5 takeaways from Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-2 loss, including Lukas Reichel’s 1st goal and Connor Bedard’s pointless night

Most teams don’t collect consolation prizes, but the Chicago Blackhawks might just have to settle for a few after Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

And both came on the same play.

Lukas Reichel recorded his first goal of the season — and it came on a power play that had been struggling. He deflected in Philipp Kurashev’s blast from his new bumper spot to give the Hawks the game’s opening goal.

“I didn’t even know I scored,” Reichel said. “I thought (Corey) Perry had a stick on it. So I didn’t even know, but then I was like, ‘Yeah (bleeping) right.’ "

Perry got his own goal later in the game, but that’s all the offense could muster after the Lightning answered with two goals in the second period and hogged the puck for most of the third.

“We didn’t have a lot of shots and we didn’t hang onto pucks,” Reichel said.

Perry said, “We passed up a lot of shots, especially in the second period. We tried to maybe be a little too cute where some of those pucks have to get on net.”

The Hawks got off to a fast start, a common theme this season. But that promising start petered out, also a common theme. The Hawks were outshot 29-15 and had just two shots on goal in the third.

“It was a little bit part on our part and part on them turning it up,” coach Luke Richardson said. “We saw that in the third especially. They had the puck way too much in our zone, (and) we just couldn’t get it back.”

Goalie Petr Mrázek had an outstanding first period and made some big stops in the third, finishing with 23 saves.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, “Give their goalie credit, I thought he played really well tonight, but we just kept coming.”

Here are five takeaways from the loss.

1. Lukas Reichel finally got the goal monkey off his back.

It’s a chore asking a player their thoughts about going goalless all season, but it’s a far heavier burden carrying a zero in the goals column as a top-six forward.

But the wait was finally over with seven minutes left in the first period with his first career power-play goal.

Reichel redirected Kurashev’s shot on the first power play. It was also Kurashev who drew the boarding penalty by the Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev.

Reichel and Kurashev used to be past linemates and buddies who speak German together, so Reichel maybe knows what size Lederhosen Kurashev wears. Christmas is around the corner.

Reichel’s previous goal game on April 8 against the Seattle Kraken.

“Get the monkey off his back and just let him play hockey now,” Perry mused.

Reichel admitted he felt “a little bit” lighter, “but I still feel we didn’t play good enough in the offensive zone.” Richardson wants him to shoot more.

“He had a chance in the second period and he passed it off,” he said. “He’s just got to get that out of himself and take charge. When he got one early, I thought he should’ve been shooting that puck all night, but that’s definitely a first step and that’s a good sign.”

2. Connor Bedard was blanketed all night.

Bedard had averaged a point per game entering Thursday’s matchup. And none other than Wayne Gretzky, the Great One himself, was conducting the hype train.

“He’s been everything that everybody thought he was going to be,” Gretzky said on TNT this week. “And he might even be better than we thought.”

But Thursday night, Bedard was held to one shot and didn’t register a point.

“If he comes in as an 18-year-old and has 82 points this year, that’s unreal. He’s not pointing every night,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “You can tell the plays that kid makes. If he goes pointless for a night, people should pump the brakes. He’s going to be OK.”.

3. The power play gets a ‘bump.’

You could argue Reichel’s elevation to the top power play did as much for him as he did for it, but either way it paid dividends right out of the gate.

The Hawks had high hopes he could ignite a listless power play (10.9% entering the game) from the bumper spot.

“He brings a lot of skill,” Kurashev told the Tribune before the game. “Hopefully, we can get it going a little bit because we’ve been struggling.”

Reichel came through with a goal, but the unit looked dysfunctional once again on its second opportunity.

“We had one good power play, the second was not good at all,” he said. “We had one chance so we’ll see how it goes in the next few games.”

The Hawks’ power-play issues won’t be solved by just one person. One fault is their below-average offensive zone time.

“Part of it is our entries on the breakout,” Richardson said pregame. “We have to get cleaner there.”

4. OK, who had Corey Perry second on the Hawks in points (9)?

Not over here.

Perry added to his point total with his fourth goal of the season. Apparently the 38-year-old’s not done yet showing he’s not done yet.

“He continues to add offense, and he’s not the fastest guy in the world — probably never claims to be,” Richardson said. “But he’s a really good player and he’s hard on his stick and he’s competitive.

“I think you’re going to have to kick him out of the league. I don’t think he’ll ever leave willingly.”

5. Take a shot, any shot.

The Hawks have a minus-102 shot differential after Thursday, and they’ve been outshot in each period.

Their worst frame is the second period (-64), though it was the second and third periods that did them in Thursday.

The lack of shots, though, was a byproduct of getting hemmed in, particularly in the third.

“It was a combination of not hitting and pinning down low early enough,” Richardson said. “And we weren’t quick enough to get out onto the point, so they were getting a lot of point shots through, which resulted in two goals tonight. That just gets you running around.

“When you’re on your heels you’re never going to get the puck back.”