Enhanced Box Score: Stars 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT) - December 18, 2021

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Enhanced Box Score: Stars 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT) – December 18, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

Last night, the Blackhawks did not deserve the pity point against the Nashville Predators. Tonight, especially behind the play of Kevin Lankinen, the Blackhawks earned the pity point. Unfortunately, two losses to two teams ahead of you in the Central Division in two nights is not a confidence-building recipe for Chicago. They fall to 11-15-4 on the season, 10-6-2 under Derek King, and have lost back-to-back games for the first time since King took over the head coaching position on November 7. The Dallas Stars also snapped a five-game losing-streak tonight with the 4-3 overtime win.

Less than five minutes into the game, an ugly and unfortunate hit between Brett Connolly and Tanner Kero felt all too familiar to the Blackhawks. Connolly hit Kero up high, Kero was knocked-out on the play and had to be stretchered off the ice.

The Blackhawks lost Jujhar Khaira to an almost exact same hit a few games ago against the Rangers at the hands, or shoulder, of Jacob Trouba. But unlike that hit, Connolly was penalized on the play, given a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Word from the Stars not too long after the game resumed play was that Kero was conscious and responsive and would be taken to the hospital. Hopefully all is going to be well for Kero.

It would be on that five-minute powerplay where the game looked like it was going to go off the rails early for the Blackhawks. Scoring twice on the same powerplay, Joe Pavelski tallied his 10th and 11th goals of the year to put the Stars up 2-0 quickly. With the help of the five-minute powerplay, Dallas out-shot Chicago 18-4 in the opening period of play and led 2-0 after 20 minutes.

Celebrating his 24th birthday today, Alex DeBrincat helped get the Blackhawks back on track in the second period with his 17th goal of the season. DeBrincat leads the Blackhawks in goals this season and is on-pace for 46 goals this season, which would be a career-high.

The celebration for the birthday boy would be short-lived as Dallas would re-extend their two-goal lead just 14 seconds later, making it 3-1. But Chicago, a team that has learned to respond to adversity under Derek King, responded just about a minute and a half later when Dylan Strome found his third goal of the season on a two-on-one break with Brandon Hagel.

Strome had himself a big game creating scoring chances and his goal-scoring effort was about his third or fourth great chance on the night. He has four points over his last six games.

Just beyond the mid-way point of the third period, the game would be tied thanks to Hagel capitalizing on a turnover by Roope Hintz and Dominik Kubalík tipping the shot past Stars goalie Jake Oettinger. Kubalík with his sixth goal of the season extended his point-streak to four games and gave the Blackhawks their fourth-straight game with a third period game-tying or go-ahead goal.

For the second night in-a-row, Chicago would go to overtime. For the second night in-a-row, Chicago would lose in overtime. Patrick Kane had a breakaway chance in the extra frame, but fumbled the puck and didn’t get a shot on net. Shortly after that failed breakaway chance, he would take a penalty, setting up the Stars on the powerplay where they would find the game-winner from John Klingberg. Giving a team eight powerplay opportunities is not a good strategy and it sunk the Blackhawks tonight.

Kevin Lankinen made 35 saves on 39 shots faced, including 23-of-24 at even-strength, and was a major reason that the Blackhawks were able to hang around in the game tonight and eventually force overtime. His record falls to 2-5-3 with the overtime loss. Chicago was out-shot by Dallas 39-23.

Find the full box score here.


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Author: Mario Tirabassi

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