Sunday, April 3, 2011Posted: 8:32 PM
By Tracey Myers
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville spelled it out in the post-game press conference.
We need more, he said.
He spoke of urgency. It couldve also been about goals and points, because on Sunday, the Blackhawks were sorely lacking those, too.
Vincent Lecavalier scored an early power-play goal and backup goaltender Mike Smith stopped 31 for the shutout as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Blackhawks 2-0 at the United Center. The Blackhawks remain in eighth place in the West.
It was a missed opportunity for the Blackhawks, who had good chances against Smith but could not convert one of them. The Blackhawks got traffic in front of Smith at times, but their second and third opportunities were few and far between.
There were a lot of chances out there and for some reason it didnt bounce our way, Viktor Stalberg said. I thought we had pretty good control of the game but we need to get more bodies out there and find a way to get one past him.
Lecavalier had nobody in front of him besides Corey Crawford when he scored his power-play goal just eight seconds into Tampa Bays first advantage.
After that, the Lightning fell into their effective shut-down game and barely pushed their offense the rest of the way. They had just 15 shots on goal, tying for the least the Blackhawks have seen in a game this year (the other was Florida on March 8).
Giving up first goal was important and especially the way they love to check and stay back, Quenneville said. That penalty and how we defended it put us in a tough spot.
Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith each had five shots on goal but the Blackhawks once potent offense, still missing Patrick Sharp (left knee) and Dave Bolland (concussion), was quiet.
Were trying, Jonathan Toews said. Everyone wants to score goals. Its the most fun part of the game. One way or another, everyone has to take responsibility. Everybody has to find ways to step up and take advantage of opportunities. We have the skill throughout the lineup. Everyone can chip in.
Defenseman Brian Campbell said the Blackhawks were well aware of the Lightnings style.
They play a frustrating game, we know that and we talked about it, he said. But we had enough chances to tie it up. We just have to find ways to put it in the net.
The Blackhawks have talked about getting ready for the playoffs by playing playoff-type, crisp games. Their last three have demonstrated anything but that. Even their victory in Columbus on Friday wasnt dominating. If the results dont improve these final four regular-season games, their postseason stay could be a short one.
We want to prepare to be a better team thats going to compete far into the playoffs, Toews said. Whether you have momentum entering the playoffs or not, no one makes excuses. But no one wants to keep playing like this, thats for sure.
Patrick Sharp was being re-evaluated on Sunday night but hes still progressing well. He could be skating again sometime this week. Dave Bolland, meanwhile, has made little progress.
No news, Quenneville said of Bolland before Sundays game.
Lecavalier did not return to Sundays game after he took a Michael Frolik high stick near his right eye in the second period.
John Scott was the Blackhawks lone healthy scratch on Sunday.
The Lightning blocked 21 of the Blackhawks shots.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.