Blackhawks

'Terrible call' sends Hawks to heartbreaking OT loss

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'Terrible call' sends Hawks to heartbreaking OT loss

Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 12:50 a.m.

VANCOUVER The Blackhawks were frustrated at an overtime scoring opportunity, one they thought deserved a call and a penalty shot for Viktor Stalberg.

The Blackhawks, however, had plenty of other chances against the Vancouver Canucks. But be it a power play that couldnt connect or Cory Schneiders great game, they just couldnt get one more.

Stalberg scored early in the third period but Daniel Sedin had the winner with 1:23 remaining in overtime as the Blackhawks dropped a 3-2 decision to Vancouver. The Blackhawks remain in sixth place in the Western Conference and third in the Central Division.

On a night when Jonathan Toews (left arm) and Patrick Sharp (broken wrist) returned, it was another round of great Chicago-Vancouver hockey. Goaltending was strong for both teams. Corey Crawford stopped 30 of 33 shots but Schneider got the better of this one, stopping 37 of 39, some in spectacular fashion.

But in the end, Stalberg was incensed. He broke away in overtime and was slashed by Dan Hamhuis, but no call was made.

Thats a terrible call, Stalberg said. They look at that theyre going to see thats a penalty. He slashed my hand so I cant make the move I want to. Its a pretty clear definition of a penalty shot. Terrible call.

Coach Joel Quenneville said I thought it shouldve been a penalty shot. But we still have to win the game.

Yep, they do. And the Blackhawks had their chances to do that. They outplayed the Canucks in the second period, outshooting them, 15-6. But Schneider was stalwart. His best save came against former Canuck Brendan Morrison. The newest Blackhawks center got the puck while Schneider was out of the net, but when he took his shot Schneider got back to deflect it off his glove.

Yeah, hats off to him, Morrison said of Schneider. I took my time with it, shot it hard where I wanted to, but I didnt get it high enough. Desperation save.

Stalbergs goal gave the Blackhawks the 2-1 lead early in the third period. But Stalbergs turnover led to Cody Hodgsons tying goal a few minutes later. The Blackhawks got a late power play they had two, the Canucks had zero but couldnt capitalize.

We made a couple little mistakes, said Toews, who added he felt good in his first game back. We had a chance to finish that game. We didnt distance ourselves on the power play or on 5 on 5. We had a ton of odd-man rushes in the second period. Give the goaltender credit. He played well.

The Blackhawks played well enough to win. They had their opportunities. Schneider just stopped most of them.

Its one of those games where we liked the way we played, Quenneville said. It was a tough ending, but we did some good things to start the trip.

How Blackhawks are trying to stay positive despite postseason-high 12 iron shots 

How Blackhawks are trying to stay positive despite postseason-high 12 iron shots 

Goal posts apparently aren't kind to the city of Chicago in the playoffs. (Nobody needs a reminder of the double-doink).

So if you hear a ringing sound, you’re not alone. 

The Blackhawks are six games into their postseason run and have hit 12 iron shots so far — 10 off the post, two off the crossbar. Twelve! That’s an average of two per game and a pace of 164 across an 82-game season. For reference, they hit the iron 58 times — 48 off the post, 10 off the crossbar — in 70 games during the regular season.

No team has hit more iron than the Blackhawks (12) since the NHL's 24-team Return to Play tournament started and it's not even close. The next highest? Toronto at six. An incredible gap.

"It's always tough hitting the post," said Drake Caggiula, who's hit one crossbar this postseason. "You’re close to scoring a goal but that’s hockey. It’s all about bounces. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t, you've just got to stick with it. It's just something where you've got to keep shooting the puck and trust that you're going to get your chances and make sure that you try and capitalize. But hitting the post is never a fun feeling unless it's going in the net. We've just got to make sure it doesn’t discourage us."

Here's a list of where each team sits when it comes to iron shots, through Thursday's games:

  • 12: Blackhawks
  • 6: Toronto
  • 5: Boston
  • 4: Calgary, Colorado, Columbus, Montreal, N.Y. Rangers, Vegas
  • 3: Florida, N.Y. Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
  • 2: Carolina, Dallas, Edmonton, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Washington, Winnipeg
  • 1: Vancouver
  • 0: Arizona, Minnesota, St. Louis


The Blackhawks hit five posts in Game 3 against the Edmonton Oilers, but it was easier to swallow because it came in a win. It wasn't so easy in a Game 2 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.

Patrick Kane, who leads all skaters this postseason with three shots off the post, hit another one with 43 seconds left in the first period on Thursday when the Blackhawks were trailing 2-0. He beat Robin Lehner five-hole, but the puck rang off the pipe and bounced out. 

You could see the frustration in his face:

The Blackhawks did, however, get a nice break on Dominik Kubalik's power-play goal that tied the game at 2-2. His shot went off the inside of the post and in.

But the one that kept Chicago awake is the crossbar shot in overtime. 

Just 1:53 into extra time, Dylan Strome fired a 35-foot wrist shot from the right faceoff circle and rang it off the bottom part of the crossbar. He lifted his hands in the air thinking it was a goal. It was centimeters away from going bar down but bounced out instead.

The Blackhawks are certainly getting their chances. It's challenging to stick with it when the puck luck isn't going your way, but you have to earn your bounces and the Blackhawks must keep pushing through. That's the message.

"We've had our chances," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Sometimes it's like that. The key is, how long can we stick with it? How long can we be persistent when we face adversity? We've faced some adversity here over the first couple games. Do we have the character to overcome it? It's an opportunity for our guys.

"You play all year to be in these games, so now we're here and we've faced some adversity. So what? Just keep playing and believe in what we're doing and believe in the guys in the room and we're going to give them a run."

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Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner remains unbeaten with Vegas Golden Knights

Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner remains unbeaten with Vegas Golden Knights

On Thursday in Game 2, the Blackhawks tested Robin Lehner more than they did in Game 1 of the first round Stanley Cup Playoff series, when he only had to save 19 of 20 shots.

The Hawks were able to put 25 pucks on the Golden Knights' net, with three getting past Lehner to take the game to overtime where Vegas would triumph to take a 2-0 series lead.

"It was a little bit of a weird game," Lehner said following his Game 2 win. "There was not that much to do and I thought they had some good chances. I thought that Chicago played really well. Everyone keeps saying they're (the) underdog, but you look at their team: the experience, the skill... it's Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane out there. It's a lot of skill and they're world class players, so when they get opportunities it's hard. I got to look at the tape, I think I can be a little bit better, but a win's a win."

Related: Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner's birthday cake is ureal

With the victory, Lehner remains unbeaten in the 2020 postseason (4-0) and unbeaten as a Golden Knight. 

The 29-year-old netminder went 3-0-0 with 1.67 goals-against average and .940 save percentage with the Knights during the regular season ahead of the NHL Pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12. 

Related: Robin Lehner opens up on getting traded by Blackhawks

Lehner was traded from Chicago to Vegas ahead of Feb. 24's trade deadline. He was 16-10-5 as a Hawk this season with a 3.01 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage prior to the move.

Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champ with the Pittsburgh Penguins, may have lost the starter job to Lehner, at least for now. