The first period in Dallas felt awfully familiar with how the Blackhawks have played this season. It wasn’t a slow start (like Boston), but the Blackhawks out-played their opponent for 20 minutes and were trailing somehow. It took the Stars more than 16 minutes to get their first shot on net; their second shot went in. And, of course, it was from Jason Robertson who is the hottest player on the planet.
Chicago kept the pressure on, though. They out-shot Dallas 11-4 in the first period and Petr Mrazek did a nice job of keeping the puck moving when it was around him. In the second period, the effort paid off. The Blackhawks out-shot the Stars 15-12 and outscored them 3-0 to take a 3-1 lead to the second intermission.
Max Domi was denied or shot wide on some great looks again on Wednesday night, but he finally got one to go in mid-third to give the Blackhawks’ an important fourth goal, which gave the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead. Unfortunately, the Stars scored three times in just under four minutes to tie the game. And then fourth goal in the period to give the Stars a 5-4 lead came with 93 seconds left in regulation… though the refs didn’t initially credit the goal. The horn sounded about a minute after the goal and it was credited.
What was a really good, complete team effort for 50 minutes evaporated into a stunning loss to a really, really good Stars team. Jason Robertson added one into the empty net to make the final score 6-4 with five of Dallas’ six goals coming in the final ten minutes of the game.
Star 1: Seth Jones
He was supposed to be out for at least another week. But the prospect of playing in his hometown the night before Thanksgiving was enough for Seth to join Caleb in the starting lineup on Wednesday night. Rust? Maybe there was a little, but you couldn’t tell much. He led the Hawks’ defensemen in ice time and scored his first goal of the season to get the Blackhawks on the board and tie the game early in the second period. The entire blue line dynamic looks more settled and comfortable with the big dog back on the top of the lineup.
Star 2: Jonathan Toews
Toews for becoming the eighth player in the history of the Blackhawks organization to reach 500 career regular-season assists for the franchise. Toews picked up the helper on Connor Murphy’s goal in the second period. Toews had another dominant night at the dot as well, winning 14 of 20 faceoffs against the No. 3 ranked team in the NHL at the dot.
Star 3: Jarred Tinordi
He came in like a wrecking ball… and, then he dropped the gloves in a legit heavyweight bought with Jani Hakanpää during the first period. Somehow this huge hit was the only one credited to Tinordi before the third period, but he also picked up an assist, another hit and four blocked shots with his five PIM from this throw down.
- Andreas Athanasiou scored his sixth goal of the season during the Blackhawks’ second period rally. Wednesday night was his 19th game of the season. Athanasiou scored 11 goals in 28 games for the Kings last year and 10 in 47 games for LA the previous season. He’s had his good and bad moments, but if he can keep scoring at this clip there’s a chance the Blackhawks could enjoy a nice return for him at the trade deadline.
- Domi scored his fifth goal of the season in his 19th game. Last season between Columbus and Carolina, Max scored 11 times in 72 games. So he, too, is ahead of the pace he had last year and is helping his potential trade value down the line.
- It’s an absolute shame the wheels fell off four four minutes in the third period because Petr Mrazek was marvelous for the opening 12 minutes of the final frame. After facing 15 shots in the first 40 minutes, Mrazek faced 13 in the opening 12 of the third period. But, as they did after battling all the way back from a three-goal deficit against Pittsburgh, the Hawks got away from their structure and watched a really good team blitz them for three quick goals to tie the game.
- Jason Robertson is a great player who is going to torment this division for years.