Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, lose to Blues in OT


Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, lose to Blues in OT

The Blackhawks headed into first intermission pretty happy with their first 20 minutes.

They had reason to be. After struggling to score goals for several games, the Blackhawks put up five goals on a St. Louis Blues team coming off a loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night. But by the second period, the Blackhawks’ lead was gone. And near the end of 3-on-3, so was the chance at two points.

Teuvo Teravainen, Andrew Shaw and Brent Seabrook had a goal and an assist each, but Vladimir Tarasenko had the overtime winner in the Blues’ 6-5 comeback victory on Wednesday night. It was a disappointing end for the Blackhawks, who looked like they were in great shape after the first 20 minutes. But the Blues, who didn’t get into Chicago until 4 a.m. — dense fog forced them to land in Milwaukee and then take a bus here — had more answers.

Asked if this was one that got away from the Blackhawks, coach Joel Quenneville said, “Yeah, it certainly did.”

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“You certainly want to put a team away,” he said. “You’re up 5-2, they played last night and you think we have a lot more hockey coming there. They got the momentum back. We slowed them down in the third and in overtime we had our turn. They got it.”

The Blackhawks had it in the first period, a bizarre 20 minutes that featured seven goals and St. Louis changing goaltenders twice — Brian Elliott started, was replaced by Jake Allen after Teravainen’s goal, came back in and then was replaced by Allen again after being part of a collision in the Blues net. Marko Dano scored his first goal with the Blackhawks and Shaw scored his first of the season on a penalty shot.

But the euphoria disappeared in the second period, when the Blues scored three times. David Backes’ goal with about 33 seconds remaining in the period tied the game 5-5 and quieted a once happy United Center crowd.

“I just think that we had those lapses where we gave up chances against that ended up in our net,” Jonathan Toews said. “Obviously, the players they had on the ice, they were getting those bounces and they made us pay. So it’s unfortunate that it kind of took the wind out of our sails a little bit in that second period and gave them life a little bit for that second 20 minutes.”

Corey Crawford, who has been strong through this early season, had a rough night.

“It seemed like it wasn’t as much urgency as there was at the beginning of the game. As a goalie too, when your team has a good start, especially five goals, you want to be able to shut it down,” said Crawford after allowing six goals on 29 shots. “It seemed like, no matter what was happening, everything seemed to find its way in.”

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The Blackhawks managed a point in getting to overtime and had some chances there. But Tarasenko scored with 1:06 remaining in 3-on-3. It was the first overtime loss for the Blackhawks this season; they won the previous three.

“There [are] a lot of chances both ways. Anything can happen. Obviously at some point, if you’re caught on a bad change, kind of like I was tonight, you put your team in an awkward spot and it just takes one chance to lose the game like that,” Toews said. “I think that’s what obviously happened.”

The Blackhawks started the night with plenty of offense. It was they allowed, however, that hurt them.

“I never have to worry about offense. We didn’t score [in regulation] against two good teams who know how we play and are very familiar with us and both teams were content playing that type of style,” Quenneville said. “But we’ll measure our performance with how we play without the puck and knowing there are enough ways we can score.”

Blackhawks make sports history with fifth straight overtime game to start season

Blackhawks make sports history with fifth straight overtime game to start season

The Blackhawks made sports history on Saturday after they appeared in their fifth straight overtime game to start the season.

No NHL team has done that since the league introduced a regular-season overtime period in 1983-84, per the Elias Sports Bureau. It also has never happened in the history of MLB, NBA or NFL, showing just how crazy this early season run has been for the Blackhawks, who have rallied from all five games and have come away with wins in three of them.

"We’ve had five games, every one of them have been extremely intense and the game’s been on the line from start to finish," coach Joel Quenneville said following a 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues. "Our group’s been competitive this year, the guys have been working hard for one another. I don’t know how many games we’ve been down in the third period, and coming back to win is special."

The Blackhawks appeared in 17 overtime/shootout games last season and won seven of them. They are one of six teams this season that have yet to pick up a regulation win.

