10 Observations: Blackhawks Fall to Panthers, Drop Fourth Straight

10 observations: Blackhawks drop fourth straight originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks fell to the Florida Panthers 5-4 on Saturday at the United Center.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. The Blackhawks lost four in a row for the third time this season and finished the campaign with a 2-4-2 record against the Panthers. They have five regular-season games left — three on the road against Carolina and two at home against Dallas. The most the Blackhawks can finish with is 60 points and it just won't be enough to secure a playoff spot.

2. The Blackhawks gave up 39 scoring chances during 5-on-5 action, according to Natural Stat Trick. It's the most scoring chances they've given up in a game all season. Their previous high was 35 against Tampa Bay on March 5.

3. The Panthers came flying out of the gates. They recorded 32 shot attempts, 17 shots on goal and generated 16 scoring chances (15 at even strength) in the first period. They also had 2:57 of offensive zone possession time compared to the Blackhawks' 1:27, according to Sportlogiq.

4. Anthony Duclair had a sensational game against his former team. He scored twice, registered a secondary assist, prevented a high-quality shorthanded scoring chance on Vinnie Hinostroza with a terrific backcheck and finished with five shot attempts (three on goal).

5. The Blackhawks were getting outplayed in the second period but got two quick strikes when Connor Murphy and Alex DeBrincat scored 52 seconds apart to pull their team into a 2-2 tie. But the excitement was short-lived.

6. The Panthers potted three goals in a span of 1:06 and that essentially sealed the deal: Aleksander Barkov scored with 6.8 seconds remaining in the middle frame and Duclair and Owen Tippett scored within 31 seconds of each other in the first minute of the third period. The Panthers went up 5-2 before the Blackhawks had a chance to even build on their momentum.

7. Looking for a positive? Here's one: The Blackhawks' fourth line of Brett Connolly, Mike Hardman and David Kampf generated five scoring chances and allowed only two against at even strength in the first two periods. The other three lines allowed a combined 20 scoring chances and generated only six.

8. Kirby Dach torched Barkov at the faceoff circle in Game 1 by winning 10 of his 12 draws. Barkov won only 6 of 17. Barkov was much better in the second game, winning eight of 11 faceoffs in the first period alone and finishing with 14 wins and eight losses for a win percentage of 63.6. Dach went 3-for-12 (25.0 percent).

9. Adam Gaudette continues to impress in a Chicago uniform. He recorded an assist and provided the net-front screen on Murphy's goal and also connected with Alex DeBrincat shortly after for his second assist. He has at least one point in all three games with the Blackhawks this season.

10. The Blackhawks hosted hundreds of family members and team-invited guests for the first time since the NHL put its season on pause March 12, 2020. It was nice to hear a little roar at the United Center again. The general public will be allowed back into the arena on May 9 and 10 for the final two home games.

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