Blackhawks Battle Back But Dallas’ Power Play Wins In OT

After a less-than-stellar performance on home ice against a COVID-depleted Nashville team, the Blackhawks got on a plane to Dallas. A long night of travel gave way to game day, and Chicago got back on the ice against the Stars looking to bounce back into the win column.

Kevin Lankinen got the start in net for the Hawks and Brett Connolly was in the lineup. Well, he was in the lineup for 26 seconds.

Three minutes into the game and on Connolly’s first shift of the night he leveled former Hawks forward Tanner Kero along the boards. Kero hit the ice similar to the way Juhjar Khaira did after Jacob Trouba knocked him out a couple weeks ago. It was another scary scene you never want to see during a hockey game.

Kero was taken from the ice on a stretcher; the Stars did update that he was awake and responding. He was transported to the hospital for precautionary measures and evaluation. Connolly got a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit; his night was over.

On the five-minute powerplay, Dallas made the Blackhawks pay. Joe Pavelski scored twice.

Amplifying the bad start, Dominik Kubalik went to the box two minutes after the Hawks finished the five-minute major. And he was joined there by Jake McCabe nine seconds later. Chicago was able to kill off a 5-on-3 that lasted 1:51 but didn’t start generating offense until the final moments of the first period.

Thanks to the extended special teams time, Dallas out-shot the Hawks 18-4 in the first period and carried a two-goal lead into the second.

Almost four minutes into the second period the Hawks got their first power play. And they made it count. A nice passing sequence from Erik Gustafsson to Patrick Kane to Alex DeBrincat ended with the birthday boy putting home Chicago’s first goal of the night.

Chicago being within one goal lasted a whole 14 seconds before Jason Robertson beat Lankinen for Dallas’ third goal.

Less than 90 seconds after the Robertson goal the Blackhawks were able to climb back to within one again. Brandon Hagel was able to set up Dylan Strome who finally finished to get the Hawks’ second goal.

Strome had a couple good looks earlier in the period off passes from Jonathan Toews but was robbed by Dallas netminder Jake Oettinger who, like DeBrincat, was celebrating a birthday on Saturday.

It appeared Dallas took a 4-2 lead later in the second period, but a review showed that Ryan Suter had caught the puck in his hand (which should have been a penalty). When Suter dropped the puck it bounced into the net without touching his stick, so the goal was taken off the board.

Dallas out-shot Chicago 9-7 in the second period but the Blackhawks were able to actually develop some offense. Chicago’s defense was much better at even strength as well after spending almost half of the first period short-handed.

The Hawks got the first power play of the third period when Jani Hakanpaa went to the box. Unfortunately, the advantage lasted 14 seconds before Seth Jones interfered with Esa Lindell. Jones killing the Hawks’ power play put the teams even at 4-on-4 for 1:46.

Lakinen was terrific in the third period. After a huge Jamie Benn hit on Connor Murphy behind the net, Benn set up Robertson on the doorstep but Lankinen denied him another goal.

With eight minutes left in regulation shortly after the Jones penalty expired, Hagel turned the puck over at the blue line but then took it back on a complete whiff of a clearing attempt by Roope Hintz. Hagel rifled a shot on net with Kubalik in front of Oettinger and the shot went clear into the back of the net. We were tied at three.

Kubalik was credited with a redirect; Hagel got the only assist on the play.

For the fourth straight game the Blackhawks had scored a game-tying or go-ahead goal in the third period. And after a rough first period, Lankinen was playing marvelous hockey. Kubalik also extended his personal point streak to four games as well.

Both teams put 11 shots on net in the third period. The only one that went it came from the Hawks. And for the third straight game the Blackhawks went to overtime.

Lankinen stopped 35 of 38 in regulation. Toews won 14 of 25 faceoffs and Seth Jones and Murphy led Chicago skaters with 21:30 on ice through three periods.

Kane didn’t have a shot on net in regulation; he had five shots miss the mark and a few blocked, however. Strome led the Blackhawks with six shots on net in regulation.

Kane got a breakaway less than one minute into overtime and simply fumbled the pick away as he closed on the net. He was then caught for a penalty as the Stars attacked the other way, and he was caught on the ice for an extended shift that lasted 93 seconds until the whistle finally sounded and Kane went to the box.

