If there's been an Achilles heel for the Blackhawks during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, it's been their "bad habit" of coughing up leads too quickly.
Through 20 postseason games it hasn't come back to bite the Blackhawks yet.
But it's an area Chicago must shore up if they want to hoist Lord Stanley for the third time since 2010 after Monday's 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Less than five minutes into the third period Marian Hossa sent a pass through the slot to Brandon Saad who gave the Blackhawks their first lead of the night on a quick one-timer that beat the glove of Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop.
Before the 22,336 Blackhawks fans that were in attendance at the United Center were able to finish humming "Chelsea Dagger" Lightning struck.
Just 13 seconds later Lightning forward Ondrej Palat went hard to the net and grabbed the rebound on a Nikita Kucherov shot to sneak the puck past Corey Crawford, evening the game up at the 4:27 mark of the third period.
It became an occurrence that the Blackhawks are all too familiar with this postseason.
"It’s frustrating," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "A lot of things that we did today gave us the feeling we were going to come out on top. The effort we gave. Just a couple bad habits ended up hurting us. We’re all responsible for that. This game could have been similar to the way we stole Game 1 from them. We feel like we had a lot of chances, especially early in the game. Late in the game, we gave up those odd-man rushes we’ve been talking about. We’ll improve in that area and use as motivation to find that anger, the emotion we need to bounce back.
"Mistakes happen. We’ll improve on it and move on. It’s all we can do now."
Palat's tally was the tenth goal the Blackhawks have allowed in the postseason that came less than two minutes after scoring a goal of their own, with six of those goals coming less than one minute after scoring.
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Is it a cause of concern for Chicago?
"Big shift after goals, either way, we should be excited about being out there," Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said. "They got it to the net, loose puck ends up in the back of our net. You’d like to be going the other way after a draw but certainly, you can’t give up that type of goal."
Game 3 was the second straight contest the Blackhawks have lost to the Lightning after coughing up a quick lead. Teuvo Teravainen put the Blackhawks out in front in the second period of Game 2 before Kucherov scored less than two minutes later.
Despite the quick strikes happening 10 times this postseason the Blackhawks aren't looking at it as a "mental" problem.
"Mentally, we always try to talk about that," Blackhawks center Brad Richards said. "Things happen. I didn’t exactly see everything that happened, but the other team wants to score too after that. They’re trying to come out and have a strong shift after the goal. I know it has happened a lot to us after a goal and we’ve addressed it. Sometimes that’s just hockey."
While it's easy to look at Palat's goal as the turning point in Game 3, the Blackhawks had their chances early and could've possible put the game away in the first 20 minutes.
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After withstanding an early push from the Lightning, the Blackhawks dominated play for the final 15 minutes of the first period. With Bishop clearly laboring, the Blackhawks fired 19 shots his way as he turned away all but 18 of them. However, their two best scoring chances came when Bishop was nowhere near his goal crease. Both Hossa and Teravainen had wide-open nets in the first period and both attempts sailed wide of the net. What could have been a two goal lead for the home team turned into a tie game after 20 minutes of play.
Now, the Blackhawks find themselves in a 2-1 hole as they head into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
It's not unfamiliar territory for the Blackhawks, who are in the same position as they were heading into Game 4 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks.
And the last time the Blackhawks trailed a Stanley Cup Final series? In 2013 when they trailed the Boston Bruins 2-1 before rattling off three straight wins en route to the Stanley Cup.
"Usually in every series, Game 4 is really huge," Hossa said. "It’s either a tie or go down by two games. We have been in this situation, and like I said, we just have to take a rest and be ready."