Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights at the United Center on Saturday:
1. Winless against Vegas
Going into Saturday, the Blackhawks had lost each of their first five games against Vegas over the past two seasons. This was their final chance to pick up a win against them this year, and it looked like they were on their way to do so.
But the Golden Knights rallied from 3-1 down, forced overtime and sealed the deal when Shea Theodore scored the winner to improve to 6-0-0 against Chicago.
"Thought the game was in our control and then all of a sudden they score one late there in the second, and you could feel we definitely tightened up there in the third," Patrick Kane said. "Sat back and it was bound to happen the way it happened there in the third for them to tie it up.
"They're a good team. I think they're probably a team similar to the style of a team we want to play in here. So we can learn a lot from them."
2. Three unanswered goals
The Blackhawks appeared to be in control of the game for the first two periods. Well, at least the first 39 minutes.
In the final minute of the second period, Ryan Carpenter snapped a wrist shot past Collin Delia to trim the Golden Knights deficit to 3-2 and it gave them life. And the Blackhawks could feel it in the third period after allowing 12 scoring chances at even strength and generated only one, according to naturalstattrick.com.
The Golden Knights eventually scored the next two as well, and secured the victory despite failing to hold a lead at any point in the game.
"The first period was really good and such a good situation," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Same thing in the second. It's an early goal in the second period where we're in control, and it seemed like they got goals at key times that gave them life when maybe they didn't have any. The goal at the end of the second is a similar situation where it came from nowhere and it's in the back of the net. Then they have some hope, and we have a little doubt. And that's the issue."
3. Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane stay hot
The positive development in the loss was the continued hot streaks of DeBrincat and Kane. DeBrincat scored twice to extend his goal streak to a career-high four games and became the seventh player in Blackhawks history to score his 50th career NHL goal prior to their 130th game.
Kane, on the other hand, turned in a multi-point effort for the fourth consecutive contest. The duo also connected for a one-time goal for the fourth straight game, which is becoming a lethal weapon on the power play.
"We're doing well," DeBrincat said. "We're passing it around pretty well. Obviously that seam play's been working pretty well, too. We have a lot of different options that we can score on. Kaner's a threat by himself over there, too. It's tough for the other teams to defend if we're zipping it around and we have a lot of different options to score, so I think we're pretty confident right now and we look to keep going with it."
4. Brandon Pirri's resurgence
One of the hottest topics in the NHL right now is why Pirri can't seem to latch on to a team. He's been with five different clubs in nine seasons, and has finally played his way into a big role on the Golden Knights. Or so we think.
The former 2009 second-round pick by the Blackhawks has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 10 games this season, but still finds himself bouncing up and down the NHL and AHL.
Here's what Pirri said before the game on whether it's been frustrating that he's putting up strong offensive numbers, yet still seems to be fighting for a permanent spot on the roster.
"No, I can't control that," said Pirri, who has held off the scoresheet against Chicago for only the second time this season. "If I start worrying about that then I'm doing myself a disservice. I get to play hockey regardless if I'm in the American League or in the NHL for a living. It's a good opportunity for me and it's a lot of fun. It's a different role here and there but at the same time it's a good opportunity."