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10 observations: Blackhawks blow two-goal lead in loss to Canadiens

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The Chicago Blackhawks squandered a two-goal lead and lost to the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 on Friday at the United Center.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. The Blackhawks allowed three consecutive goals in the second period after taking a 2-0 lead. Two of them came within 12 seconds of a lost draw in their own zone. One of the three goals in the third period came within 10 seconds of losing a neutral zone faceoffs. That's where the lack of quality faceoff specialists can hurt them.

2. Kevin Korchinski and Jarred Tinordi returned to the lineup. Korchinski, who played in his first game since the passing of his father Larry, got a nice ovation when he was introduced as a starter. The Blackhawks really needed a little stability on defense and their returns do just that moving forward.

3. The Blackhawks scored the first goal for the eighth time in nine games despite failing to record a shot on goal in the first 8:46 of action. They scored the first goal only nine times in the first 23 games. They've really turned it around in that department.

4. Connor Bedard is slowly starting to feel it. He picked up a primary assist on Ryan Donato's goal to extend his point streak to three games. He has five points (all assists) over that span.

5. Jason Dickinson scored his 10th goal of the season, which is now a new career-high. He almost scored a second goal in the middle frame but his shot hit the pipe. He's on pace to finish the season with 25. 

6. Colin Blackwell was extremely noticeable in his season debut on Tuesday vs. Colorado. He stood out again in this game. He found himself on a shorthanded breakaway in the first period but fired the puck a tad too high, and then registered one of the more beautiful assists you'll see this season on Dickinson's goal. He sure showed some burst. He probably won't like the giveaway he had on Montreal's fourth goal to make it 4-2.

7. My jaw dropped at the 15:54 mark of the first period when Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau robbed MacKenzie Entwistle of a goal, and then defenseman Jayden Struble stole the follow-up rebound away from Anthony Beauvillier. Unreal.

8. No team in the NHL has more goals from their defensemen this season than Montreal with 26. David Savard scored the empty-netter to put the Canadiens ahead 5-2. The Blackhawks have only five goals from their blue liners.

9. I liked Entwistle sticking up for Reese Johnson in the second period by dropping the gloves with Struble, although Johnson was the one that made the hit. I'm not sure the timing was right though. The Blackhawks were leading 2-1 at the time, but who knows whether it played a role in Montreal's turnaround.

10. The paid attendance was 20,340, which was the largest crowd of the season. I thought it was the loudest National Anthem of the season, too. The energy was palpable. Holiday home games are fun.

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