Lankinen Stands Tall, Blackhawks Still Fall in Shootout

On Tuesday night, the Blackhawks allowed 17 shots in the first period. Nashville finished the game with 39; Chicago generated 20 in 63+ minutes.

Malcolm Subban did a terrific job, but playing back-to-back nights meant someone else was likely getting the call on Wednesday. The Blackhawks looked to change things up with Kevin Lankinen back between the pipes after a strong weekend against Detroit.

Initially, the plan was to have Nicolas Beaudin replace Lucas Carlsson on the blue line. However, those plans were tossed out the window when Chicago lost forward Lucas Wallmark to the COVID-19 Protocol list a couple hours before the puck dropped. Carlsson stayed in the lineup and Beaudin also dressed, giving the Blackhawks seven defensemen active for the game.

The Blackhawks came in with points in their last four games. More impressively, Chicago had a power play goal in all seven games to start the season. Would either (both) of those streaks continue?

Dante Fabbro did the Blackhawks a favor and went to the box only 3:24 into the game. Ian Mitchell was called on during the power play, something he hasn’t been asked to do much early in the season. Chicago failed to score, however.

Mattias Janmark was caught hooking 11 minutes later. For a fun change of pace, Mitchell’s number was called during the penalty kill and he did a nice job. Nashville failed to score on their power play.

When 20 minutes of hockey had come off the clock, each side had been credited with only five shots on net. The score was tied at zero. And a national television audience was finding the cure for insomnia.

Mitchell skated the least ice time among all Hawks defensemen (3:31) in the first period. But he did get in on both special teams. Baby steps…

As much as the Hawks did a decent job limiting shots on net in the first period, the second felt like the first on Tuesday night.

Lankinen was under siege early and often. Carl Soderberg went to the box 2:52 to into the period, and the Blackhawks killed it. At 7:46, Duncan Keith went to the box. In between the two penalties the puck rarely left the Blackhawks’ defensive zone.

Thankfully, Nick Cousins handled the penalty kill on behalf of the Blackhawks when he went to the box 29 seconds into the advantage. Neither team scored during the overlapping penalties, but when the dust settled the Predators were out-shooting the Hawks 8-1 after 11 minutes in the period.

Nashville kept the pressure on the Blackhawks but Lankinen continued to make save after save. Chicago got another crack at the power play when Viktor Arvidsson went to the box at 13:56 but were held scoreless once again.

The best offensive attack for the Blackhawks came in the final seconds of the second period. Patrick Kane had a couple good looks and Mitchell set up Kane for a snipe as the final horn sounded on the period. None of them found the back of the net and we were still staring at doughnuts on the scoreboard after 40 minutes.

Nashville had a 19-15 shot advantage after two periods. Even with seven defensemen dressed, Keith, Connor Murphy and Calvin de Haan were over 15 minutes of ice time already after two periods while Mitchell and Beaudin were both at only 6:51 and nine shifts each.

Maybe the biggest issue was at the dot: Nashville won 73 percent of the faceoffs over the first two periods.

The third period started in a similar fashion to the second, and it was only a matter of time until a puck found the back of the net. Chicago put together a couple strong shifts but a turnover wound up in the net behind Lankinen. Cousins scored at 5:24 into the third.

With the shots 27-16 in favor of Nashville six minutes into the third – 32 seconds after the Cousins goal – Filip Forsberg tripped Kane and Chicago got a much-needed power play.

Nashville killed the penalty and Forsberg came out of the box, immediately picked de Haan’s pocket and took the puck the other way on a breakaway. Lankinen made a marvelous save to keep the Hawks within one after an empty power play almost ended in disaster.

Nashville’s Finnish netminder, Juuse Saros, was having a strong game of his own for Nashville and made a few enormous saves after the Forsberg opportunity.

Leave it to the fourth line to make something happen for the Blackhawks. Brandon Hagel grabbed a loose puck, starting a rush that ended with Ryan Carpenter slamming home his first goal of the season to tie the game at one.