The penalty was only the second minor penalty called on Kane all year; his first came against Nashville on Friday night.

Derek King sent Toews, Murphy and McCabe out to start the penalty kill. They were able to clear the puck once, but when the Stars got back in the zone a nice passing sequence ended with John Klingberg scoring the game-winning goal.

Each team put one shot on net in overtime.

The Blackhawks put themselves in too many short-handed situations and tried their hardest to battle through, but they simply couldn’t win a game in which they spent so much time on the penalty kill. The Connolly penalty in the first period dug them a hole, but the subsequent penalties in the first period had them chasing defensively the entire opening 20 minutes.

In total, Dallas was credited with three power play goals on the night.

32 thoughts on “Blackhawks Battle Back But Dallas’ Power Play Wins In OT

  • December 18, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    Hawks lost because penalties ( again ) how can you get 3 penalty for puck over the glass in 2 games ..
    Hagel plaid again like Hagel and had the third star with 2 assists.
    I don’t want to write to much because in past 2 weeks my post is always deleted.
    So this one will probably be deleted also ..hahaha

  • December 18, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    OT/SO losses against division foes ahead of you in the standings right now do absolutely nothing. Getting to the point to where need to decide on who their GM is going forward and start putting feelers out there for Fleury, deHaan, Strome, Kubalik, Murphy, etc, hell even if Kane is willing to be dealt.
    No shot at making the playoffs. Time to start building for the future.

  • December 18, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Hung around and got a goalie point, not much else, can’t win sitting in the penalty box. Hope Kero is ok, looked bad.

  • December 18, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Sometimes the 4 blind mice on the rink run the game ! The Hawks need to smarten up on penalties ! Too bad ,but that’s how it Goes ! When the lights go on it’s time to shine and not with stupid comments or penalties ! Learn the rules ! It’s a long flight home guys ! POPS 4

  • December 18, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    Not related to the Hawks game tonight but watching the Oilers…going to get really depressing watching Evan Bouchard turn into a stud defenceman when we left him on the table to draft Boqvist

  • December 18, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Good for Lank for battling back and getting them a point after he gave up the softie 3rd Stars goal – he didn’t challenge the shooter at all – stayed far too deep – he’s gotta trust Stillman to cover the pass and come out on the shooter

    Is every game now going to be multiple PP goals against? – if the game were decided 5 on 5 like last night they would have won

    Too many penalties and now we’ll see if King has a system side to his personality because he has to fix the PK right now

    Maybe Crawford runs it I don’t know but the PK and too many penalties are killing them

    When Borg is back

    12 13 88
    38 19 17
    8 77 23
    58 36 22

    Kane wasn’t scored a clutch goal in what seems like forever – now on a breakaway I expect him to miss – maybe it’s his wrist issue maybe he’s just not feeling it or maybe we’re seeing the inevitable decline in Kane’s play

    The bad play in OT last night and a bad penalty tonight plus the missed breakaway – not typical Kane

    The Hawks are getting more offense 5 on 5
    but the the PP goals against are sinking them

  • December 18, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Why would Carpenter be on the ice in overtime? Was the coaching staff trying to get to the shootout?

    Is anyone going to mention one of the dirtiest of the year or is it going to be crickets?

  • December 19, 2021 at 12:05 am

    Stop, I’ll end the crickets.
    I don’t think it was one of the dirtiest of the year.
    It was a mistake because he thought Kero was going to play the puck and he leveled him. There wasn’t the leaving of feet or targeting the head. It was a mistake. It was a bad mistake and he got sent off for the game. You could tell that he felt terrible about it, and if you watch the YouTube clip provided the Dallas announcers even state that Connelly wasn’t trying to run Kero.

    It was a correct call for interference that’s for sure. Probably for the game misconduct as well if the league is trying to get rid of those kind of hits, which have been happening too much. Trouba got MacKinnon the night after nearly killing Jujar. I don’t think he got a penalty for that one either.

    When Kane got the breakaway I didn’t have a good feeling, as he’s not all that hot in shootout goals like you think he would be, and he hasn’t been a great finisher one on one for awhile. There may be stats somewhere that suggest I’m wrong, but he’s not been all that clutch.

