Blackhawks blow two-goal lead, fall in overtime


Blackhawks blow two-goal lead, fall in overtime

TAMPA It was looking pretty good for the Chicago Blackhawks as the midway point of the second period neared.

They had a two-goal lead, thanks to a three-goal outburst in just 65 seconds. But one Tampa Bay time out, a Steven Stamkos hat trick and some poor defense later, the Blackhawks were collecting one point instead of two.

Patrick Sharp scored twice and Patrick Kane had three assists, but a wide-open Vincent Lecavalier scored the winner with less than a minute remaining in overtime in the Lightnings 5-4 victory over the Blackhawks on Friday night.

It was hardly a demoralizing loss for a Blackhawks team that took three out of four points in back-to-back road games. But it was how the Blackhawks gave up those goals that irked coach Joel Quenneville the most.

We cant give up those kind of goals, open-side goals, he said. (We know) how we have to play, that predictability has to be iron tight and that we dont give up those kind of goals. That was the tough part.

It was pretty much open shooting for both teams in the second period, where all the regulation scoring took place. Marian Hossa, Daniel Carcillo with his first in a Blackhawks uniform and Sharp scored in quick succession to build that 4-2 advantage just 7:22 into the second period.

But Stamkos and company wouldnt be stopped. Literally.

Stamkos was wide open on his power-play goal at the end of the second period, which tied the game at 4. Other Lightning goals came with players getting up close on Ray Emery, who took his first loss as a Blackhawk.

We have to tighten up and give Razor (Emery) a chance to make the save. I dont think we gave him a lot of chances to make the saves, Brent Seabrook said. They had some back-door tap-is and those are tough to save for any goalie.

The Blackhawks couldnt get much going in overtime before Martin St. Louis set up Lecavalier for the winner.

We have no business letting some of these teams back in the game, said Jonathan Toews. We go up two goals in the second period; if you keep that pressure on them, keep that lead going into the third it could be a different game.

Still, the Blackhawks liked a few things out of Fridays game. The power play came through with one, with Sharps first goal snapping an 0-for-20 skid on the advantage. And again, its three points in two nights, including one in a tough building on Friday; the Lightning were 3-1-0 here entering tonights game.

The Blackhawks have had a few close games already this season; Friday marked their third straight game that went beyond regulation. But theyre still getting the points, still getting to where they want to be.

It was a good little road trip but there are a lot of little things we could do better, Toews said. But were getting closer to being the team we want to be.


Toews sported stitches on his chin but was otherwise fine after taking a puck there in the first period. It didnt feel the best; it kind of jammed my jaw, but its all good, he said.

The last time the Blackhawks scored two goals in 12 seconds or less was when they tallied two in nine seconds against Nashville on Jan. 20, 2007. The last time they scored three in 65 seconds or less was Dec. 20, 1989, when they did it in 59 seconds against the St. Louis Blues.

Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador were the only Blackhawks defensemen to finish on the plus side, a plus-1 and plus-2, respectively.

Snake-bitten Blackhawks light the lamp Saturday

Snake-bitten Blackhawks light the lamp Saturday

Three unlikely heroes emerged in Calgary on Saturday night to help the Blackhawks find some footing near the end of their five-game road trip (currently 1-3-0) that wraps up Sunday in Winnipeg.

Blackhawks rookie center Kirby Dach hadn't scored a goal in six games; Alex DeBrincat had one marker in his last nine after finishing last season with 41; Alex Nylander had one goal in his past 17 contests.

The trio bounced back against the Flames to help the Hawks to an 8-4 victory.

Nylander scored twice, and DeBrincat and Dach each had a goal.

"It’s a learning process for us that [haven't] been through this," Nylander said after the game. "And we are lucky that we have these vets that are on our team that can help us and see that something like this in the season happens."

Related: Blackhawks' offense explodes in Calgary

Of all the Hawks who have gone cold this season, the most surprising was DeBrincat, who posted 41 goals last season and 28 as a rookie the year prior.

"I've been fighting with the puck a little bit too much," he said. "Even today, I didn't really play that well, but finally got rewarded."

Six points out of a playoff spot, having the three forwards off the schneid could be a big factor in the Hawks putting a streak together to keep their playoff hopes alive.

"Those guys, they have the ability to chip in for us offensively and if they can do that it's going to make a big difference for us," Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said of the three. "Ultimately, it comes down to their work ethic away from the puck."

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews felt Dach, DeBrincat and Nylander gave the Hawks a much-needed lift on Saturday.

"For guys like that and the way they think, the way they play the game, their skillset, scoring goals gives you a ton of energy, it gives you a lift," Toews said. "It's nice to see them get a few and see a few pucks go in.

"I think even if you're just on the ice, you have nothing to do with the play, just to be around goals is infectious. So it's nice to see those guys make those plays as a result of their hard work and it's an incentive to keep doing the same thing."

Hopefully the goal infection spreads for the Hawks. Despite being six points out of the playoffs, Chicago has three games in hand on the Arizona Coyotes, who occupy the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.

With 24 games remaining, scoring contributions will have to come from across the board for the Blackhawks to go on a successful run to secure a playoff spot.

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Andrew Ladd joins Blackhawks All-Decade Team

Andrew Ladd joins Blackhawks All-Decade Team

The Blackhawks got a big lift out of skilled and scrappy forward Andrew Ladd during his first three seasons with the Blackhawks. 

Ladd was selected at No. 4 overall in the 2004 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Maple Ridge, British Columbia native won a Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006 before coming to Chicago in a trade for Tuomo Ruutu on Feb. 26, 2008. 

In four seasons with the Blackhawks, Ladd displayed strength on both sides of the puck, recording 111 points and a +/- rating of +29 in 203 games.

In 19 games during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, Ladd had six points (three goals, three assists) and a +/- rating of +4.

Related: Versteeg joins Blackhawks All-Decade Team

After the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, Ladd was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers for Ivan Vishnevskiy and a 2011 second-round draft pick in a salary cap move. 

Ladd was traded back to Chicago with Matt Fraser and Jay Harrison for Marko Dano and two draft picks on Feb. 25, 2016. He had 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in 19 games in his final season with the Hawks. 

Following the 2015-16 season, he became a free agent and signed a seven-year contract with the New York Islanders.

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