Hagel and David Kampf picked up the assists, the first career NHL point for Hagel.

Nothing can ever be easy, though. Dylan Strome went to the box for hooking less than two minutes after the Hawks tied the game. The Blackhawks were able to battle through the penalty kill and survive.

Neither side was able to break through but in the closing seconds of regulation, Murphy and Dante Fabbro got tied up and went into the net hard. Fabbro stayed down and the skaters on the ice gathered to exchange pleasantries. Fabbro went to the room with 2.4 seconds left in regulation. No penalties were called.

The clock expired and the teams headed to overtime tied at one.

When the dust settled, the scoreboard read 21 shots for Nashville – in the third period. The Preds were officially credited with 40 shots in regulation; Lankinen stopped 39 of them. Chicago had 25 shots on net through 60 minutes.

After a defensive lapse cost the Blackhawks the game in overtime on Tuesday, how would the Hawks respond in this game?

Kane got a great look at the net 59 seconds into overtime but the shot went wide. Chicago spend most of the first 90 seconds of overtime with the puck but didn’t score.

When Nashville got the puck into the zone and both teams changed, the Blackhawks did a much better job of rotating with the puck defensively. Pius Suter was out with Strome and the movement was noticeably better than the previous night.

With 1:38 left in overtime, a pass attempt from Mattias Janmark intended for Kane hit a defender’s skate and bounced off the post. Janmark then shot the rebound wide of an open cage. Another opportunity lost.

The Predators showed zero sense of urgency in the final 12 seconds of overtime with the puck, allowing the clock to run out and sending the game to a shootout.

Officially for the night, Lankinen made 41 saves against 42 shots in the 65 minutes of hockey. Chicago was credited with five more shots on net in overtime to give them 30 in the game.

But a skills competition would decide the recipient of the second point.

Lankinen stoned Forsberg’s attempt to begin the shootout. Kubalik shot for first Chicago and was stopped as well. Matt Duchene was up second for the Preds and he was able to dangle Lankinen and score. Kane was up for the Hawks but he wasn’t able to score. Ryan Ellis was denied by Lankinen but Janmark wasn’t able to score.

Nashville emerged with a 2-1 win.

Mitchell had the fewest shifts (13) and ice time (9:47) on the blue line for Chicago. He was credited with two blocked shots.

Beaudin skated 9:50 in the game with one blocked shot. Carlsson was on the ice for 11:50.

Kane led the Blackhawks in ice time with 27:17. He was credited with four shots on net and another five attempts that missed in an active night with Chicago only dressing 11 forwards. Kubalik led Chicago with five shots on net.

Both teams were 0-4 on the power play, ending the Blackhawks’ season opening streak. However, the Blackhawks have now put a point in the standings in five straight games.

28 thoughts on “Lankinen Stands Tall, Blackhawks Still Fall in Shootout

  • January 27, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    It is early, but sure seems like Lank is Hawks goalie of the future..Pius Suter is too small to compete at the level the Hawks need to be a competitive team…I can’t think of one center on a top tier team that is 5’9 170.He does play hard , but like boqivst just is too small to be effective…..Hope Barrett turns out to be the real deal…also, some of the other young guys playing great..Hagel and Kurchev both look like they will be real good…

  • January 27, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    For all of the complaining about the Blackhawks goaltending situation:

    Subban + Lankinen stopped 77 of 81 shots the last two nights (.951 sv pct) in Nashville. They were NOT the problem.

  • January 27, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    “Pius Suter is too small to compete at the level the Hawks need to be a competitive team…I can’t think of one center on a top tier team that is 5’9 170”

    A) nobody ever said this Blackhawks team was supposed to be “top tier”
    B) when the Blackhwaks signed Suter the intent was clearly NOT that he was your 1C. Toews + Dach should have been there, making Strome your 3C. Suter would have slotted in as a winger if the top two centers on the payroll were healthy. But, of course, why employ context.
    C) Suter is on the roster at 5-9 and 176 lbs. Brad Marchand is listed at 5-9 and 181 lbs.

