Nov 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) scores a goal against Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) during a shootout at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Blackhawks Steal Bolts’ Thunder in a 3-2 Shootout Win!
Heading into the home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Bolts were (and for now, still are) at the top of the league standings with 24 points. Meanwhile, the Hawks have been struggling to string a series of wins together, teetering back and forth between brilliant win and abysmal loss.
Add that to last season’s history of Hawks-Bolts match ups, and the prospect of a win seemed more uncertain. Tampa Bay had won in a shootout at the United Center and in overtime at home. In fact, you would have had to look back as far as 12/13/09 for the Hawks’ last win against the Bolts.
Not only did the Hawks snap their own losing streak against the Bolts to emerge victorious at long last, but they also interrupted a win streak, keeping Tampa Bay from winning 7 straight.
Here’s the recap:
Just a few minutes into the first period, the Bolts were called for a delay of game penalty, and the Hawks went to an early power play. But let’s put aside for a moment how tough it has been for them to convert on the power play, and how apparently easy it is becoming for other teams to score while on the kill against the Hawks.
Patrick Kane had an untimely (and largely uncharacteristic) turnover in the offensive zone, giving a gift-wrapped opportunity to Cedric Paquette, who put it past Corey Crawford to give the Lightning an early lead. On their first shot on goal, no less. The Hawks have now allowed four short-handed goals in 16 games. Compare that to last year, when they only allowed five all season.
The Hawks (or maybe the Bolts?) had two additional opportunities to score on the power play, with Andrej Sustr getting called for hooking against Jeremy Morin, and with Peter Regin drawing a cross-checking penalty on Eric Brewer.
The second frame was much improved from the Hawks’ typical middle 20 so far this season, though they still couldn’t score on the power play if their lives depended on it. To be honest, though, Bolts goalie Ben Bishop was having a pretty stellar evening – much to our chagrin – and kept stopping the vast majority of prime scoring chances by the Hawks.
He fortunately did let one slip by, roughly midway through the period, and only four seconds after the power play. Brandon Saad recovered a puck from the boards in the offensive zone and attempted a centering pass that just missed Marian Hossa but found Brad Richards. At the same time, one of the Lightning players pushed Kris Versteeg into the crease, apparently distracting Bishop just long enough for Richards to come through and put it away.
Later in the period, Jeremy Morin and J.T. Brown were called for roughing against each other, leading to a couple minutes of 4-on-4, and Eric Brewer got called for high-sticking Andrew Shaw. But the score remained tied 1-1 after 40 minutes.
Shortly into the final frame, Niklas Hjalmarsson fired from the point, with Marcus Kruger right in front of the net (what a concept!) for the tip-in goal. But not long after, the Hawks found themselves in penalty trouble that gave the Bolts some momentum. Hjalmarsson was called for slashing against Valtteri Filppula, and Brent Seabrook cross-checked Tyler Johnson, who was slow to get up. When he did, he went to the locker room and didn’t return to the game.
The Bolts managed to tie the game about midway through the period, when Nikita Kucherov buried a pass from Steven Stamkos. Crawford withstood a late flurry of shots to keep the Hawks in the game.
Unfortunately, the other casualty in the game was Johnny Oduya, who went down after blocking a Jason Garrison shot off his right leg. Coach Quenneville was his usual non-committal, tight-lipped self in his post-game interview when asked about Oduya’s status.
Apart from some good scoring chances on both ends that neither goalie would allow to go, there isn’t much to write home about for the overtime period, except that there were surprisingly no penalties in what had otherwise been a scrappy, heated contest between the two teams.
Jonathan Toews attempted to lift his shot past Bishop but was stopped. But in the next round, Patrick Kane’s backhand shot found the back of the net.
Crow spread his wings and denied all three attempts by Tampa Bay (Ryan Callahan, Kucherov, and Stamkos), lifting the Hawks to the win for an extra point.
In the end, the Hawks dominated in total shot attempts (69-40) and shots on goal (39-27), but Bishop stood on his head with 37 saves to keep it a close game.
In the Quest for Consistency that the Hawks have found themselves on this season, it’s important to note that they have a two-game streak for the third time this season, but more importantly, three wins in their last four games. Let’s hope this trend continues.
- The Blackhawks honored former and current servicemen and servicewomen on Veteran’s Day with special camouflage warm-up jerseys to be auctioned later, a presentation of the Stars and Stripes accompanied by Jim Cornelison’s arguably best anthem performance yet, and uniformed Shoot the Puck contestants.
- Trevor van Riemsdyk will need to wait until the next game to try for his first NHL goal with no take-backs.
- The next game is Friday, on the road against the Detroit Red Wings.