10 observations: Blackhawks rally but fall to Predators for fourth time this season

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Charlie Roumeliotis
·3 min read
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10 observations: Blackhawks rally but fall to Predators originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks fell to the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Sunday at the United Center.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. This was an important series for the Blackhawks, who are trying to stave off three teams for the final playoff spot in the Central Division. But they lost back-to-back games in regulation and fell to 0-2-2 this season against the Predators, who have won seven of their last eight and are now tied for the No. 4 seed.

2. Dylan Strome did not play due to the birth of his child. Because he wasn't available, head coach Jeremy Colliton promoted Kirby Dach to the first line alongside Mattias Janmark and Patrick Kane while Philipp Kurashev started at right wing on a line with Alex DeBrincat and Pius Suter.

3. It was an unfortunate start for the Blackhawks, who played better in the first period than the night before but found themselves trailing 2-0 because both of Nashville's goals went off a skate and in. The first one went off Calvin de Haan and the second off Calle Jarnkrok.

4. The Blackhawks looked out of sync on the power play, going 0-for-3 on the man advantage and registering only one shot on goal in the six minutes. The Predators had the second-worst penalty kill percentage (72.4) in the league going into this game, but have now killed off 24 of their last 25 penalties over the last eight games for a success rate of 96.0 percent.

5. Trailing 2-0 heading into the third period, the DeBrincat-Suter-Kane line was reunited and it immediately paid off. DeBrincat scored two goals in a span of 1:50, both of which were assisted by Kane and Suter, to tie things up at 2-2. The Blackhawks couldn't capitalize on the momentum, however, Roman Josi scoring the game-winning goal with 6:33 left in regulation.

6. DeBrincat scored his 104th career NHL goal on Sunday, surpassing Patrick Kane for fourth by a Blackhawks player within their first four seasons, according to TSN. Only Jonathan Toews (115), Jeremy Roenick (129) and Denis Savard (132) have more.

7. Malcolm Subban got the start in the second of a back-to-back and made several high-quality saves, including a shorthanded one on Jarnkrok with 5:26 left in the second period. He kept this game from getting out of hand in the first two periods and gave his team a chance to win. Subban finished with 28 saves on 31 shots for a save percentage of .903.

8. Dach's turnover on Nashville's game-winning goal will certainly be a teaching moment for the 20-year-old second-year player playing in just his second game this season. He logged 21:17 of ice time, which ranked second among team forwards; only Kane (24:45) had more.

9. Viktor Arvidsson was terrific for the Predators. He scored the first goal, recorded five shots on goal, three of which came from the slot, generated one scoring chance off the rush and led his team in offensive zone possession time (0:34), per Sportlogiq.

10. The pairing of Connor Murphy and Nikita Zadorov logged 15:54 of 5-on-5 ice time together. When they were on the ice, the Blackhawks led in shot attempts (20-10), shots on goal (11-7) and high-danger chances (2-1), according to Natural Stat Trick.

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