Blackhawks

Blackhawks blow two-goal lead, fall in overtime

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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.

Briefly

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.

Four takeaways: Blackhawks on wrong side of history in loss to Lightning

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AP

Four takeaways: Blackhawks on wrong side of history in loss to Lightning

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the United Center on Sunday:

1. Blackhawks on wrong side of history 

Earlier this year the Blackhawks made history by appearing in five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team in NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB history has ever done.

But Sunday they found themselves on the wrong side of it after allowing 33 shots on goal in the second period alone. It tied a franchise high for most given up in a single period — March 4, 1941 vs. Boston — and is the most an NHL team has allowed since 1997-98 when shots by period became an official stat.

"It's pretty rare to be seeing that much work in a period," said Cam Ward, who had a season-high 49 saves. "But oh man, I don't even know what to say to be honest. It's tough. We know that we need to be better especially in our home building, too. And play with some pride and passion. Unfortunately, it seemed like it was lacking at times tonight. The old cliche you lose as a team and overall as a team we weren't good enough tonight."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was a tough, tough period in all aspects. I don’t think we touched the puck at all and that was the part that was disturbing, against a good hockey team."

2. Alexandre Fortin is on the board

After thinking he scored his first career NHL goal in Columbus only to realize his shot went off Marcus Kruger's shin-pad, Fortin made up for it one night later and knows there wasn't any question about this one.

The 21-year-old undrafted forward, playing in his his fifth career game, sprung loose for a breakaway early in the first period and received a terrific stretch pass by Jan Rutta from his own goal line to Fortin, who slid it underneath Louis Domingue for his first in the big leagues. It's his second straight game appearing on the scoresheet after recording an assist against the Blue Jackets on Saturday.

"It's fun," Fortin said. "I think it would be a little bit more fun to get your first goal [while getting] two points for your team, but I think we ... just have to [turn the page to the] next chapter and just play and be ready for next game."

3. Brandon Saad's most noticeable game?

There weren't many positives to take away from this game, but Saad was certainly one of them. He had arguably his best game of the season, recording seven shot attempts (three on goal) with two of them hitting the post (one while the Blackhawks were shorthanded).

He was on the ice for 11 shot attempts for and five against at 5-on-5, which was by far the best on his team.

"He started OK and got way better," Quenneville said of Saad. "Had the puck way more, took it to the net a couple of times, shorthanded."

4. Special teams still a work in progress

The Blackhawks entered Sunday with the 29th-ranked power play and 25th-ranked penalty kill, and are still working to get out from the bottom of the league in both departments. In an effort to change up their fortunes with the man advantage, the Blackhawks split up their two units for more balance.

They had four power-play opportunities against Tampa Bay and cashed in on one of them, but it didn't matter as it was too little, too late in the third period — although they did become the first team to score a power-play goal against the Lightning this season (29 chances).

"Whether we're looking for balance or we're just looking for one to get hot, I think our power play has been ordinary so far," Quenneville said before the game. "We need it to be more of a threat."

Four more minor penalties were committed by the Blackhawks, giving them eight in the past two games. That's one way they can shore up the penalty kill, by cutting back on taking them.

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

Well, things could be going better for the Blackhawks during Sunday's game against the Lightning.

In the second period Sunday, the Blackhawks surrendered 33 shots on goal, tying a franchise record for most in a single period. The previous instance occurred March 4, 1941 against the Boston Bruins, a game that the Blackhawks lost 3-2.

While the Blackhawks tied a franchise record for shots on goal allowed, they actually set an NHL record at the same time. The NHL did not begin recording shots on goal as an "official" statistic until the 1997-98 season.

Consequentially, Sunday's 33 shots on goal allowed in the second period is the "official" record, even though the Blackhawks accomplished the "feat" nearly 80 years ago. Confusing, huh? 

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they also surrendered three goals and scored zero in addition to the plethora of shots on goal allowed. They recorded just six shots on goal in the second period themselves, trailing 4-1 by the time the third period started.