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10 observations: Hawks blow 4-goal lead, fall to Sabres


The Blackhawks fell to the Buffalo Sabres 6-5 at the United Center on Monday.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. After the Blackhawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead, the Sabres scored four consecutive goals to even the score at 4-4 and it was basically deja vu from the Vegas game. Buffalo's game-winning goal with 10.6 seconds left was an absolute heartbreaker. The shot from the point on the power play ricocheted off the boards then went off Kevin Lankinen's skate and in. Lankinen broke his stick over the post after the goal.

2. The Blackhawks got absolutely dominated in the second period. During 5-on-5 action, the Sabres led in shot attempts (25-7), shots on goal (14-3), scoring chances (15-2) and high-danger chances (7-0), per Natural Stat Trick. That period couldn't end soon enough.

3. The Blackhawks finished the game with only nine scoring chances during 5-on-5 action. Only two of them came from high-danger areas. The Sabres had 28 scoring chances and 14 high-danger chances.

4. Chicago's second line of Dominik Kubalik, Taylor Raddysh and Jonathan Toews and third line of Henrik Borgstrom, Philipp Kurashev and Tyler Johnson had a tough night. When they were on the ice at even strength, the Sabres led 19-0 in combined scoring chances. When the Calvin de Haan and Riley Stillman pairing were on the ice, the Sabres also led 9-0 in scoring chances.

5. Alex DeBrincat scored a goal for the fourth consecutive game, and extended his point streak to five. He's also recorded a multi-point outing in four straight. He stayed hot.

6. Jonathan Toews scored a vintage Jonathan Toews goal to put the Blackhawks ahead 3-0. The zone entry. The little give-and-go with Philipp Kurashev. The beautiful toe-drag around the defenseman. The backhander. What a goal.

7. Sam Lafferty picked up where he left off on Chicago's three-game West Coast trip, where he was one of the standouts. On his fifth shift of the game, he laid a big hit on Will Butcher then redirected a Jake McCabe shot from the point for his fifth goal of the season. Also, when he was on the ice at even strength, the Blackhawks generated six scoring chances and allowed only three.

8. Calvin de Haan was on a funny streak of scoring exactly one goal in each of the last four seasons. It looked like he was headed for a fifth but he opened the scoring in this game to give himself two on the season, which is the most he's had since the 2016-17 when he scored a career-high five goals with the N.Y. Islanders.

9. Vinnie Hinostroza returned to the United Center for the first time since signing with Buffalo over the offseason. I thought the Blackhawks should've re-signed him then and believe that even more now. It actually doesn't make much sense why they didn't, considering he signed a two-year deal with a manageable cap hit of $1.5 million. He had 12 points (four goals, eight assists) during his 17-game stint, and is on an 82-game pace this season of 18 goals and 39 points. Could've used that type of offense.

10. Kirby Dach did not play because of a non-COVID-19-related illness. Tyler Johnson returned to the lineup after missing the last six games while in concussion protocol.

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