In a game where the Chicago Blackhawks had nothing to play for, they at least put together an effort bookended with stretches of quality hockey. The Carolina Hurricanes still came up on the winning end tonight in a 6-3 game, but Chicago showed a resilience and a G.A.F. attitude that was missing last night. Chicago is now 2-4-1 in their seven meetings agains the Hurricanes this season with the regular season series finale coming on Thursday night. It will also be the final road game of the season for the Blackhawks. With the loss, the Blackhawks are 0-5-1 over their last six games.
The Blackhawks opened the scoring with a short-handed goal from Alex DeBrincat, his 27th goal of the season to take a 1-0 lead early in the opening period. They followed that up with a pair of career firsts as Mike Hardman scored his first NHL goal with a little help from MacKenzie Entwistle, who tallied his first NHL assist in the process to make it a 2-0 lead in the opening period.
Mike Hardman & MacKenzie Entwistle are the first #Blackhawks to notch their first NHL points on the same play since 10/6/07. Both Patrick Kane & Magnus Johansson recorded their firsts with assists on a Tuomo Ruutu goal that night.
Kane added his 1,026th point on the goal tonight
— Carter Baum (@CarterBaum) May 5, 2021
After taking the 2-0 lead into the first intermission, the Blackhawks allowed four unanswered goals in the second and third periods to put the game officially out of reach of the Blackhawks. A DeBrincat goal in the third period would make it a 4-3 game but that’s as close as we’d get in the end. It’s evident that this biggest problem the Blackhawks will have to address is their defensive breakdowns. It’s not the goaltenders, no matter who of Lankinen, Subban, or Delia you put in net, this defense is not helping them and hasn’t all season.
Collin Delia made his first start for the Blackhawks since January 17th, stopping 22 of 26 shots on the night, following a 19-for-19 save effort last night in relief of Malcolm Subban. Delia is now 0-3-0 on the year with a .881 save-percentage.
Find the full box score here.