10 observations: Hawks force OT but lose to Devils originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
NEWARK, N.J. — The Blackhawks forced overtime but lost to the New Jersey Devils 4-3 at Prudential Center on Friday.
Here are 10 observations from the loss:
1. After giving up 16 shots and three goals in the opening 10 minutes of Wednesday's season opener to Colorado, the Blackhawks only allowed six first-period shots on goal to New Jersey. One of those, however, found the back of the net 17 seconds in. Not exactly the start they had hoped for.
2. The Blackhawks gave up 38 even-strength scoring chances in their season opener vs. Colorado. They followed that up by allowing 29 to New Jersey, according to Natural Stat Trick. They're not going to win many games with a number that high.
3. The Blackhawks' power play was clicking all training camp long and that's carried over to the regular season in the early going. Chicago went 1-for-3 in Colorado and 2-for-5 in New Jersey, and you could probably add a third one considering another came during a 6-on-5 opportunity. Don't be surprised if the Blackhawks finish Top 10 in power-play percentage this season, perhaps even in the Top 5.
4. The other side of special teams has been really good, too, after struggling in the preseason. The Blackhawks have killed off all six penalties to open the season.
5. The Blackhawks aren't doing their goaltenders any favors through two games. Kevin Lankinen faced 29 shots on goal and, according to Sportlogiq, 19 of them came from the slot, which is considered to be a higher danger area. Lankinen gave up four goals and finished with a save percentage of .862, but it's hard to fault him for his performance. He made some key stops that kept this game within reach for the Blackhawks.
6. Jeremy Colliton overloaded the first line with Kirby Dach, Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane to start the third period. It was the right move, trailing by a goal. It didn't work out though. When the three of them were on the ice together at even strength, the Devils led in shot attempts (12-1), shots on goal (6-1), scoring chances (8-0) and high-danger chances (6-0).
7. Seth Jones had a rough season opener, but he bounced back with a much better performance against New Jersey. The Blackhawks generated 10 of their 20 scoring chances during 5-on-5 play when he was on the ice. He also had four shot attempts (two on goal), two takeaways, one hit and logged 26:08 of ice time, which was a game-high.
8. The Blackhawks have played 120:57 minutes of hockey through two games. They have yet to hold a lead.
9. Jack Hughes scored twice, including a pretty overtime winner, and had SIX takeaways. No other player had more than three. He's my pick for breakout player of the season. The 2019 first overall pick demanded the puck all night for New Jersey.
10. The Blackhawks and Devils honored the late Jimmy Hayes during pregame warmups. Every Chicago player wore No. 39 "Hayesy" sweaters and every New Jersey player wore No. 10 "BROADWAY" sweaters. A very classy tribute with the Hayes family in attendance.
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