    Sorry to blast your assessment but it’s crap.

  • January 27, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Very glad to see Lank keeping care off business and giving another point to the Hawks . Off course it’s still early but he seems to be the best choice so far for the Hawks .
    Also very happy that the young Hawks can play a good game without Toews,Dach,DCat , Wow that quite impressive…whould be nice if we could continue that way and reach a place in the playoff ..nobody knows future …sometime life is full off surprise .
    I am dreaming to see the kids in the playoff

  • January 27, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Slowly chipping the way to an earlier draft pick by dropping one point at a time? I suppose it’s a plan, but at least we’re getting to see the kids play a good game and compete.
    Not really sure what the deal is with GameStop today, but I’m buying stock in Hagel instead – he keeps bringing the energy with plenty of ice awareness. Stands out on his own and makes his teammates look better when he’s out there.

  • January 27, 2021 at 10:01 pm

    @Dutch06..Brayden Point is at most 5’10” or so and he’s an incredible two way center. That being said, Suter is only playing center because we’re down Toews and Dach. When healthy, the center depth for the Hawks is Toews, Dach, Strome, Kampf with Suter and Kurashev on the wings.

    Liked the effort by the Hawks tonight..obviously goals are going to be more difficult to come by without Toews, Dach, Nylander, and Cat but nothing can be done about that right now. Thought the compete level was solid and Lankinen showed his stats weren’t padded by playing Detroit twice..he looks quiet and composed in net. Wouldn’t it be funny if, out of all the issues the Hawks thought they would have this year, the goaltending ended up being solid??

    Lastly, anyone else getting some paper tiger vibes from Zadorov? He throws his body around a lot, but none of the hits are bone shattering and in a lot of instances, don’t lead to a separation of the puck or direct possession the other way. He’ll cost minimum 3.5-4 mil next he worth it for a third pairing guy? I do like the idea of adding that sort of physicality to the blueline, but I’m not convinced he’s the guy to provide it, especially at his cap hit for next year. Maybe a one year deal..I just keep thinking guys like Vlasic and Regula could give the blueline that same dimension at a fraction of the cost.

  • January 27, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    The 4th line was excellent both games in Nashville. Hagel was drafted in the 6th round by Buffalo. He scored a ton of points in the WHL yet Buffalo didn’t sign him. Hawks then sign him as a 20 year old, he has strong first year in AHL and looks to be securing a regular slot with the Hawks at age of 22. Anyone know why Buffalo passed on signing him?

    I had no problem with playing 7 d-men tonight. Young guys got less time but better than sitting out.

  • January 27, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    Not a bad game. Lankinan looked solid. DeHaan looked horrible at times.

  • January 27, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    Undefeated in 5 games. Lankenin is 2-0-2? This without 20 50 77 19 and other virus players.

    Cant wait to young wave is ready and we add more top 5 skill draft players to that wave then get the rest from ufa and were ready.

    2 more drafts.

  • January 27, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    After all his misery early in the year, it was good to see Carpenter get an important goal. He has played great except for bungling the scoring chances.

    Kubalik and Kane had some great chances tonight. It was a shame one or two of them wouldn’t go in.

    I said last night that the Hawks played hard. Apparently Colliton disagreed and called them out for lack of effort. I wonder if he was OK with the effort tonight. They got mauled in the third, but Lankinen was great. They did have a couple good chances.

    Call him a third or fourth line player if you want, but Janmark is playing well. When your third liners are that effective, it’s a good thing.

    Hagel presses hard and steals pucks. You can’t question his effort.

    Getting outshot as badly as they did, the Hawks can’t be unhappy leaving Nashville with 2 points.