    Not losing in regulation ….. but not gaining any in the standings. Nice to see some competitive play but it’s frustrating to watch them shoot themselves in the skates.

    Colliton is gone and things have improved. Maybe they’ll continue to improve and this business of playing from behind and having to fight back out of holes and the penalty box issues can be resolved.

  • December 19, 2021 at 12:59 am

    Let me start by saying that I hope and pray that Tanner Kero is okay. I gotta think that the hit that Connolly put on him has earmarked him for Rockford. You can’t contribute in the locker room.
    The game…well…the penalties were just too many. I have a question about Strome. I had to listen to the game, while at work, and it sounded like he was having another strong game. Why was he moved off the line with Kane and DeBrincat? I like Slavin but I didn’t think that having him replace Strome was a good move. Did Strome sustain an injury? I hope not. His play has been very strong and he’s been contributing in all areas of the ice. He was 1 for 1 on faceoffs. Which brings me to that abysmal stat.
    Faceoffs. The Blackhawks were, as a team 38% on Faceoffs. The leader, as usual, was Toews at 54%. For Captain Serious, that’s not his best work. But, it was better than everyone else. In descending order: Entwistle at 33%, Slavin at 25%, and Dach at 20%. That’s just not even close to acceptable. With as many minutes that the team was on the PK, winning faceoffs would have gone a long way to neutralizing the Dallas PP…or, at the very least, slowed it down a bit.
    Overall, this was not the teams best. As for Kane, I think his big minutes are wearing him down. He may just be tired. I can’t even remember that last time he’s looked so out of sorts. Knowing his drive, he may be pushing himself just because he’s so worn down.
    Defense was not really too bad. I would like to see Coach King have a bit more trust in C. Jones and Stillman in PK situations. McCabe is slow. I think that’s because he’s less than a year off of major knee reconstruction. That he’s even playing is really impressive. But, give the kids some trust. Especially C. Jones. I think both players have earned it with their strong play. It would definitely give Coach King more options.
    Lankinen was really solid. Perhaps a 2-1 MAF to Lanks in net starts would be good for both netminders. Just a thought.
    Lastly, why did the team bring up Mitchell. He’s been excelling, in Rockford. Bring up someone who may need a sniff at the NHL, like Beaudin. The kid has been extremely underwhelming and that is noticeable. There really isn’t anyone, at Rockford, who plays an enforcer role. So, the team, if it chooses, may be stuck with Gabriel. But, they can send down Connolly and bring back Hardman. Or…if the team wants to shake things up, give Evan Barratt or Dylan McLaughlin a cup of coffee with the team. The Icehogs site doesn’t keep FO% but, if these guys can win faceoffs, it opens up options with Dach, Borgstrom, and Slavin. Just a thought that’s rolling around in my head.
    This game is in the books. NEXT!!!

  • December 19, 2021 at 6:09 am

    There are 52 games left in the season. The Blackhawks under King have been nothing if not very consistent. Expect more of the same for the remainder of the year. Complaining, criticizing and ostracizing won’t change anything. The only thing you control is the remote for your TV.

    On the Connolly hit, I would really like to know what his intent was. Oddly, there was only 1 replay from the end camera in real time for the entire time they were attending to Kero. It looked like Connolly’s intent was to break up the exit pass by getting himself to the boards to block the puck and/or hit the guy in a position to play the puck in what we once called a ‘suicide pass’. Again, I couldn’t tell from the replays between periods.

    I could not hear the game in the cigar lounge where I was watching and blissfully unable to hear what the on-air talent was saying. I doubt they had anything insightful to say.

  • December 19, 2021 at 6:39 am

    JG if you see Dallas coach Bowness comments on the Connelly hit, he clearly states that there was no intent on Connelly’s part to target a defenseless Kero, just one of unfortunate plays, says he coached Connelly and isn’t that type of player. The right call was made and probably more punishment to come. Unlike Trouba who is known to look for defenseless players to hit and the Nhl turns a blind eye to it for some unknown reason.

