10 observations: Blackhawks squander three-goal lead in loss to Lightning

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Charlie Roumeliotis
·3 min read
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10 observations: Blackhawks squander three-goal lead originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 on Sunday at the United Center.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. Head coach Jeremy Colliton rolled with 11 forwards and seven defensemen because Calvin de Haan was ruled out with an injury after blocking a shot off his leg in Friday's game. Lucas Carlsson drew into the lineup along with Wyatt Kalynuk, who made his NHL debut. Lucas Wallmark was the odd man out.

2. The Blackhawks took a commanding 3-0 lead in the second period but no lead is safe against the defending Stanley Cup champions, who scored three goals in exactly four minutes to tie things up at 3-3 and ultimately scored six unanswered goals.

3. Going into Sunday, the Blackhawks were 11-for-19 on the penalty kill over their last seven games for a success rate of 57.9 percent, which ranks dead last over that span. They gave up four more power-play goals against the Lightning and finished 1-for-5. They've got to clean that up.

4. Connor Murphy was ejected at the midway mark of the second period for an illegal check to the head on Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak, who left the game and did not return. Fortunately, the Blackhawks dressed seven defensemen, so they weren't shorthanded on the back end but the rookies were forced to take on larger roles with de Haan already out too.

5. Vasilevskiy went into this game with a 7-0-0 record, 1.83 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in seven career starts against the Blackhawks. He was on his way to suffering his first loss after giving up the first three goals of the game but the Lightning rallied to save his perfect record.

6. The Blackhawks were handed their first regulation loss of the season when scoring the first goal. They were 9-0-2 prior to this game. The Lightning also improved to 14-0-0 when leading after two periods.

7. The Blackhawks have committed 11 penalties over the last two games after being penalized only six times in their previous four contests. That's way too many against a high-powered offense like the Lightning.

8. Philipp Kurashev scored the game-winning shootout goal on Friday and followed that up by opening the scoring on Sunday for his sixth tally of the season. It was a terrific effort on the play after he fought through defenseman Andreas Borgman, who committed a penalty, then backhanded a shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy while off balance. The goal ended a seven-game point drought for Kurashev.

9. Patrick Kane, Dominik Kubalik and Mattias Janmark connected for a ridiculously pretty power-play goal in the first period. Kane flicked a sauce-pass to Kubalik, who tipped it in the air and was batted home by Janmark. What a play.

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10. Kalynuk became the sixth Blackhawks rookie to make his NHL debut this season, joining Reese Johnson, Philipp Kurashev, Kevin Lankinen, Ian Mitchell and Pius Suter. He registered two hits and a -2 rating in 10:38 of ice time.

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