10 observations: Hawks drop home opener to Islanders originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks lost to the New York Islanders 4-1 at the United Center on Tuesday in their home opener.
Here are 10 observations from the loss:
1. The Blackhawks outplayed the Islanders and deserved better through two periods. But the wheels fell off in the third period when the Islanders scored 48 seconds in and then two goals in a span of 2:15 at the midway mark to make it 4-0, which effectively ended the game.
2. The Blackhawks recorded a season-high 38 shots on goal. Ilya Sorokin stopped every single shot except the last one. He was absolutely terrific.
3. The Blackhawks gave up only two high-danger chances during 5-on-5 action, according to Natural Stat Trick. They did that in a game just once over the previous two seasons combined. They protected the house very well.
4. The Blackhawks had a much better start to this game. In the first period, they led in shot attempts (27-17), shots on goal (18-9), scoring chances (13-3) and high-danger chances (6-1). That was more like it, even though they weren't rewarded on the scoresheet.
5. Despite the strong start, the Blackhawks gave up the first goal for the fourth straight game. They're still searching for their first lead through 12-plus periods of hockey this season.
6. The Blackhawks generated 22 scoring chances at 5-on-5. They averaged 16.3 in their first three games.
7. The Blackhawks' first line of Kirby Dach, Brandon Hagel and Patrick Kane had 12 shot attempts, five scoring chances and three high-danger chances at even strength. They allowed eight shot attempts, three scoring chances and zero high-danger chances. That trio was very good.
8. The top defensemen pairing of Calvin de Haan and Seth Jones also had a solid night. When the two of them were on the ice together during 5-on-5 play, the Blackhawks led in shot attempts (24-8), shots on goal (15-4), scoring chances (8-4) and high-danger chances (2-0).
9. Mike Hardman made his season debut and did exactly what the coaching staff was looking for from him. He registered three shot attempts (two on goal), a team-high six hits and two blocked shots. He left the game in the third period, however, after taking a rough hit along the boards from Matt Martin.
10. At 5-on-5, the Blackhawks allowed 34 scoring chances to Colorado, 29 chances to New Jersey and 19 to Pittsburgh. They gave up 13 chances to the Islanders.