The Blackhawks have sucked lately, and haven’t received anything from many of their core players.
So of course that’s where the offense started on Thursday night.
After a first period that saw the Hawks out-shoot the Ducks 14-10 and kill two penalties (while wasting three power plays of their own), things escalated quickly in the second period.
Cam Fowler went to the box 53 seconds into the middle period and the Blackhawks actually took advantage.
And as the clouds parted and the heavens opened up, it was Duncan Keith’s time to score a goal. Finally.
Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat picked up the helpers on Keith’s first – FIRST – goal of the 2017-18 season (on Feb. 15).
If Keith is contributing offensively, who else feels like joining the party? How about Brandon Saad?
That goal, off a nice pass from Vinnie Hinostroza, gave Chicago the dreaded two-goal lead.
And that margin lasted… 41 seconds.
Nick Ritchie got Anaheim on the board quickly after the Saad goal and Ondrej Kase tied the game less than three minutes later – a trend that’s been all-too familiar for the Hawks this season.
But the Blackhawks didn’t fold up as they have many times recently.
With 1:51 left in the second period, Ryan Hartman absolutely unloaded on Jakob Silfverberg, earning him a standing ovation from the United Center faithful.
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) February 16, 2018
That hit predictably led to not one but two Ducks jumping Hartman. Josh Manson couldn’t get his gloves off fast enough and threw his weight around while Hartman avoided as much of the heat as he could.
The result: minor roughing penalties on Manson… and Hartman? Apparently Hartman’s jersey roughed up Manson’s hand while he tried to throw punches. Manson received a second roughing penalty on the play (served by Rickard Rakell) as the second period came to a feisty close.
After 40 minutes, both teams had put 28 shots on goal. Both goaltenders had stopped 26. And thing were getting interesting.
Unfortunately – and predictably – the next goal was scored by the Ducks. Adam Henrique gave Anaheim the 3-2 lead at 8:34 into the third with his 18th of the season. Ritchie and Kase had the assists on the Henrique goal, giving Kase a three-point night and Ritchie a two-point effort.
After the Henrique goal, the Blackhawks out-shot the Ducks 13-3. None of those Hawks shots got past Josh Gibson, and another 2-0 lead turned into a 3-2 loss for Chicago.
Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with ten shots on net. Hartman had a team-leading seven hits. Toews won 14 of 20 faceoffs.
Chicago’s scratches were David Kampf, Tomas Jurco and Erik Gustafsson.