10 observations: Blackhawks drop second straight to Tampa originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks lost to the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 on Friday at Amalie Arena.
Here are 10 observations from the loss:
1. Head coach Jeremy Colliton made a few lineup changes after Wednesday's 5-1 loss. Collin Delia replaced Malcolm Subban in goal and Philipp Kurashev made his NHL debut, taking the spot of Brandon Pirri.
2. Delia was really good in the first period. He stopped all 10 shots he faced, including a breakaway save on Anthony Cirelli at the 10:30 mark and then another on Yanni Gourde at 15:49 to keep it a 0-0 game.
But Delia had a tough second period after a puck-handling miscue led to an Ondrej Palat goal for the Lightning, who scored three goals in a span of 5:46. It was the turning point of the game, but credit to Delia for bouncing back after stopping the next 14 shots before the game got out of reach again late in the third period. He finished with 33 saves on 38 shots for a save percentage of .868.
3. The Blackhawks showed a strong response after falling behind 3-0, unlike the first game. They went straight to the penalty kill after giving up the third goal because of a failed coach's challenge, killed it off, then got their first power play of the game and cashed in, which sparked a little bit of momentum after Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane scored 1:51 apart.
4. The Blackhawks turned in a solid first period and it's unfortunate they had nothing to show for it. They led the Lightning in shots on goal (13-10), even-strength scoring chances (11-7), even-strength high-danger chances (5-2) and slot shots on net (8-2) but couldn't capitalize on the scoresheet.
5. Kurashev played right wing on the second line with Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome. The Blackhawks project Kurashev to be a center long-term, but they like his versatility and his ability to play wing, too. He recorded three shot attempts (two on goal) and logged 14:05 of ice time in his debut.
6. The Kubalik-Strome-Kurashev line deserves its own bullet point for their first-period performance. The three of them outshot (6-1) and out-chanced (5-0) the Lightning during 5-on-5 play, according to Natural Stat Trick. They quieted down in the next two periods.
7. The defensemen pairing of Calvin de Haan and Ian Mitchell stood out in the opening frame. They didn't allow a single shot attempt at 5-on-5 in the first period: Mitchell was on the ice for six shot attempts for and zero against and de Haan was on the ice for 10 shot attempts for and zero against.
8. Pius Suter found himself centering the first line between DeBrincat and Kane, and that line had some chances. Suter, specifically, generated one scoring chance off the rush and led the Blackhawks with four slot shots on goal.
9. Andrew Shaw didn't show up on the scoresheet, but he was noticeable all night. He drew two penalties and retrieved several loose pucks, one of which came on the power play.
10. Mattias Janmark took Pirri's spot on the second power-play unit. He logged only 39:20 of ice time on the power play last season for the Dallas Stars, so he's not typically a consistent part of that unit but has some offensive upside. Expect Kurashev to eventually move into that role once he gets more comfortable at the NHL level.