Sun Burned: Panthers 4, Blackhawks 2 - March 13, 2021

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Sun Burned: Panthers 4, Blackhawks 2 – March 13, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

Patrick Kane and Keith Yandle are the two newest members of the 1,000 NHL regular season games club (they’re still working on a catchier name), becoming the 52nd and 53rd U.S.-born players to reach the 1,000-games mark.

The Chicago Blackhawks honored Kane’s 1,000th game by getting blown out 6-1 to the Dallas Stars. Tonight, the Blackhawks honored Yandle’s 1,000th game by getting beaten handily by the Florida Panthers, 4-2.

Well, ok, his 1,002nd game, but they celebrated it tonight. You get the point, the game sucked.

With the loss, the Blackhawks record moves to 14-10-5 on the year, they’ll remain in a playoff position in the Central Division, but the gap between them and the top three teams widens with the Panthers’ win tonight (paired with the Tampa Bay Lightning topping the Nashville Predators).

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Chicago had the early lead tonight, thanks to the emerging duo of Dominik Kubalík and Brandon Hagel.

https://twitter.com/NBCSBlackhawks/status/1370906090192433157?s=20

Hagel’s second goal of the season, coming from a beautiful feed from Kubalík, put the Blackhawks up 1-0 in the second period.

But it wouldn’t last long, as the Panthers scored three unanswered goals in the second period to take a 3-1 lead. They would extending things to 4-1 in the third period before Adam Boqvist cut the lead to 4-2 with his second goal of the season late in the third period. But it was too little, too late from Chicago.

The Blackhawks were haunted by former Chicago winger Anthony Duclair, who was making his return to the Panthers lineup tonight, as he tallied three primary assists in 12:28 minutes of ice-time.

Sergei Bobrovsky outdueled Kevin Lankinen in net, making 30 saves on 32 shots faced, winning his fifth-straight start. Bobrovsky has held opponents to two or fewer goals in seven of his last 11 appearances. Lankinen made 33 saves on 37 shots in the loss and moves to 10-5-4 this season.

The Blackhawks are facing a real test of character in the month of March. They are 2-3-1 through the first six games of what is going to be a very difficult stretch of games, playing primarily teams ahead of them in the Central Division. What is working in their favor as they head into Monday’s rematch against Florida is that Chicago holds a 10-1-2 record in the second game of back-to-back games against the same opponent. Here’s to hoping that trend continues and the Blackhawks can recover to get their first win over the Panthers this season.

Final Thoughts

•   A rare regulation loss after scoring the opening goal of the game tonight, the Blackhawks are now 10-2-2 when scoring first this season. On the flip-side, this is Florida’s 11th win this season when they have given up the first goal.

•   Adam Boqvist’s defensive abilities are improving. We joke about his diving to break up plays, but he his breaking up plays. It doesn’t have to be pretty if it’s effective. Hopefully as he continues to get more comfortable with the NHL-level, we’ll see his game open up more offensively if he is confident defensively. He added a late goal, which almost no one reacted to, giving him 13 points in 18 games this season. Boqvist had 13 points in 41 games last season.

•   Blackhawks were 0-for-4 on the powerplay tonight with eight shots on goal with the man-advantage. They held the Panthers off the board on the powerplay, killing both Florida opportunities.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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