Much like their season overall, the Blackhawks started promisingly in Monday night’s finale but ultimately fell short in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Stars at the United Center.
The buzz of two goals in the first 90 seconds — delighting a reduced-capacity crowd of 3,917 — fizzled as the Stars poured on waves of attacks for the rest of the game, resulting in an absurd 50-23 shots-on-goal differential.
Two goals by the Stars two minutes apart tied the score midway through the third period. The Hawks couldn’t find the net during a four-minute power play in overtime, and Jason Robertson ended both teams’ seasons with a late winner.
“They were better than us tonight,” Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “We got some opportunistic goals [which] allowed us to have the lead, but ultimately it just wasn’t enough. . . . But we played 10 rookies again, and it was a learning experience, just like [Sunday] was.”
Winger Alex DeBrincat scored in the first period to become the first NHL player since 1985 with a goal in each of his team’s last seven games. Collin Delia made 45 saves in goal.
And forward Dylan Strome, reinserted after two more healthy scratches, had a goal and an assist in what may have been his final Hawks game. Like the Hawks, he now enters a crucial offseason.
“[That was] not exactly the way we wanted to end it,” forward Pius Suter said. “With fans back, it would’ve been nice to win that last one, go home with a good feeling. Overall this season, it feels like it was a long year, except it was only four months.”
Shaw in Masterton running
Former Hawks forward Andrew Shaw was nominated by the Chicago chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey.”
Shaw overcame low expectations to make the NHL, score 573 career points and win two Stanley Cups with the Hawks. He endured numerous lengthy concussion recovery periods to continue his career until he was advised to retire in April.
One player from each of the 31 NHL teams is nominated for the award annually. Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom, Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell and Shaw are seen as top contenders.