For the second time in as many nights, the Blackhawks offense was silent in Florida.
The Hawks scored less than one minute into Thursday night’s game against Tampa and were shutout by Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers on Friday night.
Scott Darling got the call in net and had a rough first period; two of the three goals he allowed in the first period were soft. The final goal of the opening 20 minutes, which came with 2.1 seconds left in the period, was brutal. But Darling was far from being the only player to blame for a lackluster performance.
Chicago was flat from the opening puck drop and never caught up with Florida’s speed. The Panthers pounced all over the Hawks early and they showed no signs that a comeback was in the cards after the third goal was scored.
The lowest ice time recipient in the game for Chicago was forward Andrew Shaw, who took an errant clearing attempt to the head while sitting on the bench during the first period. Shaw only skated 7:56 and was minus-one with two hits and two penalty minutes.
Darling allowed four goals against 32 shots. He was much better in the final 40 minutes, stopping 17 of 18 after the ugly first period. Luongo wasn’t tested much but made a few big saves when he needed to; Florida’s netminder made 27 saves in the victory.
Jonathan Toews skated only 14:05 but led the team with four shots on net. He was also credited with two takeaways and won eight of 14 faceoffs. Six different Blackhawks picked up two hits in the box score and Brent Seabrook led the way with three blocked shots.
Rob Scuderi skated 10 full minutes more than he did on Thursday night, but a nauseating turnover less than three minutes into the second period led to Aaron Ekblad’s tenth goal of the season.
Jiri Sekac made his Chicago debut and was minus-one in 11:19 on the ice.
Richard Panik found his alarm clock and returned to the lineup. He finished minus-one in 12:15 in the loss.
At least the Hawks’ penalty kill was good, stopping all three Panthers power plays.
The Hawks had better bring more to the rink on Sunday when the Blues visit the United Center than they did for either game in Florida.