10 observations: Blackhawks routed by Lightning in road-trip finale

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Charlie Roumeliotis
·3 min read
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10 observations: Blackhawks routed in road-trip finale originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks were routed by the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Saturday at Amalie Arena to wrap up their six-game road trip.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. The Blackhawks arguably played better in this game than Thursday. They led in shot attempts (43-21), shots on goal (26-15), scoring chances (29-13) and high-danger chances (12-5) through two periods, according to Natural Stat Trick, but lost in regulation for the fourth straight game, which is their longest losing streak of the season.

2. Andrei Vasilevskiy was on his A-game yet again and the Blackhawks simply couldn't crack him. He stopped the first 28 shots he faced and finished with 30 saves on 31 shots for a save percentage of .968 for his 11th win in a row, which ties Louis Domingue for the longest winning streak by a goaltender in Lightning history.

3. The Blackhawks generated 36 total scoring chances, which is their fourth-most in a game this season. They've generated at least 35 scoring chances four times this year and three of those games have been against the Lightning. The Blackhawks are 0-2-1 in those games.

4. The Blackhawks had several opportunities to tie the game up at 1-1 but couldn't. Perhaps their best chance came at the 9:14 mark of the first period when Carl Soderberg found himself on a shorthanded breakaway but was denied by Vasilevskiy.

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5. The Blackhawks had a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity for 1:23 in the second period when the deficit was 2-0 and needed to cash in to give themselves a legitimate shot to get back in the game. They recorded seven shot attempts and two shots on goal but failed to find the back of the net. The Blackhawks finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play.

6. Alex DeBrincat and Yanni Gourde were each penalized for cross-checking 15 seconds into the middle frame after hacking and whacking one another prior to a neutral zone faceoff. The officials made it known they weren't going to let that escalate any further, and the Lightning won that trade-off because Anthony Cirelli scored during the 4-on-4 action to make it 2-0.

7. Gourde has five goals and four assists for nine points in seven games against the Blackhawks this season. He has a combined four goals and four assists for eight points in 23 games against the other six Central Division teams.

8. The Blackhawks gave up the first five shots on goal in the second period. They recorded the next 11, yet it was the Lightning who outscored the Blackhawks 3-0 in the middle frame. The Lightning improved their second-period goal differential to +13, which ranks No. 2 in the NHL.

9. Duncan Keith did not have a particularly great series against the Lightning. He was on the ice for all four goals against in Game 1 and three of the four goals against in Game 2. 

10. Head coach Jeremy Colliton inserted Reese Johnson into the lineup for Lucas Wallmark after giving a passionate response before the game about the Lightning trying to bait Connor Murphy into a fight for his hit on Erik Cernak in their previous outing at the United Center. It wasn't exactly a chippy game, but there was certainly a reason why Johnson, whose known for his physical play, was part of the forward group.

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