Instant takeaways: better effort, lots of room for improvement originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks lost 5-2 in their second straight game against the Tampa Bay Lightning after losing their season opener 5-1 on Wednesday. Collin Delia made his first start of the season for the Hawks.
Here are 4 instant takeaways:
Blackhawks goalie Collin Delia got the start on Friday after Malcolm Subban saved 28 of 33 shots in net for the Hawks' 5-1 season-opening loss in Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Delia had a great first period, stopping an Anthony Cirelli breakaway and a Lightning 3-on-2 to exit the opening frame tied 0-0. The second period was another story.
In the second, Collin misplayed a puck early in the period giving Tampa their first goal of the game and almost turned it over again shortly after. Puck-handling has been a weakness of Delia's in the past and one he needs to improve if he wants to hog the net from Subban and Kevin Lankinen this year.
Alex Killorn had a pretty wrister that beat Delia glove-side and a scramble play in front of the Hawks' net resulted in Tampa's third goal in just 5:46. Collin rebounded after the trio of goals as the Hawks mounted a second-period comeback.
Yanni Gourde scored stick-side on Delia late in the third period to give the Lightning a 4-2 lead after Chicago defenseman Adam Boqvist was caught up-ice. Steven Stamkos added a goal glove-side late in the third to make it 5-2.
Delia had a strong start, but in addition to his puck-handling he needs to work on his glove side based on Friday's showing. The loss wasn't all on him as the Hawks need to improve their D and team game around whoever is in net. There were several miscues among the blueliners Friday.
Delia made 33 saves on 38 Lightning shots.
Cat out of the bag?
Alex DeBrincat is one of the top players the Blackhawks need to produce offense this season, especially with Jonathan Toews (medical issue) and Kirby Dach (wrist injury) slated to miss significant time. Last year DeBrincat underperformed with 45 points in 70 games after picking up 76 in 2018-19's full season.
He got Chicago on the board on a power play late in the second period to cut the Lightning's lead to 3-1.
Kaner checks in
Patrick Kane, another player the Blackhawks need to score a lot this year, was pointless in Wednesday's season opener, but that wouldn't be the case on Friday. Kane turned into Showtime for what appeared to be an effortless backhand to score top-shelf just 1:51 after DeBrincat's goal to bring the Hawks within 3-2.
With the goal, Kane moved within 10 shy of 400 and is the closest active player to the milestone according to the NHL.
Forward Philipp Kurashev made his NHL debut on Friday, giving the Blackhawks a new look on a line with Dylan Strome at center and Dominik Kubalik on the right wing.
Kurashev gave the Hawks energy early on in the game in a couple shifts, one of which resulted in a big scoring chance for Kubalik who missed.