CHICAGO (AP) — Tampa Bay forward Brandon Hagel has a lot of fond memories of his time in Chicago.
A few more after Tuesday night.
Hagel had a goal and an assist in his return to Chicago, and the Lightning beat the lowly Blackhawks 4-1 for their fourth straight victory.
The 24-year-old Hagel made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks in 2020. He was in the middle of a breakout season when he was traded to the Lightning in March.
He faced his old team last year, but Tuesday night was his first game at the United Center since the multiplayer deal.
“It was obviously a little bit emotional,” Hagel said. “This is where my career started. This is the organization that gave me the opportunity to live my dream.”
Alex Killorn snapped a tie in the third period as Tampa Bay won for the 11th time in 14 games overall. Pat Maroon and Nicholas Paul also scored in the opener of a three-game trip, and Brian Elliott made 25 saves.
Killorn was stopped by Alex Stalock on his first try, but he slammed home the rebound as he was knocked down by Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy. Killorn’s 12th goal of the season made it 2-1 at 7:11.
“It was just sitting there,” Killorn said. “You typically don’t get those rebounds right on your stick, so just fortunate it came right to me.”
Hagel helped set up Killorn’s move, and then scored his 15th goal when he converted a power-play opportunity with 9:46 remaining.
“He wasn’t here super long, but I thought he had an impact,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said of Hagel. “He’s having that same impact for us, and he’s such a great kid. It’s great for him. Big thrill.”
Chicago dropped its fifth straight game, managing five goals during the slide. It is 2-20-1 in its last 23 games overall.
Seth Jones scored for Chicago, and Stalock finished with 25 stops.
The Blackhawks dressed seven defensemen after they scratched forward Tyler Johnson against his former team because of an illness. Then Patrick Kane departed with a lower-body injury.
Defenseman Caleb Jones, Seth’s younger brother, got some ice time as a forward with Johnson out.
Chicago coach Luke Richardson said Kane got hit during Sunday’s 5-2 loss to San Jose. It wasn’t a major issue, Richardson said, but Kane felt it a bit and then it came on more against Tampa Bay.
“He’s getting checked out tonight, so we really don’t know much ’til tomorrow, probably,” Richardson said. “He’ll see the doctors here tonight and tomorrow and get an update on that.”
Chicago jumped in front when Jones scored his second of the season, knocking Taylor Raddysh’s pass into the net 4:50 into the first period.
It was the first power-play goal by a Blackhawks defenseman since Murphy got one on May 1, 2021, against Florida, according to Sportradar.
Tampa Bay then tied it at 1 when Maroon tipped home Victor Hedman’s shot with 8:36 left in the first. It was Maroon’s second of the season.
The Lightning controlled much of the action in the second, but they were shut out by Stalock and the cage. Hagel, Mikhail Sergachev and Nikita Kucherov each had a shot go off a post or the crossbar.
Richardson skipped the morning skate because he wasn’t feeling well. Coupled with Johnson’s illness, the coach said he planned to be careful with the players.
“If anybody feels like that, we’re going to try to keep them away from the team if we can,” Richardson said.
Lightning: At the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
Blackhawks: At home against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night.
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