SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Jonathan Toews was disappointed, to a certain extent.
The Chicago Blackhawks captain appreciated the great atmosphere, the close game and the overall experience. But with a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium on Tuesday, there was some frustration with another loss in an outdoor game.
"Our record's not so hot," Toews said. "Today, we would have loved to have gotten a win. It felt like we were in control for a majority of the game. Falling short doesn't feel too good."
The venues have been different. The rosters have been different. But the result has usually been a loss. The Blackhawks are 1-5-0 in outdoor games, and they've been outscored 24-15. Their lone win was when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 in the NHL Stadium Series game at Soldier Field in Chicago on March 1, 2014.
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The Blackhawks are 0-4-0 in Winter Classic games. Has bad luck been an issue for them when they've taken their game outdoors at the start of the new year?
"A couple of [Winter Classic] games, I don't know if you could say that, but maybe today," Toews said. "We had our chances offensively in the second, but the power play again (0-for-4), we can't quite get it going. But we had our chances to create a little distance in that game and make it harder for them to come back. It doesn't feel good when you let those slip away from you."
Chicago (15-21-6) is eight points behind the Dallas Stars for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Despite being disappointed with the result against the Bruins, the Blackhawks are more concerned with how they're playing overall this season than how they've fared in outdoor games through the years. And they still like a lot of aspects of their game.
"In the big picture, I thought we did a lot of good things," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We're still on the right path. Unfortunate that we didn't get paid off more for the good things that we did. We had a little lull there in the third, and we end up going down. Then it's hard. We're chasing from then on. Disappointing because I think we did enough to probably deserve more."
The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead when Brendan Perlini scored from the slot 8:30 into the first period. It was the sixth straight game they scored the opening goal.
But they couldn't stop the Bruins on their first two power plays. Boston's David Pastrnak tied the game 1-1 with his power-play goal at 12:38 of the first. After Dominik Kahun gave Chicago a 2-1 lead at 11:24 of the second period, Patrice Bergeron tied it 2-2 at 18:48 with the man-advantage, and Sean Kuraly scored the winning goal at 10:20 of the third.
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"It was a little unfortunate they got that late goal in the second period on the PK, but we really dominated that one," said Blackhawks goalie Cam Ward, who made 32 saves on 35 shots. "That was the only time I really felt cold during the game just because I wasn't seeing a whole lot in that second period. But overall, it's a tough opponent there against Boston. They don't give you much, and when they did, Tuukka [Rask] made the save."
The Blackhawks have been playing better of late and getting positive results, winning five of their previous six games. They would have liked to get another victory Tuesday. Despite that, they said most of what happened at Notre Dame was positive.
"It was a great atmosphere, it was fun to hear the crowd, and to play a hockey game in this venue is pretty special," Colliton said. "Right this second, I'm not enjoying it as much as I would like to. But overall, I'm sure we'll look back on it with good memories."