  • January 27, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    Love the way this team is battling through adversity, first the injuries going into the season and now the covid factor. Still competing and finding a way, the goalies standing tall for them, as Tab mentioned supposedly the weak link. Lot better effort tonight, thought the 7 d was to take some load off 2, 5 and 44 but didn’t happen really. Dehaan looked tired in 3rd, making some mistakes he normally wouldn’t. Janmark and Soderberg should draw some tdl interest if thatd the plan. The 4th line guys doing an excellent job against opoments top lines and creating some offensive zone time as well, finally got a goal. Should be some tdl interest there too if that is the plan. Jackets and Canes be a tough next 4 games on home ice, just want to see the youngsters keep stepping up and clean play in the D zone to support the gyoung goalies.

  • January 27, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    Agree Robs.

    Janmark way better than advertised. He went flying up the ice in the first period, almost going coast-to-coast and wired a shot that Saros gloved.
    Beaudin is truly much bigger than he looked last year.
    Carlsson needs to play quicker. His decision making and passing looked like he was in the AHL, just a step slow.

    Absolutely LOVE Hagel, what a motor. The guy hustles all over the ice, in all three zones. I think that’s what Colliton means when he says he wants the team to be relentless.

    With Lankinen and Subban emerging as the top-2 goalies, I would think teams like Toronto, that need a backup with NHL experience, might come calling about Delia. Of course the new rule is a team has to carry three goalies, so maybe Delia stays until the deadline then get what you can for him.

  • January 27, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    The Hawks need a few forwards that can knock people off pucks and end cycles in their zone.They need a couple of Defensemen that will make opposing forwards pay for driving their net or hanging out in front of the net.There has to be some physicality and size to be successful.This COVID division setup offers some bad matchups.The Jackets and Canes will exploit their lack of physicality the next 4 games.

  • January 27, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Agree with much better effort tonight as I thought there would be

    Great to Carp score -he has be playing well all year – hopefully attract interest at TDL

    Lank is the man

    This is the Janmark from last years playoffs – not surprised except a little by his speed which is more explosive than I realized

    The young D did not fare well tonight – bad decisions, getting lost in coverage, not able to make a good first pass, not winning puck battles – none of them were very good

    Mitchell still has most potential of the three

    I miss Boquist both for a good first pass and on the PP

    Considering how undermanned they currently are and not more than a mediocre team even with a full roster a very good effort tonight

  • January 27, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    Another great effort tonight. If we keep playing determined, disciplined hockey the tide will turn. Lank is our future goalie. Maybe too soon to say that but I’ll bank on it. Great goal by Carpenter. I do miss the captain, especially for shootouts. Anyone have an update or any news on JT?

  • January 28, 2021 at 1:17 am

    Reading some of these posts it’s mind boggling that some do not understand that this truncated season is not about wins and losses, it’s about prospect and player development. The tide has already turned, to a full rebuild !

    Guys like Lankinen, Hagel, Suter and Mitchell showing they belong in the NHL is The Win.

    If Kurashev, and perhaps Beaudin show they are NHLers that would be quite an accomplishment in terms of numbers.

  • January 28, 2021 at 5:35 am

    Janmark- is proving to be Bolly-lite

    Janmark- needs to play w Kane more ( with this Covid-weak lineup)
    He also needs to play in OT with the open ice, Good for him- Bad for Hawks when life long 3rd/4th liner is now one of your go to guys.

    Hagel’s only weaknesses – so far looks to be his shot/strength. Motor/hustle/fore-check/position/pace/IQ- all look to be NHL

    Beaudin- will be a keeper- guy understands the game

  • January 28, 2021 at 6:38 am

    I didn’t watch the game, but from all accounts deHaan had a stinker, Lankinen was outstanding, Mitchell, Beaudin and Carlsson are keepers. Groucho was solid, while Harpo has the Covids.

    Pius Suter is an absolute stud. Where would we be without him this year?

    Carpenter made up for his wide-open miss. Finally!

