Matthews denied hat trick record, Maple Leafs lose to Blackhawks

Matthews denied hat trick record, Maple Leafs lose to Blackhawks

Forward held scoreless against Bedard, Chicago; Soderblom makes 34 saves

Recap: Blackhawks at Maple Leafs 10.16.23

TORONTO — Auston Matthews did not score and was denied NHL history by not getting a third straight hat trick in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.

Matthews scored three goals in a season-opening 6-5 shootout victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, then had another three in a 7-4 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. He became the fifth player in NHL history to get a hat trick in back-to-back games, and the second since its inaugural campaign of 1917-18 to do so in each of his first two of a season.

“I thought it was a complete game tonight, 60 minutes,” Chicago coach Luke Richardson said. “That’s what we challenged the guys for, that’s what we needed against a team like that. It was great, a great effort.”

Connor Bedard did not have a point, ending his season-opening three game point streak (one goal, two assists). MacKenzie Entwistle scored in his season debut, and Arvid Soderblom made 34 saves for the Blackhawks (2-2-0).

John Tavares scored, and Joseph Woll made 27 saves in his season debut for the Maple Leafs (2-1-0).

“The turnover stuff early on, the carelessness with the puck, it’s all our best players,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Really, really careless. So, that didn’t give us a chance to take a hold of the game, which you want to do be able to do on home ice. We weren’t able to take charge of the game, and then you let the opponent hang around. We’ve seen this movie before.

“You’re not getting power plays. When we started to get some momentum and life there, once they got their first goal and a couple penalties against us took away from our momentum.”

CHI@TOR: Entwistle fires a shot in from the circle

Entwistle, a healthy scratch for the first three games, gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 2:59 of the second period when he took a pass from Andreas Athanasiou, who was on the goal line, and shot from the left hash marks.

“It was nice to get back in, nice to get in in my hometown,” said Entwisele, a native of Georgetown, Ontario, roughly 40 minutes northwest of Toronto. “I hadn’t played here yet, so it was nice to be in for sure.”

Tavares tied it 1-1 at 5:14 when he took a drop pass from William Nylander in the slot and shot over Soderblom’s glove.

Corey Perry gave Chicago a 2-1 lead at 14:46 of the second period on a breakaway after a feed from Alex Vlasic.

“I was tired [and] just wanted to honestly throw it off the glass at first and I saw the defense pinch down the wall thinking I was going to, so I thought [I’d] send a Hail Mary sauce pass and it landed perfectly right on his tape, so I’m pretty happy about that one,” Vlasic said.

Corey Perry scores on breakaway

Tyler Johnson made it 3-1 at 17:05 on the power when he took a pass from Athanasiou (two assists) and scored glove side after getting behind the defense. It was the Blackhawks’ first power-play goal in 17 chances this season.

“I thought we were really sloppy with the puck in the first period, and then we got beat in transition in the second period,” Keefe said.

Soderblom kept it 3-1 with a sprawling left-toe save on Tavares with 3:07 remaining in the third period and Woll pulled for an extra attacker.

“It was for sure a huge, important save,” Soderblom said. “It’s hard to say if it was the best one, but it was at the right time.”

Toronto played the final 3:58 with an extra attacker.

“Soderblom tonight was remarkable, especially at the end of the game,” Richardson said. “That’s a dangerous team down low, big bodies, but he’s a big body and he’s very solid on the posts. He came up really big for us.”

Taylor Hall scored into an empty net for Chicago at 19:05, but the goal was overturned after Toronto successfully challenged for offside.

Matthews thought he scored on a redirection with seven seconds left, but that goal was also overturned after Nylander entered the zone offside.

“It’s tough to go out there in the third when you are up by two, and especially against an offensive team like that where they have a ton of offensive power to create every shift,” Entwistle said. “It’s tough to go out there and play the exact same way you played the first two periods, [but] I thought we stuck to that. We had a lot of big blocks, Soderblom played amazing. It was awesome. It was fun.”

Taylor Raddysh scored into an empty net at 19:54 for the 4-1 final.

NOTES: Matthews finished with eight shots on goal in 25:49 of ice time; Bedard has four in 18:35. … Perry has four points through his first four games with the Blackhawks. The only other team Perry, who has also played for the Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning, had as many points with through his first four games was in his rookie season with the Ducks in 2005-06. … Vlasic and Chicago defenseman Seth Jones each was plus-3.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.