On one hand, the Blackhawks kept the Lightning from scoring for 45 minutes on Friday night.
On the other, Tampa had already scored four times in the first 15 minutes of the game and wouldn’t need to add on to that number to beat the Hawks.
Freshman head coach Jeremy Colliton decided to sit Henri Jokiharju, John Hayden and Andreas Martinsen. In their places were Brandon Manning, Chris Kunitz and Luke Johnson.
Kunitz skated 8:41 without a shot on net. He blocked one shot, was credited with two hits and was minus-one. I continue to be thrilled the Blackhawks are wasting a roster spot on him while Dylan Sikura burns the second year of his two-year rookie contract in Rockford.
Anyways, back to the debacle in Tampa.
Tyler Johnson scored 29 seconds into the game.
John scored again at 7:15.
When Brayden Point made it 3-0 in favor of the Lightning ten minutes in, the game was effectively over. Point’s marker would hold up as the game-winning goal.
Artem Anisimov would carve into the lead with his third of the season less than 70 seconds after the Point goal.
The glimmer of hope provided by the Anisimov goal lasted less than four minutes. Ryan Callahan scored at 14:52 to give Tampa its three-goal lead back.
Jonathan Toews scored his 11th of the season in the second period, but that would be the end of the Hawks’ offense for the night.
Corey Crawford stopped 21 of 25 in the game.
Gustav Forsling skated 22:50 and put five shots on goal. Toews led Chicago with seven shots on net. Chicago’s captain also won 16 of 22 at the dot.