10 observations: Blackhawks rally to beat Golden Knights in shootout
10 observations: Hawks rally to beat Vegas in shootout originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks rallied to beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in a shootout at the United Center on Tuesday.
Here are 10 observations from the win:
1. The Blackhawks are 4-8-3 against the Golden Knights since Vegas entered the league in 2017. The Golden Knights, however, have yet to lose in regulation at the United Center, where they are 5-0-2 and have a +10 goal differential.
2. The Blackhawks were 0-for-22 on the power play before Tyler Johnson scored the game-tying goal with 54.6 left in regulation with the man advantage. Well, two-man advantage because of the extra attacker. They had been as dry as a desert. Johnson was also the only one to score in the shootout, which was the game winner.
3. If this was Patrick Kane's last game at the United Center with the Blackhawks before the March 3 trade deadline, what a way to go out. He set up Johnson in the final minute of regulation and nearly scored the overtime winner at the buzzer with 0.1 seconds left. The Blackhawks celebrated like it was game over. But after a lengthy video review, the officials took it away. It would've been an epic finish. Kane also finished with 25:01 of ice time, which is a new season-high.
4. I thought Petr Mrazek was fantastic in this game. He turned aside 34 of 36 shots for a save percentage of .944 and stopped all three shots in the shootout. He deserved this win.
5. The only power play that might be colder than the Blackhawks' is the Golden Knights, who haven't scored a power-play goal in 24 straight opportunities. Their only opportunity in this game, too, wasn't very good at all.
6. Cole Guttman scored in his second straight game, and he also recorded six shot attempts (three on goal). He isn't afraid to shoot. Most young players would be in their first few NHL games. Positive sign.
7. Brett Seney drew into the lineup for Reese Johnson, who's in concussion protocol. Seney centered the fourth line with Colin Blackwell and Boris Katchouk. Seney finished with four shots on goal, which was among the team leaders. Man, he can really skate. He's got such quick legs.
8. Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson joined the pregame show on NBC Sports Chicago and said he's been in "constant contact" with Kane and his agent Pat Brisson, but Kane hasn't informed the organization of a decision yet. Davidson is being patient with Kane: "His timeline is our timeline. There's no rush or need to push anything along for our purposes. When a decision is reached, we'll deal with it then."
9. I think the Golden Knights could be a potential landing spot for Kane. Again, the interest would have to be mutual, but the fit would be perfect because he would step into the same kind of role he's playing now: top-line winger, first power-play unit, and be viewed as a go-to option. He could be the playoff gamebreaker they've lacked.
10. My one concern about the Golden Knights is their goaltending. Robin Lehner underwent hip surgery in August and is expected to be out all season with a hip injury. His replacement Logan Thompson is currently out week-to-week with a lower-body injury. They might need to add an insurance policy at the deadline just in case.
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