Hawks lose third straight to open season: 4 takeaways


The Blackhawks lost 5-2 to former Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville's Florida Panthers on the road in the Panthers' season opener for a third straight Hawks loss to open the season Sunday.

Here are four takeaways:

Coach Q robs Kane, Suter

It looked like Hawks rookie Pius Suter had an early play of the year candidate when he took a page from Patrick Kane and Denis Savard's book, hitting a spin-o-rama in front of the Panthers' net to pass Kane the puck for what seemed like Suter's first NHL point and Kane's second goal of the season, but Kane's former coach wasn't having it.

Q challenged the play as offside and won.

Powerful adjustment

The Hawks converted on the Panthers' second penalty of the game after Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton replaced young D-man Adam Boqvist with Duncan Keith on the top unit. After the adjustment, Alex DeBrincat scored on Chicago's second man advantage of the contest with Keith picking up the primary assist and Kane the secondary.

Boqvist didn't take a shift in the last eight minutes of the second period, but did see the ice a bit in the third. 

Delia double down

Goalie Collin Delia made his second consecutive start on the season for the Blackhawks on Sunday against the Panthers. Delia looked on top of his game in the first period, similar to his last appearance, and stopped all 12 of Florida's shots in the opening frame. The Panthers scored 12 seconds into the second period, but it wasn't on Delia. The puck deflected off a glove and a stick to end up in the Hawks' net. The goalie had more bad luck when Keith Yandle scored his 100th career goal 5:21 later after contact with Chicago defenseman Nikita Zadorov left Delia stranded out in front of the crease.

Connor Murphy scored to tie the game 2-2 2:53 into the third and Suter officially earned his first NHL point by winning the faceoff leading to the play, but Euto Luostarinen beat Keith on a rush and scored up close glove-side on Delia right after. Then, Patric Hornqvist's shot from the wall deflected off Hawks defenseman Calvin de Haan's stick and went through Delia's five-hole to give the Panthers a 4-2 lead in another tough bounce for the Chicago netminder. Jonathan Huberdeau later scored a power play goal late in the third. Delia finished Sunday's game with 24 saves on 29 Florida shots.

Collin made 33 saves on 38 shots in Friday's 5-2 loss against the Lightning in Tampa Bay in his previous start. Malcolm Subban got the first start of the year, his first with the Hawks, from the goalie trio that also includes Kevin Lankinen on Wednesday in Tampa Bay. Subban saved 28 of 33 shots in the season opener.

Colliton is putting the three losses on the whole team and his staff, not just the goalies.

"We’re all in it together, right? Everyone has to try to do a little more and be a little better, whether that’s coaches, defensemen, forwards, goalies, young guys, old guys, we have to work through this," Colliton said after Sunday's game. "No one likes losing, but you show who you are by responding. Let’s win a hockey game in a couple of days and things will look bright."

Starting numbers

The Blackhawks are off to a tough start after going 0-3-0, giving up the first goal in each of their three games. There have been some tough bounces for unseasoned Hawks goalies Subban and Delia, but it's clear the squad needs to play a better team game in front of them after being outscored 15-5 in the first three games, allowing five goals in each contest so far.

"It’s frustrating," DeBrincat said after the loss to the Panthers. "We work hard to get back in games, then they go down and score. Feel like a broken record, but we have to play a full 60 minutes. We go down in the second, battle back and end up losing by a lot. So we just have to be better."

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