On Thursday night, rookie Brandon Pirri scored his first NHL goal but the Blackhawks fell to the Blues in the shootout.
The Blues took a couple stupid, dangerous penalties only a couple of days after they lost Max Lapierre to a pending suspension after a stupid, dangerous hit left San Jose’s Dan Boyle unconscious on the ice.
On Thursday night, Barret Jackman received only a minor penalty for boarding Patrick Kane in the second period, while Roman Polak was given a minor penalty for boarding Marcus Kruger in the third that was accompanied by a fighting major after Brandon Bollig took exception to the play.
Those penalties, as well as a few others, gave the Blackhawks four power play opportunities that were wasted. St. Louis had three advantages, and scored only five seconds into their first power play in the game’s opening period.
In the game, the Blackhawks had the lead twice, but weren’t able to hold it for very long either time. David Backes scored the Blues’ first goal 2:32 after Pirri’s tally, and
Duncan Keith Alex Steen tied the game the game again only 51 seconds after Hossa converted a breakaway.
Marcus Kruger had a nice night in loss, winning 10 of 15 faceoffs, and Pirri won four of six in the game. Jonathan Toews won half of his 20 faceoffs, and the Blackhawks were significantly better at the dot than they were in St. Louis earlier in the year.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 27 of 29 Chicago shots and Corey Crawford made 26 saves against 28 shots on the night.
The Hawks’ power play is once again emerging as an area of concern. After scoring four goals with an advantage in their first three games, Chicago has converted only once in 16 chances over their last four games.
Meanwhile, the Blues came in having issues while short-handed. San Jose scored three power play goals against St. Louis earlier this week, and the Blues had allowed six goals in their last ten penalty kill attempts. The Blackhawks weren’t able to generate anything on Thursday night, however.
After the game coach Joel Quenneville was not happy, noting that the offense is struggling and that they would “look at the lines” before Saturday. He liked the first 12 minutes and “nothing after that” from the Hawks’ offense.
Bryan Bickell had four hits and zero shots on goal in over 17 minutes of ice time. Andrew Shaw and Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with six hits each, and Johnny Oduya led the team with three blocked shots. The Hawks blocked only 12 shots as a team on Thursday night.
Toronto visits the United Center for an Original Six matchup on Saturday night. The Leafs are currently ranked third on the power play (29.0) and fifth on penalty kill (87.1), so the Hawks’ special teams will be in focus this weekend as well.