Stop us if you've heard this before: Blackhawks play mediocre for about 40-plus minutes, pull their heads out of the sand the final 10 to 15 minutes, erase a multi-goal lead and come back to win.
Well, in this one it was an overtime loss, but they'll take the point with how it started.
Ryan Hartman scored twice, his second tying the game with 1:03 remaining in regulation, but Daniel Sedin scored the winner and the Vancouver Canucks took a 5-4 overtime victory over the Blackhawks on Tuesday night. With the Minnesota Wild beating the San Jose Sharks, the Blackhawks' lead in the Western Conference and Central Division is now six points.
Scott Darling, in after Corey Crawford was pulled early in the third, was frustrated at the end. He felt Henrik Sedin, in front on Daniel's shot, interfered with him. The league reviewed and ruled "no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line," allowing the goal.
"I know I got bumped," Darling said. "I'm not talking about when he hit my head, I'm talking about when I tried to move my blocker over. It slowed me down, the puck is in the net. He's six inches inside the crease. I know the rules. It was a bad call."
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Overall, however, coach Joel Quenneville didn't consider this the same game as Sunday's vs. Colorado. He liked what the Blackhawks did overall, adding, "we didn’t give up much."
"Usually that's how I measure our team," he continued. "We had the puck a lot, and they cashed in on their opportunities, which were few. Then we're chasing the game. But I thought we made a good attempt on a really good third period. When you look at what we gave up, you'll win more than 90 percent of your games."
The Canucks took a 4-1 lead early in the third when Brandon Sutter scored his second goal of the game. Crawford was out after giving up four goals on 10 shots.
"They didn't give Corey any help," Darling said. "They didn't have too many shots, but all those goals were A-plus chances."
Regardless, the Blackhawks started responding with goals. Marian Hossa added his 23rd of the season, the Blackhawks' second power-play goal of the night, early in the third, and Richard Panik added his 20th of the season about three minutes later. Then Hartman came with the equalizer.
"We didn't bury some of our chances when we could've and they did. We fell behind but once again, no quit in our team," Hartman said. "It's tough we didn't get the extra point, but we got it to OT so we have to look at that in a good way."
Quenneville didn't mind this deficit as much as he did the Sunday deficit. Still, it was the second time the Blackhawks had to climb back in a game, and they'd rather avoid that going forward.
"It's not easy," Hossa said. "It's nice we can come back against some teams. At least we get a point. But we shouldn't let teams get too many goals ahead of us."