10 observations: Blackhawks fall to Flames in road trip finale

10 observations: Blackhawks fall to Flames in road trip finale

10 observations: Hawks fall to Flames in road trip finale originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks wrapped up their four-game road trip with a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. The Blackhawks had stretches where they pushed, but the Flames were the better hockey team from start to finish. Calgary generated 64 shot attempts, 39 shots on goal and 35 scoring chances compared to Chicago’s 40 shot attempts, 21 shots on goal and 19 scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick.

2. The Flames scored the first goal for the eighth straight game and improved to 12-1-3 on the season when scoring first. The Blackhawks fell to 0-9-1 when giving up the first goal.

3. Marc-Andre Fleury was a busy man for the third straight start. He allowed two goals on his first six shots — the first of which he certainly would’ve liked to have had back — then turned aside 28 in a row before giving up the third one, which went off Seth Jones’ skate and in. He stopped 34 of 37 shots, in total, for a save percentage of .919. The final two Flames goals were empty netters.

4. Brandon Hagel picked up where he left off in Vancouver by scoring the first goal for the Blackhawks in the opening frame with a nasty snipe, but it was Ryan Carpenter who made the play happen. He quickly lifted the stick of Tyler Pitlick before pushing it over to Hagel, who fired it past Jacob Markstrom’s glove.

5. With family and friends in attendance, Reese Johnson had an unforgettable night in his return to the lineup. He recorded his first career NHL point with an assist on Hagel’s tally and scored his first career NHL goal for his first career NHL multi-point game.

6. Going into Tuesday, Calgary’s first line of Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk had played 216:30 minutes together at 5-on-5 this season. They had 13 goals for and 0 against over that stretch. Johnson’s goal was the first goal against for that trio. Unreal.

7. When Hagel, Dylan Strome and Jonathan Toews were on the ice together at 5-on-5 against Vancouver, the Blackhawks led in shot attempts (14-4), shots on goal (7-3) and scoring chances (4-1). That trio was easily Chicago’s best. Against Calgary, however, the Blackhawks trailed in shot attempts (17-5), shots on goal (11-4) and scoring chances (9-4) when they were on the ice together.

8. On the flip side, Chicago’s top line of Kirby Dach, Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane did everything but score in the first two periods. When the three of them were on the ice together, the Blackhawks led in shot attempts (13-5), shots on goal (7-3) and scoring chances (5-4). In the third period, they were out-attempted (6-2) and outshot (3-1).

9. Dach has officially recorded his first career NHL fight. It happened 61 seconds into the game against Blake Coleman, who laid a big hit on DeBrincat along the boards. He did well for himself.

10. Philipp Kurashev, who logged only 6:25 of ice time on Sunday, was a healthy scratch. Interim head coach Derek King said his play has dropped off a little bit and this could serve as a wake-up call. Riley Stillman (left knee) did not play after being injured in the first period against Vancouver. Caleb Jones drew back in.

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