Cardiac Canes: Hurricanes 4, Blackhawks 3 - April 1st, 2021

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Cardiac Canes: Hurricanes 4, Blackhawks 3 – April 1st, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

On a night where the Nashville Predators *and* Columbus Blue Jackets lost, the Chicago Blackhawks were in prime position to take control of the fourth playoff spot in the Central Division … if only they could get a win over the Carolina Hurricanes and sweep their two-game set.

If only.

Chicago and Carolina played a muddy, flukey game abundant with fortunate bounces on both sides. Unfortunately, there was just a few more bounces that went the way of the Hurricanes in their 4-3 win over Chicago. It’s a real gut punch for a Blackhawks team that could have taken a two-point lead over the Predators in the standings heading into Saturday’s contest in Nashville.

The Blackhawks took their sweet time waking up for this game, seemingly playing the first half of the contest on their back-foot. After mustering just three shots in the first period and falling behind 2-0 early in the second period, Chicago finally came to life around the mid-way point of the second. And after a couple of sustained possessions, Dominik Kubalík was able to drive the net off of a stretch pass from Wyatt Kalynuk and get the Blackhawks on the board.

Kalynuk’s first point in his NHL Career and Kubalík’s 12th goal of the season cut the Hurricanes lead to 2-1 and would stay that way in to the third period.

Chicago would tie the game on another fortunate bounce of the puck as Brandon Hagel scored his fifth goal of the season.

Shortly after the Blackhawks started the third period with a Kubalík-Dach-Hagel line, they were able to simplify the game by putting the puck on net and crashing for the rebound. Dach tallies his second assist in as many games on the 2-2 goal but the tie game would last just under 70 seconds as the Hurricanes re-took the lead on another bouncing puck that went in off a Blackhawks defender.

Dylan Strome was able to tie the game again in the third period with a tip-in goal to make it 3-3.

Strome’s 100th point as a member of the Blackhawks and his second goal since becoming a Dad would give the Blackhawks momentum and the illusion that this wonky game might actually be theirs to win.

Nope.

In the final moments of the game, Kubalík would be denied on the doorstop with 40 seconds remaining before the Hurricanes found the winner just 12 seconds later.

4-3 the final. Fart.

Chicago remains in a tie with the Predators for fourth-place in the Central Division with 39 points, but the Predators hold the regulation wins tie-breaker. The Dallas Stars are able to gain ground with their win tonight, now just five points behind Chicago and Nashville.

Final Thoughts

•   With the loss, the Blackhawks are now 4-12-3 this season when their opponent scores first. Chicago has allowed the first goal of the game in three of their last four games.

•   Kevin Lankinen is now 2-2-1 against the Hurricanes this season after tonight’s loss. He had a number of big saves that kept the Blackhawks in this game tonight when it very easily could have gotten far away form them, especially early on in the game. Would imagine he gets the start on Saturday afternoon in Nashville.

•   Going 0-for-3 on the powerplay tonight, this was the first game against the Hurricanes this season where the Blackhawks did not score a powerplay goal. They are 6-for-16 on the man-advantage this season against Carolina.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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