There was a lot to like about the Blackhawks’ performance Sunday night. They outshot the Sharks 29-22 and generally played a strong game.
They just couldn’t beat goalie James Reimer and a stingy San Jose defense in a 2-0 loss.
“For the most part, I think that’s one of the best games we’ve played all year,” Hawks interim coach Derek King said.
With forward Dylan Strome scratched again, the Hawks were hoping they could generate more offense than they have recently. It didn’t happen.
It appears that winning close games will have to be the Hawks’ MO. The goals by San Jose’s Timo Meier — the first coming moments after Alex DeBrincat and Seth Jones couldn’t convert a second-period two-on-one — were too much to overcome.
“It’s a tough league, and that’s kind of the situation we’re in with this team now,” forward Patrick Kane said. “You look at the last few games — even the games we’ve been successful — we’ve found a way to get a late goal and win 1-0 or 3-2 in overtime, and that looks like the way we’re going to have to play to be successful.”
Of course, a few more goals to go with a strong effort would be welcomed.
“I’m hoping it’s coming soon, but, listen, you’re playing a really good hockey team, and it’s 1-0 going into the third, and you’re holding them,” King said. “They get an empty-net goal, but I’ll take that every night if we play like that for three periods.”
Radio analyst Troy Murray, who’s battling cancer, took part in the Hockey Fights Cancer event by participating in the ceremonial pregame puck drop next to 15-year-old Devin Pittges, who’s in remission after fighting osteosarcoma.
“It’s been tough not having [Murray] around, his smile and positive energy,” forward Ryan Carpenter said. “We really miss him.”
Scare in Rockford
Lukas Reichel, the Hawks’ 2020 first-round pick, left the AHL IceHogs’ game in the third period after crashing into the boards. Interim coach Anders Sorensen said the team would know more about Reichel’s status on Monday.