  • January 28, 2021 at 7:45 am

    For those complaining about Carlsson try to understand the game. He’s played 8 NHL games with more than half on his off side. This has not happened to Boqvist,Mitchell nor Beaudin all of who are RH defensemen Carlsson is LH. He’s been with the Hawks for 3 years 1st year in the SEL the last 2 in Rockford playing on the 1st line PP and the PK and also named defensive player of the year both years for the Hogs.

    He’s a defenseman who plays his position very well and has an offensive upside if ever given the chance. He’s an old school defenseman that doesn’t fit the mold of Stan or JC who believe the greatest asset of defensemen are their offensive skills to hell how good they play defensively as long as they can poke check.

    On that note I like what I’ve seen from Mitchell and Beaudin but Boqvist needs time in the Rock to improve his defensive play. All in all it looks like they have 4 good defensemen for the future.

  • January 28, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Mitchell, Beaudin and Carlsson may end up as keepers but not based on last night’s game

    They all took turns being a deer in the headlights – understandable though for a young D to experience that feeling (it’s got to be one of the toughest positions in pro sports to learn) – they all have potential so we’ll see who survives

    Based on his play so far Mitchell is likely here to stay – the other two?

  • January 28, 2021 at 8:05 am

    Craig N-Amen

  • January 28, 2021 at 8:36 am

    Last night Hawks had 7 rookies on the ice . Wow …nice to see they let them play .And 10 players where not on this team last year including the Rookies. That’s a big huge change .
    And Colliton manage them very well…
    Colliton knows how to deal with the young wave. I remember how he managed In Rockford when he arrive there at the beginning…he change a loosing team in a winning team in 2-3 months.
    Iff the players really work hard and play is game they will win often or loose with pride that they gave their maximum against a much stronger team
    Efforts and play the system Will make this teams Hard to compete against.

  • January 28, 2021 at 9:22 am


    spot on. in my mind this season is to see who the hawks have who will be contributors in 23-24.

    i want to see more of beaudin and carlsson. they weren’t perfect last night, but they did many things well and they aren’t supposed to be perfect. i thought beaudin was very comfortable with the puck. i liked both of them better than zadorov, who i already don’t like. he doesn’t play nearly as big as he is and won’t be worth the cap hit he will command next year.

    keith is old, de hann is getting up there and fragile, and murphy is a decent player, but as good as he will get. he is a guy who would have been third pairing on the cup winning teams. there is a spot for him in three years, but if it is as a top two d-man the hawks are in trouble. let those three guys and zadorov play on their off wings to accommodate beaudin and carlsson. why should they have to find their way on a bad team playing on their off wings?

  • January 28, 2021 at 9:43 am

    Good effort yesterday from everyone. Accept it everyone they will get caved in at times. Lankinen was awesome and deserved better.

  • January 28, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Blackhawks sign Madison Bowey to 2 yr deal and place him on waivers to be a taxi squad guy likely when Rfd starts season.

  • January 28, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Goalies are a rare breed.

    The very same guys that looked awful in the first four games this season have looked like Ken Dryden in the next four games this season.

    Never could figure out the mindset if a goaltender

    Never will.

    When a good one comes along, just take notice.

  • January 28, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Craig/noon, yes.

    Good to hear good thing about Beau after people said last yr he wasnt doing good and was a wasted pick.

    Suter doesnt make up for hte Buckaroo/92 trade though it does gives a good FW and that is equal to 92 being good. So ok there.

    Now would it be a huge win with Mitch being a legit top pair D guy. Then we could go for that goalie or other and get the other top pair D guy from ufa while drafting another top elite in that goalie/or other position.

    Future is how deep is the young wave.

  • January 30, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    If given the chance by Colliton, Pius will score as many goals as Saad this year. He has a nose for the puck. This is a season for testing young players and looking for silver linings. So far, the most silver is coming from Lankinen 2.15 GAA & 93% save percentage. He would be about 6 and 0 on a contender at this point.

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