Another Game, Another Five Goals Given Up By the Blackhawks - Panthers 5, Blackhawks 4 (OT)

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Another Game, Another Five Goals Given Up By the Blackhawks – Panthers 5, Blackhawks 4 (OT)

Chicago Blackhawks

This season, the name of the game is progress. Tonight, although painful in the end, was progress.

The Chicago Blackhawks fell 5-4 to the Florida Panthers in overtime, their record moving to 0-3-1 to begin the 2021 season, but there was at least some things to enjoy. Kinda.

The Blackhawks got off to a familiar start, giving up the first goal of the game (for the fourth-straight game), before quickly allowing it to become 2-0. With Kevin Lankinen making his NHL debut in the net, you probably figured you’d seen this one before.

But unlike their first three contests, the Blackhawks showed a wealth of fight and resilience. Before the end of the first period, Dominik Kubalík was able to cut the lead in half with a powerplay goal.

Yes, that’s a powerplay goal, I said.

Chicago ended the first period with a breath of life … whiiiiiiiich was quickly deflated with a 3-1 goal given up off a turnover and a bad line change. Head coach Jeremy Colliton has mentioned that the Blackhawks have been self-inflicting wounds defensively, many of which have led to high-quality scoring chances against Chicago goaltenders. So while you no doubt want to see improved goaltending, the netminders need much more help than they are getting.

But never fear, Kuby’s here!

A second powerplay goal from Kubalík on the night made it a 3-2 game (it’s almost as if he should be playing 17-18+ minutes a night (he said for the bajillionth time)). With the hot stick, Kubalík was rewarded throughout the rest of the game with ice-time next to Dylan Strome and Patrick Kane. That trio worked together to create a scoring chance in the second for Kane, which ended with him getting slashed on the play and getting a penalty shot. Although Sergei Bobrovsky would stop Kane on the penalty shot, it would be a few minutes later when Kane would remind everyone, “Yeah, I’m still that damn good.”

Just nasty.

In the third period, the Blackhawks were able to check two milestones off their list for the season: first NHL goal for Philipp Kurashev and first lead of the 2021 season for Chicago! Yes, a LEAD!

Of course, in the spirit of the 2021 season so far, the Blackhawks are not allowed to have nice things – the Panthers knotted it up 4-4 just 71 seconds later. In what could only be described as kismet, the Blackhawks would have to avoid allowing a fifth goal for the fourth-straight game and actually score the fifth goal of the game to avoid starting the season with four-straight losses.

So we headed to overtime.

Great chances were available on both ends of the ice, including an incredible save by Lankinen on a 3-on-1 break for the Panthers. But in the end, it would be Frank Vatrano winning it for Florida with the overtime winner. Another game, another five goals given up by the Blackhawks. But hey, at least they have ONE point in the standings now.

Final Thoughts

•   Dominik Kubalík  loves to score in bunches. His two goals night were good for his sixth career multi-goal game in just 72 NHL games played.

•   Adam Boqvist missed a chunk of time in the second period after landing hard on his shoulder from a hit by Jonathan Huberdeau. Fortunately he returned in the third period. Will have to keep an eye if any further injury news comes from that.

•   Kevin Lankinen was relatively fine in his first NHL game. Unlike Subban and Delia before him, Lankinen didn’t have a major gaffe that led to a goal against him. He helped make Blackhawks history with his start, marking the first time the franchise has ever started three different goalies in the first four games of a season. Only four teams have done that same thing since the 2005-06 NHL season.

•   Brandon Hagel stepped in for Matthew Highmore and was OK. He was able to fit seamlessly into the fourth-line role. Probably will see him get another game in the lineup coming up against the Red Wings

•   One point out of a possible eight to start the season on the road for Chicago is dreadful. The hope now is that the upcoming two-game series against the Detroit Red Wings provides the Blackhawks with some confidence-building opportunities.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.