Home-ice advantage hasn't applied to the Blackhawks in February.
After losing just five home games in regulation during their first 27 games of the season, the Blackhawks dropped their third straight contest at the United Center following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.
To make things worse, Marian Hossa left the game late in the second period with an apparent left leg injury after getting hip-checked by Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm. He did not return, but the Blackhawks don't believe he'll be out long-term.
"Probably know more tomorrow," Coach Joel Quenneville said after the game. "We don't think it's serious, but (he) could miss some time."
His teammates also realize the impact of not having Hossa in the lineup may have on them going forward.
“It’s scary. You never want to see that happen in the game, but he’s going to do whatever he can to get back as quick as he can," Andrew Shaw said. "He’s a great player and you can’t replace a guy like that. We’re going to need him … We’re not doing what we were before. We’re trying to make plays around the blue line instead of chipping pucks in or putting pucks to the net and going to earn it back, so I think that’s a huge part of our game.”
The Blackhawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second period when Brent Seabrook blasted his own rebound past Ducks goaltender John Gibson, who was replaced by Frederik Andersen in the third period due to an upper-body injury, but the Ducks scored three of the next four goals, including the game-winner in overtime by Ryan Getzlaf during a 4-on-3 power play that gave the Ducks their eighth win in the last 10 games.
It also handed the Blackhawks their third consecutive home loss, which is uncharacteristic for a team that has played so well at home (21-7-2) all year long.
"We just haven't quite had the speed and the momentum, that jump we've been looking for," Jonathan Toews said. "Tonight was a little bit better but I think top to bottom all four lines need to be better. I think when we score and get on the score sheet, everyone responds to that but we have to find ways to motivate ourselves early in games so we can kind of let the game flow for us a little more early on.
"We haven't quite done that the last three games."
With the overtime loss, the Blackhawks slipped to second place in the Central Division after the Stars, who own the tiebreaker between the two teams, picked up an impressive two points against the Washington Capitals. Chicago and Dallas are now tied at 77 points, but the Stars have three games in hand.
While the Blackhawks certainly would have preferred to steal the second point in overtime on Saturday night, they won't complain after being outshot by the Ducks 44-23. Every point is valuable at this time of the season, especially when teams in your division keep winning.
"We'll take a point tonight," Quenneville said. "I don't think we deserved a point, but we'll take it."