    Mitchell was likely called up in case someone tested positive yesterday to have their best option available with Dehaan unavailable. Also if still on roster when tomorrows freeze kicks in, he will recieve his Nhl salary over break vs minors salary as a bonus that he has earned.

  • December 19, 2021 at 7:11 am

    Toews was 14/26 on faceoffs. Debrincat was 0/1. Has King ever explained why DeBrincat takes the draw to open OT? Why does he always give the opposition the puck to start 3 on 3? Possession is a big advantage when there is so much open ice in overtime.

  • December 19, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Ian, thank you. That was helpful.

    It was pretty much what I thought – that Connolly was not head hunting and he is not that kind of player. It looked like a simple interference penalty.

    In my opinion, the bane of hockey officiating, at all levels, is outcome-based calls. To me, foolishly, there should be an objective standard that is applied whether there is an injury or not, whether a player falls or not or whatever.

  • December 19, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Regarding Strome – I thought he had a strong game once he was moved to Toews’ wing and the Cat/Kane line played better with Slavin in the middle who is faster than Strome and can forecheck something Strome is really incapable of doing – that top line wasn’t creating anything with Strome in the middle

    Makes you wonder if Strome just can’t keep up his intensity unless he’s continually challenged by the coach or is he better suited to playing wing with 19 and 38 who bring can show him what compete looks like

    Strome with 19 and 38 was a good line although it does create a FO problem on the top line – Borgstrom when back is a bit better than Slavin at FOs and he’ll likely slot back in with 12 and 88

    Starting 12 and 88 in OT and conceding the FO is an unusual strategy which has mostly worked though – even last night Cat and Kane had a 2 on 0 to win it before Kane took his penalty

  • December 19, 2021 at 9:30 am

    John Galt two great points. First the response to the Connelly hit. As obvious as it was there was no mal intent. Unlike the Trouba hits thou legal but with intent to punish. No penalties to Trouba 5 and a game to Connelly. They needed a scapegoat.

    With 52 games let’s see if teams start looking for help. Mostly goalie help. Not knowing how the season will play out teams could be looking sooner than later.

    I was looking at the bubble teams. Not Edm or Colo but Pitt and Bos. Maybe MAF would want to finish where it all started. I think a #1 and Maniscalco would be a right return. From Boston it could be a win win for both teams. DeBrusk wants out. Add a #2 and that would work. Don’t know if MAF would want to bite the hand that once fed him by trying to knock Pitt out of the playoffs.

    My plan is to go thru ’22-’23 with Lanks and Soder. Pull a Aikman first year with the Cowboys. Get the highest draft pick for a possible chance at Bedard.

    I believe that I am one of the few or the only one that thinks our goalie situation is good. Lanks is good. Soder is said to be good and we have Commesso Basse Nalimov.

  • December 19, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Disappointed that the Hawks could not manage 2 points in either (Both) games, that would have been a big boost if they could.

    I imagine there is a reason why similar calls went against the Hawks this weekend that didn’t go for them in earlier games (Offsides, blindside hit etc…) But it is starting to frustrate me. I still can’t understand that Trouba does not get penalized or fined after the league acknowledged that the point of contact was his head. But that is water under the bridge and I need to let that go…

    The Hawks played well enough to win and poor enough to lose in both games this weekend. So they split the difference and got the OT point. Treading water when you are so far out of a playoff spot doesn’t help.

    The Hawks not having a first round pick either this season or next makes wanting them to become sellers this season hard for me to swallow. I really would like to see this roster fight for a playoff spot this season, to mitigate the eventual loss of that pick. Make it as good of a pick as you can, since you probably aren’t keeping it…

    Off to limbo to see if the season gets postponed or not. If the games are postponed, I hope everyone has a nice holiday season and Happy New year. Be safe and peace out.

  • December 19, 2021 at 10:15 am

    I agree with you about Trouba …it’s the same kind of hit but on a different player ,because the hit was on Khaira and he is a guy who like to hit. Then the same rule doesn’t apply .Iff the hit would be on McDavid then the rule is different and Trouba would get game misconduct and probably 2-5 games suspension.
    That why the NHL is becoming a big Joke
    The rules change depending on the Ref and on who give the hit and who receive the hit ,plus depending also on the team .some team won’t get penalties for same’s getting very frustrating sometimes. Sometimes I think The ref are ask to control the game by the league. Just a feeling that I have sometimes.
    I don’t say the hit was a good hit but I don’t think he wants to send the guy to hospital . Not all the players are stupid like the guy who hit Hossa a few years ago .

