Blackhawks 1, Kings 2 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

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Blackhawks 1, Kings 2 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

Chicago Blackhawks

The Kings came into Sunday night’s game against the Kings looking down the ice at a Kings’ goaltender who lasted only 39 seconds in Nashville last night; he allowed two goals on the first three shots he faced and got the showers. So what did the Blackhawks do? They put three shots on him — in the entire first period. And no, none of them went in this time.

Nine minutes into the first period, it appears Tyler Johnson got tripped and the Kings got a rush on the play. Ian Mitchell tried to defend the initial shot, and took a stick to the face for his effort. Neither potential penalty was called and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored LA’s first goal of the game. Anderson-Dolan scored LA’s second goal of the night early in the second period as well.

That, and they generated absolutely no offense.

Star 1: Petr Mrazek

The offense didn’t show up so the goaltender gets the top spot. Mrazek was solid and kept things close while the skaters in front of him did very little. He was especially good in the second period when the Kings put pressure on trying to extend their lead beyond two. On the night, Mrazek stopped 25 of 27.

Star 2: Ian Mitchell

The Blackhawks’ offense did absolutely nothing most of the night. But a long, two-minute shift in the offensive zone from the Toews line gassed the Kings and they iced the puck, leaving the same skaters stuck on the ice. Mitchell came on with the next group and ripped home the Blackhawks’ first goal of the night — and the first of the year for him. Mitchell had a tough night so the payoff with a big goal was good to see. Was his play before that shift worthy of a star? Probably not. But when you’re the only goal and it’s your first of the year? There ya go.

Star 3: Kyle Davidson

Back in the L column? After winning six of seven the front office be like…

Takeaways

  • Tyler Johnson didn’t come out to start the second period; he did not return (the Hawks announced his night was over at the start of the third). Seth Jones appeared to take an awkward knee/hip to knee/hip collision late in the first period that didn’t feel good. And Jonathan Toews took a hard pass to the inside of his right foot in the second period and was feeling that. Overall, a tough night physically for the Blackhawks.
  • Toews (three) and Max Domi (two) accounted for half of the Blackhawks’ ten shots on net in the first 40 minutes. If you’re still counting on your fingers/toes, that means the Blackhawks had ten shots on net thru two periods. Not an ideal way to win a hockey game against a could-be playoff team.
  • Mitchell had a tough night back in the lineup for Isaak Phillips. I still really do hope at some point those two can get consistent minutes together for a couple weeks to see how that works in the NHL. They were good in Rockford last year and I think at this point we all know what we’re getting from Caleb Jones.
  • When the Blackhawks hosted the Kings back on Nov. 3 it was one of their worst nights at the dot as a team. Tonight was a struggle as well for the Blackhawks, but that shouldn’t surprise. Anze Kopitar has been one of the best centers of his generation; his playoff battles with Toews were incredible. And Phillip Danault is a solid center as well. Domi and Toews had strong third periods to rally over the break-even point and Sam Lafferty won five of six to finish the night over 50 percent as a team.


Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab