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Blackhawks get pummeled 5-1 by Golden Knights after Calvin de Haan's shoulder injury leaves them down to 5 defensemen

Jimmy Greenfield, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Hockey

LAS VEGAS -- What started out looking like it might be a track meet ended with the Chicago Blackhawks simply run out of the building.

The Vegas Golden Knights reestablished their dominance over the Hawks with a 5-1 victory Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena, asserting themselves with a commanding second period after Hawks defenseman Calvin de Haan left the game with a shoulder injury.

The Hawks beat the Golden Knights last month for the first time ever. After an action-filled yet scoreless first period, with both teams racing up and down the ice, it looked like the Hawks had a chance to make it two in a row.

But they weren't the same team when they came out for the second period without de Haan, who left late in the first period after getting knocked backward by Mark Stone. Officials gave Stone an interference penalty on the play.

The Hawks announced de Haan suffered an injury to his right shoulder, the same one he had surgery on last spring that caused him to miss the first two games of this season.

Reilly Smith, Deryk Engelland and William Karlsson scored for the Golden Knights in the second period. Max Pacioretty and Ryan Reaves each had a goal in the third to drop the Hawks to 12-13-6.

Smith's goal came on the power play, Engelland scored at even strength and Karlsson's short-handed tally with 44 seconds left in the second was the backbreaker.

Marc-Andre Fleury returned to the net for the Golden Knights for the first time since Nov. 23 after the death of his father and stopped 28 shots. Dominik Kubalik's power-play goal with 27 seconds remaining prevented Fleury from finishing off the 59th shutout of his career.

 

Hawks goalie Corey Crawford was superb early on but couldn't withstand constant pressure over the last two periods. He finished with 32 saves.

Already without Duncan Keith (groin) and Olli Maatta (flu), the Hawks had to make do with five defensemen that included rookies Adam Boqvist and Dennis Gilbert. They even resorted to using the offensive-oriented Boqvist and Erik Gustafsson on the penalty kill.

Before Tuesday, Gustafsson had played a total of 2 minutes, 10 seconds on the penalty kill in 29 games, an average of about 4 seconds per game. Boqvist, who was playing his first game since getting called back up from Rockford, had been on the penalty kill for 10 seconds during his first six NHL games last month.

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