  • December 19, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Connelly’s hit on Kero is the “definition” of interference. Kero hadn’t touched the puck and Connelly didn’t try to play the puck. Whether or not what his intent was he clobbered Kero with a cheap shot.

    Did he try to put Kero in the hospital, that highly unlikely.

    Trouba’s hit on Jujar was legal because of the fact that Jujar had played the puck, I think it was the same with the McKinnon hit. Complaining about NHL refereeing is all fair game though, from one game to the next the fan’s for sure and the players somewhat have no idea what any penalty is on any given night and the hurts hockey as a sport.

    Hawks are 10 points out of a PO spot and the bottom 3 PO teams all have games on hand. A new GM is needed to get a rebuild underway pronto! With that being said everyone is raving about the job King is doing, 4 regulation wins in 18 games, outstanding!

  • December 19, 2021 at 11:45 am

    BTW without Lanks that game would’ve been over 10 minutes in, by a country mile he was the Hawks best player.

  • December 19, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Dollar Bill wanted to see if the puck was 3ft away from Kero but they didn’t show any replays to show where the puck was at the time of contact. If the puck is at 3ft that’s not interference. Connelly doesn’t know that Kero isn’t playing the puck.

  • December 19, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    Dollar Bill agree Lankinen was their best player last night and his play allowed them to hang around to puck up a point.

    Agree to with the interference on call on the ice, my issue is the league/ playersafety when players who are vulnerable are what appears to be targeted. I realize skating with a head of steam through center ice with head down is on the player if hit is clean. Being in a vulnerable position and being targeted by a player who knows they can’t see them coming is not a hockey play, why not deal with it for what it is.

  • December 19, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Miro – the Hawks did have a first rounder this year albiet #32 by switching picks with CBJ

    I don’t know if Kane would ageee to a trade but it probably time to start thinking about it at least

    Fleury could bring back a first as well

    If you trade them both get a couple of first rounders and a good prospect or two then the rebuild is looking a lot better

  • December 19, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Connelly gets a hearing. Trouba says hahaha.

  • December 19, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Saying Kero seems to have avoided any serious injury, which great news.

    Wrap, with Jones contract kicking in next year along with Murphy’s, be surprised if there is a tear it down build it up rebuild coming. Could be that any significant trades actually involve upgrading current roster, more long haul Jones type deals not rentals. Kane may be worth more at next seasons tdl to a team who can fit rest ofthis contract in at that point and negotate an extension, if trading him anyways.

    Slavin and Mitchell back to Rfd., as most Nhl rules exceptions override them. Anybody recalled after Dec. 11th can be sent down again until midnight the 23rd. So option is there they could possibly play in Rfd.’s game Tuesday, recalled if Stars game a go Thursday and sent down after again. Then play again the 27th inRfd.’s 1st post break game and recalled if game against Columbus is a go on the 28th.

  • December 19, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    @JR Roman

    If Connelly doesn’t know that Kero isn’t playing the puck doesn’t that mean he Connelly also doesn’t know where the puck is? If not then Connelly was going for the body from the beginning, did he do it with intent to injure, I think not, but otherwise he’s guilty as charged.


    The league and DOPS is a farce as far as player safety is concerned. Watch any game today and you’ll see some crosschecks are legal, some are not.

    The surprisingly right action that happened was Dallas didn’t go after Connelly after the play and 10 fights didn’t break out. Dallas responded by scoring twice on the ensuing penalty, that’s the correct way to do it.

  • December 19, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks Dollar – that’s a good view

    No doubt the right call was made – I suspect Connolly was trying to show an aggressive physical side because he was scratched the previous game in favour of Gabriel

  • December 19, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    DollarBill as a hockey fans perspective you saw exactly what happened on the Connelly hit and explained it perfectly.

    Connelly should get suspended for at least 10 games. No place in the game for that type of play.

  • December 19, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Connolly gets 4 Game Suspension.

