The Blackhawks earned their first point of the season Tuesday night, falling to the Panthers 5-4 in overtime. Kevin Lankinen made his NHL debut and looked sharp early, but once again the Blackhawks surrendered the first goal of a game. Panthers’ speedster Carter Verhaeghe got behind the Blackhawks defense and scored on a breakaway, beating Lankinen under the arm.
Under three minutes later, Dylan Strome took a needless penalty in the offensive zone and the Panthers cashed in on the power play to extend their lead to two. This was the fourth straight game the Blackhawks had gone down 2–0.
Just before intermission, Calder Trophy-finalist Dominik Kubalik ripped a one-timer on the power play for his first of the season to make it a one-goal game. It was the Blackhawks’ fourth power play goal in as many games.
After the Panthers scored early in the second period to regain a two-goal lead, it was all Blackhawks the rest of the way. Kubalik fired another one-timer past Sergei Bobrovsky on the power play and the Hawks had life.
With under a minute remaining in the period, Kane entered the zone, danced around a defender, and roofed a backhander like only he can to tie the game at three goals apiece.
Early in the third period, rookie Philipp Kurashev scored the first goal of his career and his goal gave the Blackhawks their first lead of the season.
But like cold beers on a hot day, the lead didn’t last long. Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle scored on the power play to tie the game and ultimately send the game to overtime. The Panthers would score off an odd-man rush to win the game and the Blackhawks were left with yet another moral victory.
Dominik Kubalik had the best performance of his young sophomore season. The 30-goal scorer netted two goals on the power play from the right circle and gave the Blackhawks life after going down 2–0 early in the game. A lot has been made about Kubalik’s ice time in previous games and whether or not head coach Jeremy Colliton is best utilizing him. Kubalik’s perfomance tonight will make Colliton’s decision simple; play him more.
The fourth line of David Kampf, Ryan Carpenter and Brandon Hagel had a promising game as a new trio. Hagel was inserted into the lineup Tuesday night in place of Matthew Highmore. The line played eight minutes at even strength and were credited with six shots, seven scoring chances, and only two shots against, per Natural Stat Trick. Even though the line didn’t score, it’s role is to play in the other team’s end, and that’s exactly what they did tonight.
What’s On Tap
The Blackhawks are back home at the United Center to take on the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, January 22. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. CST. It will be the first meeting between the two Original Six teams as members of the same division since the Red Wings were moved to the Eastern Conference in 2013.
Tune in to the Four Feathers Podcast for postgame reactions, analysis, and commentary throughout the season.