On a separate note, Saturday marked the eighth time in Blackhawks history that one player scored a tying goal in the third period and scored in overtime (Alex DeBrincat), according to the NHL's PR department. It's the second time it's happened this year for the Blackhawks, with Jonathan Toews the other on Oct. 6 against St. Louis.

Four takeaways: Alex DeBrincat salvages divisional game for Blackhawks in overtime on Duncan Keith’s special night

Four takeaways: Alex DeBrincat salvages divisional game for Blackhawks in overtime on Duncan Keith’s special night

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on Saturday night:

1. Special night for Duncan Keith — and Brent Seabrook

The Blackhawks celebrated Keith's 1,000-game milestone in the perfect way. Every player wore a No. 2 jersey during warmups, his family was on the ice for the pregame ceremony, and Patrick Sharp made an appearance to present Keith with a silver stick. Seabrook was also paired with Keith among the starters, a great touch by Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff.

But it was also a historic day for Keith's partner and close friend Seabrook, who became the franchise leader in games played by a defenseman, surpassing Bob Murray who previously held that mark at 1,008. It's only fitting Keith and Seabrook shared that moment together.

"We've been riding shotgun together for our whole careers," Keith said. "I couldn't imagine my career, my 1,000 games without him and all the experiences and memories that I've had winning and even losing, and the fun times we've had off the ice. I owe a lot of my success, and I think the team does as well, to Brent and what he means to the team and what he brings to our friendship and as a teammate."

To put a bow on the game, Keith had a vintage Keith moment on the game-tying goal in the third period when he intercepted a pass in the neutral zone on his backhand, then fed Toews a dart leading him into the offensive zone that set up DeBrincat's goal. 

2. Alex DeBrincat's torrid start

The Blackhawks continued to get contributions from their top players such as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, both of whom extended their point streaks to five games to open the season. But DeBrincat has propelled himself into that conversation as a top player on this team.

He had a multi-goal effort for the second straight game, upping his goal total on the season to a team-leading six. His overtime winner is the first of his NHL career in that fashion.

DeBrincat didn't score his sixth goal until Nov. 12 last season, which was the 18th game. And he still finished with 28. While it's hard to envision him continuing to score at more than a goal-per-game pace, it's not hard to see him continuing to be one of the best players on the ice and generating offense and scoring chances on a nightly basis.

"I think I'm getting pretty lucky right now," DeBrincat said. "I'm playing with [Toews] and [Dominik] Kahun, they're making great plays and getting me the puck. It's pretty easy when you have those guys as your linemates. Even on that last goal, [Erik Gustafsson] made a great pass backdoor to me. Pretty easy tap in."

3. Squandering another two-goal lead

The Blackhawks took a 2-0 lead for the third straight game. And they squandered it for the third straight game, in large part because they committed five straight penalties in the second and third periods.

It's no longer a blip at this point and is becoming an alarming trend, even though the Blackhawks have come back to force overtime in each of those three games. That will be something the Blackhawks work on all season long.

But Quenneville would have liked to have seen the Blackhawks keep their foot on the gas pedal and cash in on their opportunities to make it a 3-0 game.

"Score the third goal," he said. "I loved the way we were playing. We had a lot of good things going. Eventually they’re going to get chances, get opportunities. But we had some great chances to get it to three. It was one of those nights, every game is kind of different how the leads changed."

4. Brotherly love

For the first time in the NHL, the Schmaltz brothers finally got their chance to go up against each other at the highest level. There had been a handful of other opportunities in the past, but it never lined up for a variety of reasons. 

They didn't see much of each other while on the ice — they were on together for only 1:30 of the game — but Nick did commit a penalty that led to Jordan assisting on the Blues' first goal on a delayed call. 

The best battles between Jordan, who turned 25 on Oct. 8, and Nick, 22, came when they were kids.

"We had a little roller rink downstairs in our house growing up," Nick said. "It would be me vs. my sister (Kylie) and my brother. Those were probably the best battles. Someone would usually come up crying or high-stick or puck to the face or something like that. A lot of good memories. Looking back at it, it was awesome to have that and work on each other’s game and push each other to get better."