The Chicago Blackhawks’ 12-game winning streak retired in Florida this week, and now they look to rebound from back-to-back losses.
After losing 2-1 in Tampa Bay on Thursday, which snapped Chicago’s impressive run of a dozen consecutive victories, the Blackhawks were thumped 4-0 by the Florida Panthers on Friday.
The Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period, before sophomore defenseman Aaron Ekblad, returning to the lineup after a four-game absence, scored to make it a four-goal lead over Chicago.
The Panthers were also credited with 27 hits on the night, with a list that included this massive open-ice check from Erik Gudbranson on Teuvo Teravainen in the second period.
“It’s disappointing,” said Marian Hossa, as per CSN Chicago.
“We had the great stretch, but now it’s over and we just have to forget about it and get a new one. The last two games, especially tonight, throw in the garbage and we have to be way better. That’s what we have to do.”
The Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues in a big Central Division showdown on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Ekblad joined elite company by scoring in Friday’s game. He’s up to 10 goals on the season. Did we mention he’s a 19-year-old defenseman?
Dylan Larkin on Friday continued his impressive rookie season, albeit after appearing to sacrifice one of his teeth.
The 19-year-old Larkin scored his 15th goal of the season, which turned out to be the winner for the Detroit Red Wings in their 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
Sabres coach Dan Bylsma used his challenge to review if the play was offside, but his attempt was unsuccessful and the goal stood.
The Red Wings broke the game open midway through the third period, when the puck found its way to Larkin as he circled the net and wired it by Robin Lehner. Detroit scored three times in the final eight minutes of the game, with Larkin adding an assist as well.
The shift before he scored, Larkin took a stick to the mouth and appeared to lose a tooth.
It appears to be déjà vu for Milan Michalek.
The Ottawa Senators announced that Michalek suffered a broken finger on his right hand and is now out indefinitely. The 31-year-old forward left Friday’s game against the New York Islanders late in the second period and didn’t return.
Michalek has gone through this already in 2015-16. He suffered a broken index finger on his right hand at the beginning of December, and didn’t return to the Ottawa lineup until Jan. 7.
The Florida Panther stepped up the physical play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, as seen with this massive hit from Erik Gudbranson on Teuvo Teravainen in the second period.
Gudbranson stepped up on Teravainen at the blue line and sent the 21-year-old forward flying.
There was no call on the hit, however Chicago’s defenseman Brent Seabrook stepped in a few seconds later and cross checked Gudbranson to the ice, earning himself a minor penalty.
New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller scored two goals in the span of 2:10 on Friday, and his second was a fine piece of thievery on Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin.
Slavin initially whiffed on his breakout pass, and was then checked from behind by Miller, who stole the puck, went in and beat goalie Eddie Lack with a move to the forehand.
Miller is now up to 12 goals on the season, while the Rangers came out of the second period with a 4-1 lead.