  • December 19, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    32 is not the future

    2-8 is his record this year.

    Last two games he played?
    And his team worked hard in both to overcome soft goals.

    The same soft goals he was letting in down the stretch last year as the #1 goalie.

    Go watch the videos of the last 13-15 games last year.

    You will see a goalie:
    A. Not challenging shooters.
    B. Losing his net position.
    C: Getting beat, 5 hole, from the face off dot.

    Exactly like we have seen in the last 2 games, both Losses, in his 2-8 season.

    Yeah he was very good in the 3rd period vs Dallas.

    But he already let in 3 by that point.
    Two of them he simply has to stop.

    Without excuse or exception.

    Don’t know who can grab that #2 goalie slot.
    32 has seen it slip away.


    A good back up goalie should be .500 at minimum.

  • December 19, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    “Kurtis Gabriel will get every opportunity to earn a steady roll with the team”. Coach Derek King.

  • December 20, 2021 at 5:22 am

    I will post this on the next post too…Sorry, I am just getting around to giving you all the Icehog Scouting report:

    There were only 8 NHL caliber players on the ice for the Icehogs this past weekend. They were in order of talent: (Reichel, Mitchell, Phillips, Regula, Kalynuk, Nylander,Soderholm, and Beaudin). The rest of that roster are AHL lifers! Some guys can do a few things well, but there are major deficiencies in their game.

    Stars: We have only one future star on this team, and his name is Lucas Reichel. But, he comes with one question mark. He really needs to get stronger. Not to bulk up per se, but to gain more functional strength. Because, this kid is explosive, smart, creative, tough, and responsible. The Hawks brass needs to let him play a few more games to get his fitness back after the concussion, but they need to get him out of the Industrial League before he gets hurt for good and bring him up to the big team, because we don’t have a center like him on our current roster!

    NHL Regulars: We have Mitchell, Phillips, Kalynuk, and Regula all ready to play regular NHL minutes. Now, all our “intern” has to do is identify which one of these young defensemen he wants to play 80 games next year. Me, personally I would trade all of DeHaan, Murphy, McCabe, and Gustafson and let these young guys slot in their place alongside the Jones brothers and Stillman after the TDL. These guys will all be better than that guys they would be replacing. I knew Mitchell was playing well and he continued to show it Friday night, but Phillips and Regula really impressed me. Kalynuk is excellent with the puck, but has no one to corral his great outlet passes except Reichel and Nylander.

    Spot in the NHL: I think a few guys have a spot on NHL rosters if they can play in the right system and for the right coach. The two that come to mind are Beaudin and Nylander. They both have NHL abilities, but not a skill-set that the Hawks are currently seeking, or they are blocked by other prospects or our young NHL regulars. Nylander, for example is so much better than the rest of the forward crew on the Icehogs, but he still is not consistent between shifts. There were shifts were he was Patrick Kane, and then there were other shifts were he looked like Citizen Kane. I think he needs to play in a system that fits his skill set and gets him to play with passion. Maybe, a trade to Toronto will be a good thing for him because his brother would kick him in the ass to get him to play with heart, passion, and consistency on every shift! He is talented – no doubt about that!
    Now, Beaudin has taken a back-seat to Kalynuk as our top skilled offensive defensemen, and he seemed content playing second fiddle. He did some good things, but his overall toughness is lacking. In fact, he makes Adam Boqvist look like Milan Lucic. He needs a change of scenery and hopefully an opportunity to play meaningful minutes in the NHL to get his career on track. Otherwise, I could see him becoming this generations Adam Clendening.
    A few other things to point out. Osipov can fight! If he could play, we would not have needed Kurtis Gabriel. Altybakmarian is going to be a stud in the KHL. Jacob Glavas doubles as team equipment manager. The poor kid is so small that he was passing out drinks to his teammates. McLaughlin needs shoulder enhancement surgery. Hardman, tough and gritty, but should never play on anyone’s first line.
    The rest of the guys, if they’re European need to go play in Europe, and if they’re not, they need to finish that degree or start life as a coach because the sooner they realize that the NHL is just a pipe dream, the better chance they have in succeeding in a career in hockey!

    -Tommy Ivan

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