Blackhawks fall to Wild 5-2

The Chicago Blackhawks were handed their first regulation loss of the season by Central Division rival Minnesota Wild.

The game was scoreless in the first frame, with both teams trading chances all through out the second period, where a wrist shot from Eric Staal got past Corey Crawford with 35 seconds left in that period.

The Blackhawks tied up the game 8:21 in the third.  Patrick Kane took a shot from the hashmarks which Tanner Kero tried to redirect home.  Devan Dubnyk made the initial save, but gave up a rebound that Ryan Hartman buried past him.

The Wild answered back with a tip-in from Chris Stewart.  Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville challenged the goal, arguing that the initial pass from Jason Zucker was offsides.  The call on the ice for the good goal was upheld, and, according to the new rules imposed by the NHL this season, a failed challenge will result with that team being assessed a delay of game penalty.  The Wild capitalized on the ensuing powerplay, with Zucker scoring his second of the season.  Stewart and Mikko Koivu added two empty net goals, and Jonathan Toews scored a late power play goal off of a deflection from shot by Gustav Forsling.

Per the league’s explanation, Brent Seabrook, who was sliding on his butt during the play, “legally carries or passes the puck back into his own defending zone.”  The only problem with that explanation, in my opinion, is that Seabrook did not have possession of the puck, it was merely sliding with him incidentally.

The Blackhawks’ record slides to 3-1-1.

Next game:
The Blackhawks hit United Center ice again Saturday, this time against the Nashville Predators.  Nashville, as we all know, swept the Hawks last year during the playoffs.  Hopefully, the bad taste in the mouth that still lingers from that humiliating loss, along with tonight’s debacle, will be used as fuel by the Hawks to earn themselves a win.  The Preds have split their first four games, and are without the services of their captain, defenseman Roman Josi, as well as defenseman Ryan Ellis, who made a name for himself during their Stanley Cup run last season.

Injury Notes:
Nick Schmaltz was out for his third consecutive game.  When asked for his status, Q said he “hopes” to have him back for Saturday.

My 3 Stars

3. Chris Stewart 2G
2. Devan Dubnyk 36 saves
1. Zebras 1 bulls**t call

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