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Powerless Blackhawks drop Central Division showdown with Wild

12 January 2018

Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, a healthy scratch in Chicago's 8-2 win in Ottawa on Tuesday night, was back in the lineup and celebrated with his first goal since opening night.

The loss snapped Ottawa's two-game winning streak and was the worst loss of the season since an 8-3 defeat on October 30 against Montreal. "It's not easy when you make those kind of decisions, but we've got a lot of balance back and some guys that are playing well". I don't think it was anything special throughout the game.

Both Ottawa goaltenders have struggled all season, but veteran Dion Phaneuf said it's unfair to put blame on them.

Seabrook, one of the team's alternate captains, has been with the Blackhawks all 13 seasons of his National Hockey League career and is fifth all time in games played for the franchise. "We made mistakes, we made mistakes in key areas and our goaltenders have been solid".

Panik's goal preceded a parade of points from Kane, who had four assists during a five-goal second period.

Sharp gave Chicago a 2-0 lead at the five-minute mark with a wrist shot from the top of the circle.

The Hawks also lead the season series against Minnesota 2-1-0 including a split in the first two games at the United Center. Brassard then made it 4-2 by driving to the net and tipping Stone's shot in off his chest. Chicago is only 2-6 this season in that scenario and Minnesota is 2-4, but a sample from the OddsShark NHL Database that is more favorable to the Blackhawks is their 5-1 record in their last six home games.

Chicago has won the last two meetings and is coming off an impressive win at Ottawa, but often times complacency settles in for either of those situations.

Anderson and Condon gave up a combined five goals on nine shots in the second period alone. Bobby Ryan added to the misery by leaving the game favoring his hand and didn't return for the third. It's not necessarily the best way to play, but if he keeps calling me or asking if I'm okay to go out there, then you're obviously going to take advantage of that and go out there and play as much as possible.

"Bruce came in right away and let us know that wasn't going to do it and if that's how we wanted to play, it was going to be a long second half of the year", Dunbyk said.

Notes: D Mark Borowiecki (concussion), Johnny Oduya (lower body) and C Nate Thompson (lower body) did not play for the Senators.

Technically, the Wild trailed the Blackhawks in the standings entering the night by virtue of playing one more game.

Powerless Blackhawks drop Central Division showdown with Wild