Lightning Deliver Second Consecutive Loss for Blackhawks

After an incredibly hot start to November, the Blackhawks have reverted to some old ways these past two losses — particularly, their bad habit of failing to start games on time. In both contests, the Blackhawks staged late rallies, only to fall short by empty-net goals-against.

Tampa Bay would begin the scoring on the power play when Mikhail Sergachev rifled a one-timer from the point past goalie Corey Crawford late in the first period.

The Hawks continued to get production from their back-end, as defenseman Brent Seabrook would tie the game with 11:33 remaining in the third period. After Seabrook’s initial shot from the point was blocked, he activated from the blue line, ricocheting his shot off Tampa goalie Curtis McElhinney’s mask from below the goal line.

The tie was short-lived, however, as Anthony Cirelli would regain the lead for Tampa just over a minute later. Due to a strong forecheck by Tampa’s Mathieu Joseph, Hawks defenseman Olli Maatta was unable to clear the puck along the boards, which eventually led to Cirelli’s deflection-goal.

Tampa would increase their lead by converting on a two-on-one that developed after Ondrej Palat won a board battle against Connor Murphy and Patrick Kane. Palat slid the puck past a prone Olli Maatta, who had dived too early to prevent Palat’s pass to Brayden Point.

Hawks forward Dylan Strome would cut Tampa’s lead to one after pouncing on a rebound off McElhinney’s right pad. Patrick Kane assisted on the goal, which increased his current point streak to 11 games and marked his 600th career assist.

The Hawks’ comeback would fall short after Tampa’s Cedric Paquette notched an empty-net goal for the Lightning’s 4-2 victory.  The loss also marked the end to Blackhawk rookie Kirby Dach’s five-game point streak.

In light of these recent losses, the Hawks still hold a 6-3-2 record for the month of November. With two home-and-home series against Colorado and Dallas — divisional opponents currently ranked above the Hawks in the standings — it’s imperative for the Hawks to finish the month strong.

“Obviously would have been nice to get some points here in the last two games,” Kane said, “But yeah, we gotta keep playing the way we won all those games and went on the nice stretch with. Stay with it. We know the recipe for success and keep building.”

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