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10 observations: Ryan Hartman, Wild rout Blackhawks


The Blackhawks fell to the Minnesota Wild 5-1 at the United Center on Friday.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. Welcome back to Chicago, Ryan Hartman. His breakout season continued, scoring twice in the first period and setting a new career-high in points (32). His previous season-best was 31, which came during the 2016-17 season with the Blackhawks. He's now on pace for 39 goals and 70 points. Wild. (No pun intended).

2. I can't remember the last time I saw two fights happen right after the other on the same stoppage but that's what happened in the first period. Riley Stillman and Brandon Duhaime dropped the gloves at the 12:42 mark and as soon as that wrapped up, MacKenzie Entwistle scrapped with Connor Dewar. Entwistle and Dewar were given a game misconduct for fighting after a stoppage.

3. Hat tip to Carter Baum of the Blackhawks: This isn't the first time Stillman and Duhaime tangled. In the final game of the preseason, Stillman laid a hit in the corner on Nico Sturm that Duhaime didn't like. The two of them then dropped the gloves. Not sure if the fight was a carry-over from that, but certainly felt like some unfinished business.

4. The Blackhawks had two power-play opportunities in the first period that, in hindsight, came at important times. Their first opportunity came just 22 seconds into the game and Minnesota scored on the shift after killing it off. Then, trailing 2-0, the Blackhawks had a chance to cut the lead in half at the 8:06 mark, but they failed to do so and Minnesota eventually took a 3-0 lead. The Blackhawks had only three shot attempts and zero scoring chances on those two opportunities.

5. Marc-Andre Fleury made his eighth consecutive start but it was short-lived. He allowed four goals on 13 shots in 23:33 of action before being pulled for Kevin Lankinen in the second period. Fleury was far from the reason things got out of hand, and I imagine the decision had something to do with the fact Lankinen was slated to start Saturday for the first time in more than a month, so might as well let him see a few pucks before then.

6. The Blackhawks finished with 36 shots on goal but generated only three high-danger chances, per Natural Stat Trick. It was tied for their lowest chances in a game this season.

7. The Wild had an expected goals for of 2.88. The Blackhawks were at 1.99.

8. The Blackhawks' first line of Brandon Hagel, Patrick Kane and Dylan Strome was one of the lone bright spots. When the three of them were on the ice at even strength, the Blackhawks led in shot attempts (19-9), shots on goal (11-4), scoring chances (7-4) and goals for (1-0).

9. Stillman left the game in the second period after laying a mini hit on Kevin Fiala. He was holding his left arm on the way to the locker room and did not return. The Blackhawks called it a left shoulder injury.

10. Henrik Borgstrom was a healthy scratch. Interim head coach Derek King said before the game: "It's nothing really play-wise, he just hasn't separated himself" from the group of players like Entwistle, Mike Hardman, Josiah Slavin, etc.

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