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10 observations: Blackhawks allow power-play goal in 8th straight game, fall to Sabres

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The Chicago Blackhawks dropped their fourth straight contest after losing to the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Sunday at the United Center.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. The Blackhawks have given up at least one power-play goal in eight straight games after allowing one in the second period. They're 18-for-27 on the penalty kill over that stretch for a percentage of 66.7. In the previous eight games, the Blackhawks were 26-for-29 for a kill percentage of 89.7. They've been struggling in that department after a hot start.

2. The Blackhawks have only one win in six games at the United Center this season. Head coach Luke Richardson said before the game they're trying to change that: "It’d be great to have a winning record here, because the atmosphere will only get louder, and it becomes more difficult for the other teams."

3. Connor Bedard, Lukas Reichel and Philipp Kurashev skated together on the top line. They had a rough first couple shifts, but then they settled down, created chances and showed flashes, which was highlighted by Kurashev's goal in the second period when he cleaned up Bedard's shot. All three of them think the game the same way, and I think it's why they'll succeed together, even if there will be growing pains along the way.

4. Speaking of Kurashev, he's on a quiet heater. In addition to his goal, he picked up a primary assist on Taylor Raddysh's goal in the second period. He now has nine points (three goals, six assists) in seven games during the month of November.

5. The Blackhawks had only nine goals in the second period this season prior to Sunday; only Anaheim (seven) has fewer. Well, they changed their fortunes a bit by scoring twice in the middle frame of this game.

6. Chicago's second line of Taylor Hall, Tyler Johnson and Taylor Raddysh allowed only one shot on goal when the three of them were on the ice together at even strength, according to Natural Stat Trick. That trio was great. Raddysh technically scored his goal at even strength, but it came seconds after their power play ended.

7. Reese Johnson had a noticeable game. He registered three hits, two shots on goal, one takeaway, drew a penalty, and also had a shorthanded breakaway chance in the second period but was denied.

8. There were five No. 1 overall picks between both sides: Erik Johnson (2006), Taylor Hall (2010), Rasmus Dahlin (2018), Owen Power (2021) and Connor Bedard (2023). They made impacts in this game, too. Dahlin recorded a goal and two assists, Johnson scored the game winner, and Bedard had an assist.

9. Isaak Phillips continues to impress. He made a diving save on the penalty kill late in the third period that prevented a sure goal. It's going to be hard to send him back to Rockford.

10. The Patrick Kane sweepstakes should be coming to an end soon. I imagine he's hoping to make a decision by the end of the week, perhaps even by American Thanksgiving. Buffalo is reportedly in the mix. Fascinated to see how this plays out.

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