10 observations: Blackhawks rally to force overtime but fall to Rangers for sixth straight loss


10 observations: Blackhawks rally to force overtime but fall to Rangers for sixth straight loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Blackhawks forced overtime but fell to the New York Rangers 4-3 on Friday at the United Center for their sixth loss in a row, which is a new season-long.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. The Blackhawks trailed 3-1 going into the third period and were being outshot 28-19 up to that point. The Rangers took their foot off the gas and the Blackhawks took advantage by scoring two goals in the final frame, including the game-tying goal with 1:02 left in regulation. Scoring three goals felt like six for the Blackhawks.

2. Jason Dickinson’s game-tying goal off Seth Jones’ shot from the point late in the third was the first time all season they scored with the extra attacker. Finally! The Blackhawks unfortunately couldn’t complete the comeback in overtime.

3. Most of the action before the second half of the third period came in the first, where the Rangers led 2-1 through 20 minutes. Things also got fairly chippy between two teams that don’t face each other often, which included Igor Shesterkin throwing a few punches at Nick Foligno. I wish we saw more of that intensity over the next two periods.

4. The Blackhawks had only one shot on goal in the first period on Wednesday. They had eight shots in the opening frame of this game but it was a better showing. Alex Vlasic opened the scoring with his second goal of the campaign. It was the ninth goal by a Chicago defenseman this season.

5. The Blackhawks committed three penalties in the first period. They were also penalized just 1:23 into the second period. Those disruptions prevented the Blackhawks from getting any sort of momentum offensively.

6. The Blackhawks killed off three more penalties. Since Jan. 5, they’re 36-for-41 on the penalty kill for a success rate of 87.8 percent, which ranks No. 3 in the NHL over that span. It’s been one of the few bright spots in the last month.

7. If this play doesn’t sum up the Blackhawks’ season so far, I don’t know what does. Boris Katchouk lost a skate blade in the first period and Isaak Phillips had to push him back to the Chicago bench. Seconds later, a 2-on-1 ensued and the Rangers capitalized.

8. Taylor Raddysh was moved to the third line from the first line, where he had been playing for a few weeks. I thought he was much more noticeable in this game — especially on the penalty kill — but nothing to show for it on the scoresheet. He’s on pace for only eight goals and 18 points after having 20 goals and 37 points last season.

9. The Blackhawks had a rare positive night at the faceoff circle. MacKenzie Entwistle led the way in the percentage column with six wins on seven tries. Dickinson took a team-high 24 draws and won 13 of them.

10. A fire broke out overnight at The Palace Grill on West Madison St., which is a Chicago staple and Blackhawks fan-favorite. Fortunately there were no injuries but the interior damage was extensive. Sending my best to beloved owner George Lemperis and hope to see them back up and running in no time.

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