After losing four straight games, the Blackhawks looked to turn things around in Calgary on Saturday night.
But many of the negative trends continued and the Hawks dropped another road contest, this time allowing three third period goals to lose 5-3 to the Flames.
Things started off about as poorly as they could. Duncan Keith ran Dillon Dube into the boards in a scary, dangerous play. Dube’s back was turned and there was blood on the ice, leading to Keith receiving a boarding major and a game misconduct only 2:14 into the game. So the struggling Hawks would now have to finish the final 58 minutes without their veteran leader on the blue line.
On the five-minute power play for Calgary, Sean Monahan scored his seventh of the year.
Compounding issues for the Hawks was some confusion with the Hawks not having someone in the penalty box, costing them additional short-handed time after the major penalty came to a close.
It was one of those nights.
At 13:57 on the power play, Jonathan Toews parked himself in front of the net and – surprise! – good things happened. Toews scored the 300th goal of his career to tie the game at one.
With 26 seconds left in the first period, Jan Rutta patiently waited to get a solid shot on net and it paid off.
His first of the year gave Chicago a 2-1 lead that the Hawks would carry into the dressing room.
The Blackhawks were credited with five shots on net in the first period.
Brandon Saad’s goal at 12:41 into the second period was the third straight for Chicago and gave the Hawks a two-goal lead.
Saad’s fourth of the year came with assists from Alex DeBrincat and Henri Jokiharju.
That would be the final goal of the night for the Blackhawks, though.
Matthew Tkachuk cut into the Hawks’ lead with 94 seconds left in the second period, and the middle frame would come to a close with Chicago leading 3-2.
The Blackhawks were credited with six shots on net in the second period.
Chicago survived for 13 minutes in the third period and then the dam broke. Goals from Monahan and Michael Frolik 66 seconds apart erased the Hawks’ lead and gave Calgary the advantage with five minutes left in regulation. Mikael Backlund put the final nail in the coffin, scoring an empty-net short-handed goal with 59 seconds left to close the books on the night.
The Blackhawks were credited with four shots on net in the third period.
Chicago put 15 shots on net in 60 minutes of hockey on Saturday night.
When asked if he is personally frustrated after a 15-shot performance on the road, coach Joel Quenneville didn’t directly say yes or no. He wasn’t upset with the effort from his defensemen, but the forwards did nothing to help the cause. There was no push-back from the Hawks once the Flames tied the game, and the power play – even with Toews scoring while the Hawks had an advantage – remains a dumpster fire.
Brent Seabrook had a nice night, skating 26:48 and was credited with an assist on Toews’ 300th goal after Keith was run. Jokiharju skated 25:29 and also picked up an assist.
Artem Anisimov won one of nine faceoffs and kicked Frolik’s goal into the Hawks’ net.
Toews led Chicago with three shots on net.
Chris Kunitz continued to waste ice time. He skated 8:03 – a team low – and was credited with nothing but one hit in the game. He was minus-one, however.
One week ago the Blackhawks entered their game in St. Louis with a 6-2-2 record. Seven days and five losses later, the Hawks are now 6-6-3 and in a tailsping. They’re off until Thursday, providing ample time for a long look in the mirror when they get back to Chicago on Monday.