Blackhawks’ slow start leads to defeat against Wild in NHL match

10 observations: Slow start dooms Blackhawks in loss to Wild originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks got off to a slow start and lost to the Minnesota 4-1 on Sunday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. The Blackhawks went into the first intermission trailing 3-0 to the Wild, who outshot Chicago 13-3 at even strength in the opening frame. The Blackhawks have now given up 34 goals in the first period this season, which ranks last in the NHL.

2. The Blackhawks generated 11 shot attempts, eight scoring chances, seven shots on goal, and three high-danger chances on their first power play of the game, per Natural Stat Trick. It might’ve been their best power play of the season. They did everything but score. Eventually, the Blackhawks did find the back of the net on the power play in the third period thanks to Taylor Raddysh, but the game was pretty much over by that point.

3. Connor Bedard leads all rookies this season with 11 goals, but Marco Rossi closed the gap by scoring a pair of goals against Chicago. He almost completed the hat trick in the second period. Rossi moved into second behind Bedard with eight goals. Worth noting Bedard picked up an assist on Raddysh’s goal to extend his road point streak to nine games.

4. Lukas Reichel was a healthy scratch. The Blackhawks are looking for more out of him, and I don’t blame them. He hasn’t been very noticeable this season. A potential reset isn’t the worst idea at this point.

5. The Blackhawks went 1-for-3 on the penalty kill and have given up at least one power-play goal in 13 of the last 15 games. They’re 6-for-11 on the penalty kill in their last three games for a success rate of 54.6 percent.

6. The score could’ve been even uglier if it wasn’t for Petr Mrazek, who made several high-quality saves. This was a forgettable three-game road trip for the Blackhawks, who lost all three games in regulation and were outscored 12-3.

7. Louis Crevier made his NHL debut and he skated on the third pairing with Alex Vlasic, who was his partner in Rockford last season. Vlasic is 6-foot-6 and Crevier is 6-foot-8; they might be the tallest pairing in the league. It was difficult to evaluate Crevier’s individual performance because the entire team looked off.

8. The Blackhawks fell to 0-7-3 in their last 10 games against the Wild. Their last win came on Dec. 15, 2019, which was a 5-3 victory at the United Center.

9. The Wild went into the day with the fourth-worst team save percentage this season. They had the third-best save percentage last season. Filip Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury haven’t given them great goaltending, and it’s probably one of the reasons why the organization made a coaching change, going from Dean Evason to John Hynes.

10. Anthony Beauvillier did not travel with the team to Minnesota due to visa issues. He was able to play in Winnipeg because the Blackhawks were in Canada. The hope is he could join the team on a full-time basis at some point this week.

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