For the Chicago Blackhawks to avoid a three-game losing skid, they’d have to beat a team that had just won six straight at home.
Luckily for the Blackhawks, the schedule lured the Boston Bruins away from the comfortable confines of TD Garden on Sunday and killed two birds with one stone, simultaneously ending both streaks in a 3-1 triumph at United Center in the Windy City.
The Blackhawks regrouped quickly, going 50-plus minutes without allowing a goal on Sunday, a day after allowing seven goals to the same Bruins team, including four unanswered en route to a 7-4 loss.
Perhaps a little fatigue caught up with the Bruins and maybe the well ran a little dry.
On Sunday, Brad Marchand‘s name was added to the list the walking wounded, after he was made a late scratch with an upper-body injury prior to the game.
It was a tad suspect after Marchand clotheslined Anthony Duclair on Saturday if the first game of the home-and-home, leading to an injury for the latter that’s ruled him out for 1-2 weeks. Perhaps the Bruins didn’t want to risk any retribution.
But even a Bruins team hampered by injury is still a good Bruins team as witnessed in Saturday’s win.
Despite all the scoring missing from the lineup, an old friend stepped up just after the mid-way mark of the third period.
Chara’s impact was felt again minutes later after an ill-advised high-sticking penalty gave the Blackhawks a four-minute power play.
Patrick Kane wasted no time snatching back the lead, firing a snapshot bar down past Khudobin for the go-ahead marker that would eventually be the game-winner.
Brent Seabrook would add the insurance marker with 1:05 left, putting the third goal past Khudobin, who negotiation 36-of-39 shots sent his way.
The Bruins trailed the Tampa Bay Lightning by six points heading into Sunday’s game, but owned three games in-hand. So chalk this one up as a missed opportunity to gain some ground against a team that won’t be playing in the playoffs this season.