, tied the game early in the second. The goal is the first of Motte’s NHL career.
But the penalty kill bit the Hawks in the ass once again barely two minutes later. Richard Panik went to the box for dropping William Karlsson and Nick Foligno scored on the advantage to give the Jackets the lead once again. Karlsson got payback for Panik’s suplex nine minutes later with his first goal of the year, extending the Columbus lead to 3-1.
Chicago was stronger with the puck in the second period, however. The Hawks out-shot the Jackets 13-7 in the middle stanza and kept the puck in the offensive zone for almost the entire final two minutes of the period. Unfortunately, all of that puck possession amounted to nothing and the Jackets carried their two-goal lead to the final 20 minutes.
During the second period, van Riemsdyk went into the goal hard trying to break up a scoring chance and appeared to injure his arm/shoulder. He dropped his stick while favoring his right side skating to the bench and went straight to the room. He did not return for the third period. TvR skated 9:24 with two blocked shots and one hit before the injury.
Trevor van Riemsdyk might be out for "a bit," per Quenneville. #Blackhawks
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) October 22, 2016
Panik made amends for his penalty in the second by scoring his fifth goal of the season.
The two sides traded scoring chances for the next 10 minutes until Matt Calvert tripped Corey Crawford while the Hawks net minder was playing a puck in a faceoff circle. Quenneville opted to pull Crawford as the power play progressed in an attempt to tie the game.
Quenneville burned his timeout with two minutes left in regulation and the Blackhawks got a few good shots attempts but nothing got through Sergei Bobrovsky. The penalty ended without any damage. Chicago had the puck in the offensive zone with 30 seconds left but a Gustav Forsling pinched just as Nick Schmaltz passed the puck back to where he had been at the point.
Chicago couldn’t get the puck back into the zone fast enough to generate another scoring chance and Columbus has their first win of the season.
With the Hawks skating only 11 forwards, Patrick Kane double-shifted early and often. Even with the Hawks hosting the Maple Leafs in Chicago on Saturday night, Kane skated 28:48 in the loss. He only got one shot on net in all of that ice time, however.
And even with only 11 forwards dressed, Jordin Tootoo was still limited to 7:44 on the ice. He led the Blackhawks with three hits, though. So he’s got that going for him… which is nice.
Crawford stopped 25 of 28 in the loss but played much better than his save percentage would indicate. He was the best player on the ice for the visitors on Friday night.
Bobrovsky stopped 32 of 34 in the win.
The Hawks sucked at the dot again on Friday night as well. Jonathan Toews won 16 of 25, but his teammates only won 11 of 33. Marcus Kruger won only 2 of 11 and Artem Anisimov won just three of eight. To his credit, Schmaltz won half of his ten draws.
If Columbus was a handful, the Blackhawks will come home and play Auston Matthews and the young, fast Leafs in an early 6 pm CT start on Saturday. Chicago is now 2-3-0 to open the 2016-17 season.