Game 48: Hawks 1, Preds 3
The Blackhawks couldn't get it done to gain more ground on the Predators for the final playoff seed after losing the game 3-1 and the season series (1-5-2). The Hawks are now 5 points out of 4th place.
The starting lineup included Malcolm Subban starting consecutive games, Nicolas Beaudin subbing in for the injured Calvin de Haan, and Dylan Strome being scratched again:
And the starters for the opening shift:
1st Goal: Johansen (0-1)
After Nashville moved the puck down low from right to left to the slot, the Hawks outnumbered the Preds yet still couldn't cancel them out as Ryan Johansen got just enough of the loose puck to bang it past Subban.
2nd Goal: Kunin (0-2)
The Preds cycled the puck along the left flank and around the net to the other side where Mikael Granlund fed Luke Kunin who got into scoring position after Nikita Zadorov allowed him to break free.
3rd Goal: Haula (0-3)
Matt Duchene rang the puck around the boards from left to right that Erik Haula let go up to Ryan Ellis at the point. Haula got the puck back standing along the goal line and squeezed the puck through Subban.
4th Goal: Hinostroza (1-3)
(No video available)
Wyatt Kalynuk sent a floater from the point that Vincent Hinostroza poked at one handed to trickle the puck just barely past the goal line. The play required video review but was eventually ruled a good goal.
Pounce on Mistakes
Nashville made a lot more mistakes in their end this game and Chicago was much better at pouncing on the puck right away to at least make a play even though they couldn't convert errors into goals.
Credit Where It's Due
While the Hawks still struggled with connecting consistently with sharp passes, they still generated scoring chances on Predators goalie Juuse Saros who shut them down simply being a brick wall in net.
Despite the Preds 2nd and 3rd goals that he should've saved, Subban again played solid enough between the pipes to give his team a chance to win. He's sporting a .933 save percentage in 4 games this month.
Kirby Dach had a bit of a scare as he got hurt late in the 2nd period as Mattias Ekholm ran him to the boards where he got jammed up awkwardly. Thankfully he returned to the game without issue.
Hinostroza remains hot in his return to the Blackhawks notching his 2nd goal and 8th point in 9 games so far. He continues to leverage his speed and hustle to be disruptive and make plays.
After pinching on offense, Adam Boqvist needs to get back quicker on defense. Lately he has often been coasting rather than keeping his legs pumping until he catches up to the play in his end.
1st Goal: Wilkie (1-0)
The Wild coughed up the puck above the circles that Josiah Slavin recovered then tethered to Chris Wilkie in the lower right circle where he showed tremendous patience before beating the goalie top shelf.
2nd Goal: Mayhew (1-1)
While playing the puck behind his net, Cale Morris made a clearing attempt that hit Matthew Boldy and landed unfortunately on the blade of Gerry Mayhew who just had to whack it into the empty net.
3rd Goal: Mitchell (2-1)
D.J. Busdeker rubbed out a Wild player in the left corner causing him to send an errant pass to Anton Lindholm at the point. Lindholm launched a shot on net that Garrett Mitchell redirected home.
4th Goal: Dewar (2-2) PP
After Wilkie was called for a 5-minute major and game misconduct for getting an elbow in on Wild goalie Dereck Baribeau while chasing the puck, Iowa capitalized with a power play marker by Connor Dewar.
5th Goal: Duhaime (2-3)
Dmitry Osipov and Lindholm failed several times to clear the zone which allowed the Wild to gain possession. Brandon Duhaime scored from the right circle with Gabriel Dumont arguably interfering with Morris.
Recently signed Carson Gicewicz (AHL contract) made his pro debut but was largely unnoticeable except for hitting the post on an odd-man rush.
Andrei Altybarmakian's fearlessness gives him wings to drive to the net hard, fight for positioning, and stick up for himself and teammates. He backs down from nobody.
See you on the boards!