Blackhawks fall 4-3 to Joel Quenneville's Panthers as their 5-game win streak comes to an end

Jimmy Greenfield, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Hockey

CHICAGO -- The Blackhawks blew a chance to pull within one point of the final Western Conference wild-card spot on Tuesday when they gave up four second-period goals and lost 4-3 to the Panthers in Joel Quenneville's triumphant return to the United Center.

The Hawks' five-game win streak came to an end in their final game before the All-Star break. They won't practice again until Jan. 30 in Glendale, Ariz., and resume play Jan. 31 against the Coyotes. They dropped to 24-21-6 and remained three points behind the Golden Knights, who lost to the Bruins on Tuesday.

The Hawks held a pregame ceremony to commemorate Patrick Kane's 1,000th point and also honored Quenneville with a video tribute early in the game.

Kane scored for the first time in eight games with 1 minute, 15 seconds remaining after the Hawks pulled goaltender Robin Lehner, but they couldn't get the tying goal. Kane extended his point streak to 11 straight games.

After a scoreless first period, each team had great scoring chances in the initial minute of the second, but Lehner came up big on a point-blank shot from the right faceoff circle by Evgenii Dadonov and Brandon Saad's rush to the net was stopped by Sergei Bobrovsky.

But the Panthers soon scored twice in less than two minutes. Dadonov shoved a rebound past Lehner for his 23rd of the season, and with 13:46 left in the period Frank Vatrano slipped into the slot uncontested and fired in a wrist shot to make it 2-0.

Vatrano scored again a few minutes later for a 3-0 lead on a shot that went through Lehner's legs. But Kirby Dach got the Hawks on the board late in the frame with a nifty backhander over Bobrovsky's right shoulder to score his seventh and end a 13-game goal drought.


The Panthers completed their four-goal period and Vatrano picked up his second career hat trick on a power-play goal with 37 seconds remaining in the second.

Drake Caggiula's power-play goal five minutes into the third period cut the lead to 4-2. It was Caggiula's sixth of the season, including his third in his last four games.

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