Enhanced Box Score: Panthers 5, Blackhawks 2 — February 20, 2022

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Enhanced Box Score: Panthers 5, Blackhawks 2 — February 20, 2022

Chicago Blackhawks

Suppose you’re looking for a snapshot of today’s loss to the Florida Panthers. In that case, all you have to do is look at the expression on Kirby Dach’s face after he inadvertently re-directed a harmless MacKenzie Weegar’s shot past Marc-André Fleury early in the third period for the Panthers’ third goal of the contest. A contest in which the Blackhawks essentially played well enough in two of the three phases of the game to win.

A lucky bounce on a prayer of a shot by Patrick Kane in the first period and a third-period Caleb Jones power-play goal was all the Blackhawks offense could muster up against Florida today. Kane took a shot at Sergei Bobrovsky that bounced off the veteran netminder and into the net to even things up at one apiece at the time.

It was a game of lucky breaks on Sunday, with more of them going the Panthers’ way than the Blackhawks.

Chicago’s defense was playing with plenty of pep in their step in the first period, holding the league’s best offense to just two shots on goal nearly 17 minutes into the period before Aaron Ekblad found nylon behind Marc-André Fleury, and that was the “best” goal of the game for the Panthers. Goal No. 2 for Florida came in the second period, and it was a missile off the stick of Brandon Montour that Marc-André Fleury never even saw as he was screened by Calvin de Haan and Seth Jones, allowing the shot to ricochet off the post and into the net to make it 2-1 Florida.

As I mentioned, MacKenzie Weegar’s haphazard shot became goal No. 3 with a bit of help from Kirby Dach. The breaks just went to Florida today.

Florida entered the game averaging a league-best 36.5 shots on goal per game but ended period one with just three shots. They finished the game with 25 shots on goal, with 11 of them coming in the third period, where it looked like the Panthers had worn the Chicago defense out. The game was chippy, with plenty of hitting, and again, the Blackhawks got the worst of it, with Jake McCabe finishing the game in the dressing room.

After scoring four goals on Thursday night against Columbus, the Blackhawks have just one goal in their last two contests, both of which the defense and goaltending were more than good enough to get a win. It’s a disappointing start to the six-game homestand, as the Blackhawks have now dropped each of the first three. But, this one, this one stings if you’re the Blackhawks. Two points were within the grasp of the Blackhawks against a very talented Florida team, and they couldn’t get the job done.

The Panthers scored a pair of empty-netters to widen the gap on the scoreboard, but this one was a lot tighter than it reads in the boxscore.

You can find the complete box score here!


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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.