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Observations from the Blackhawks' 4-2 loss to the Bruins

An early goal by the Bruins' Patrice Bergeron put the Hawks on their heels and they never recovered in having their two-game winning streak snapped. Bergeron and teammate Brad Marchand each had a goal and an assist, Loui Eriksson and Ryan Spooner also scored and Tuukka Rask was solid in goal for the Bruins. Torey Krug and Lee Stempniak each added two assists for Boston.

Jonathan Toews and Tomas Fleischmann scored for the Hawks but it wasn’t nearly enough as backup goaltender Scott Darling struggled, yielding four goals on 25 Bruins shots.
The Hawks fell to 40-21-5 on the season while the Bruins upped their record to 36-23-6.
1. Scott Darling needs to be better.
There is no question that Darling was put in a tough spot by making his first start since Feb. 15, but the Lemont native allowed three goals on long shots and the Hawks weren’t able to overcome that. The fourth Bruins score was a terrific redirection by Eriksson off a pretty saucer pass from John-Michael Liles so Darling can’t be faulted but Hawks coach Joel Quenneville was clearly unhappy with the goalie’s performance, saying, “he wasn’t very good” and “we expect more than that.”
Without consistent playing time, it can be difficult for Darling to remain sharp. He was fighting the puck all game long and Thursday’s game likely won’t do much for his confidence going forward.
The Hawks only have one more set of back-to-backs the rest of the season so starting net-minder Corey Crawford will see a lot of action.
“We’ll see how it goes here as we go along,” Quenneville said of the goaltending situation. “I don’t want to look too far ahead. There’s a lot to be decided and sorted out in our division. I’m not forecasting what’s going to happen with the goaltenders.”
2. Teuvo Teravainen is playing very well.
As a whole, the Hawks looked like a tired team—and they were after blitzing the Red Wings 5-2 the previous night in Detroit and then flying to Boston. One player who had energy and was arguably the Hawks’ best player against the Bruins was Teuvo Teravainen. The Finn was flying and is really settling into his role as the third-line center. Teravainen set up Fleischmann’s first goal with the Hawks and finished with three shots on goal and won eight of 16 faceoffs in 17 minutes, 30 seconds of ice time.
“He’s been his best (now) that he’s been in the middle,” Quenneville said. “He’s played his best stretch of games, game-in, game-out. He made some nice plays (Thursday night), won some faceoffs. He was good.”
3. Andrew Ladd is a good middleman.
The Hawks’ power play continued to produce with a goal in two opportunities with the man advantage. That marked the third consecutive game the Hawks had a power-play goal and it doesn’t figure to tail off, especially if they continue to utilize Andrew Ladd in front of the goal.
When the Hawks acquired Ladd from the Jets last week, they got a player who isn’t afraid to go into the corners, is a terrific leader and can find the back of the net. They also got something they haven’t had a lot of in recent seasons: A net-front presence. Ladd will pay the price to screen goalies and try to redirect pucks or pounce on rebounds. Ladd was battling in front of Rask during the first period of Thursday’s game and sent a rebound of a Christian Ehrhoff shot on goal before Toews eventually swooped in and banged it home.
With Ladd in front, the Hawks are that much better on the power play. That will be big come postseason.
Twitter @ChrisKuc
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