Fading Blackhawks fall behind Coyotes early and lose 5-2, their 3rd straight defeat

Jimmy Greenfield, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Hockey

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Playing without the injured Duncan Keith and Calvin de Haan didn't make Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Coyotes any less of a failure for the Blackhawks.

From taking Alex DeBrincat's penalty 10 seconds into the game to allowing three first-period goals, the Hawks barely put up a fight in their first full game since de Haan suffered a shoulder injury to join Keith (groin) on injured reserve.

Over the last five periods since de Haan got hurt, the Hawks have been outscored 9-2 and shown no inclination they know how to move forward without their top two defensemen.

Their third straight loss dropped them to 12-14-6, including 3-7-2 in their last 12 games. They visit the Stanley Cup champion Blues on Saturday with a chance to finish their three-game trip without a point.

This one was over early. Michael Grabner scored on a backhander 2 minutes, 56 seconds into the game, and Clayton Keller made it 2-0 on a breakaway a little more than 2 minutes later.

Brad Richardson's first goal of the season gave the Coyotes a 3-0 lead with 4:56 remaining in the first period to conclude a dominant opening 20 minutes.

The Hawks got on the board in the second period on Jonathan Toews' seventh goal, but less than three minutes later they gave it right back. Dylan Strome lost a defensive-zone faceoff and Nick Schmaltz stickhandled around Patrick Kane before blowing a wrist shot past Robin Lehner.

Schmaltz didn't even have the best night by a former Hawk. Vinnie Hinostroza assisted on each of the Coyotes' three first-period goals.


Strome batted in a power-play goal, his seventh of the season, with 7:02 left in regulation to pull the Hawks within 4-2, but they couldn't get closer.

Keller added his second goal of the game in the final minutes to close the scoring.

Lehner has allowed 16 goals in his last four games after giving up just 29 goals in his first 13 starts.

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