Blackhawks lose Marian Hossa, fall to Ducks in OT


Blackhawks lose Marian Hossa, fall to Ducks in OT

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."

[MORE: Blackhawks' Marian Hossa leaves game with apparent leg injury]

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.

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"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."

Report: Tommy Hawk attacked at the United Center


Report: Tommy Hawk attacked at the United Center

According to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times, the Blackhawks organization dealt with a disturbance off the ice during their 4-3 loss on Friday night to the Winnipeg Jets.

According to authorities, mascot ‘Tommy Hawk’ was attacked by a male fan around 11:15 PM on the United Center concourse.

A video of the incident was spreading on social media and the Chicago Police have since confirmed the disturbance.

No one is in custody as of Saturday evening, though there is a physical description of the alleged attacker.  

A Blackhawks spokesman gave this statement:

We are gathering the facts and will have no further comment at this time, pending our investigation.

Four takeaways: Jets win in overtime, but Blackhawks building momentum

Four takeaways: Jets win in overtime, but Blackhawks building momentum

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center on Friday:

1. Top guns lead the charge for Jets

The Jets are one of the best teams in the NHL because they're absolutely loaded up front and get their scoring from everywhere. The Blackhawks know this of their Central Division foes and after seeing them for the third time in two weeks.

On Nov. 29, it was Nikolaj Ehlers who had a hat trick. On Tuesday, Kyle Connor had a two-goal night. On Friday, it was Mark Scheifele (two goals, one assist) and Blake Wheeler (three assists) leading the way for the Jets with three-point efforts. The top guys have been a thorn in the Blackhawks' side this season, with Scheifele scoring the game-winner 50 seconds into overtime for their third victory against Chicago in 15 days.

"You can play really well against them for 58 minutes, but it only takes just an instant and then it’s in the back of your net," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "That’s something that we gotta learn, to play against those guys and in those situations if you’re going to be able to go head-to-head. A lot of it we were really good, we had let downs and it made it tough for us. But we did a lot of good things."

2. Last-minute goals

In all three periods, there were last-minute goals that changed the flow of the game. 

After the Jets took a 1-0 lead in the first period, Jonathan Toews responded for the Blackhawks with 10.2 seconds left to even it at 1-1. In the second, Mathieu Perreault scored on a breakaway coming out of the penalty box with 18 seconds remaining to put the Jets back in front 3-2. And then in the third, Erik Gustafsson tied it at 3-3 with 7.5 left to force overtime. 

"It's tough after a loss in overtime, but it felt good," said Gustafsson, who missed the previous two games with an illness. "I didn't know it was 7 seconds left, but it was good to see it go in. ... It was good to be back here with the team, too. I wasn't in the last game. We came out hard the first period and I think we played a solid 60 minutes. Tough break in the overtime."

3. Captain Consistency

Toews usually produces on the scoresheet in spurts. Historically, he'll go through stretches where his offense dries up for several games in a row. And then he'll follow that up by getting really hot. This season has been different.

The Blackhawks captain's longest point drought this year is three games. After scoring two more goals, his season total is up to 16 through 34 games, taking over the team lead from Patrick Kane. He had 20 goals in 74 games last season, showing just how far he's come from a year ago.

Toews is on pace to finish with a career-high 39 goals — his current personal best is 34, set in 2008-09. The Blackhawks need him to continue producing at that rate, and there's no reason he can't.

"Our line played well and created a lot of chances," Toews said. "If it's me scoring or [Dominik Kahun] or [Brandon Saad], it doesn't really matter. As long as we're making plays when we've got the puck out there, we're happy about that."

4. Jets power play stays hot

The best advice when you play the Jets: Stay out of the penalty box. Because they'll make you pay.

Entering Friday, they had the top-ranked power play with a 30.4 percent success rate. The Blackhawks gave them three opportunities and they cashed in on one, giving them eight power-play goals on 17 attempts in their past four games (47.1 percent conversation rate). They also improved to 5-for-11 (45.5 percent) in three games against the Blackhawks.

To the Blackhawks' credit, they killed off two key penalties in the third period before the first TV timeout and it allowed them to keep it a one-goal game and ultimately force overtime by scoring the next goal.

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