Hawks Insider

10 observations: Frank Nazar stands out again but Blackhawks fall to Golden Knights

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Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Blackhawks dropped their fifth consecutive contest after losing to the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 on Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. I liked the Blackhawks' first period. It felt like they were in control early on. But Vegas titled the ice in its favor in the second period, where they out-chanced Chicago 10-2, per Natural Stat Trick, and eventually shut the door in the third period.

2. Frank Nazar flashed all night and was easily one of Chicago's best players. Vegas scored the second goal after Nazar's shot from the point got blocked, but that was his only blemish of the game. He can skate, play-make, and shoot the puck well. Super small sample size but I've been impressed with his game so far.

3. Petr Mrazek stopped the first 20 shots he faced before Vegas finally got one by him. He had no run support and could have used it because he was solid yet again.

4. When Chicago's first line of Connor Bedard, Jason Dickinson and Philipp Kurashev was on the ice together at even strength, the Blackhawks trailed 23-6 in shot attempts. That trio had a tough evening despite Dickinson scoring the lone goal of the game for the Blackhawks late in the third period.

5. The Blackhawks did not fare well at the faceoff dot. They won only 17 of 57 draws for a win percentage of 29.8. Dickinson, who's typically strong in that department, lost 15 of 18.

6. Seth Jones was all over the scoresheet. He had five shot attempts, three shots on goal, three blocked shots, two hits, two giveaways and one takeaway. He also logged 27:37 of ice time, which led all skaters.

7. The Golden Knights had quite a few players missing for various reasons: William Carrier (upper body), Anthony Mantha (undisclosed injury), Alex Pietrangelo (illness), Chandler Stephenson (undisclosed injury) and Mark Stone (lacerated spleen). All eyes, of course, are on Stone, who could return for Game 1 of the playoffs. I imagine social media will handle that well.

8. Dallas and Vancouver had unbelievable regular seasons, and its reward in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs could be the defending Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights. What a brutal draw that would be for either team. The win for Vegas against Chicago, however, put them into the three spot of the Pacific Division. Edmonton-Vegas in the first-round would probably be the best.

9. The Blackhawks' lottery odds have officially been determined. They have the second-best odds to land the No. 1 overall pick at 13.5 percent and are guaranteed a top-four pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. They had worse odds last season (third) when they won the Bedard sweepstakes.

10. The Blackhawks visit Los Angeles on Thursday for their season finale. To some degree, it's hard to believe the offseason is just about here. On another hand, this season has seemingly felt longer than others.

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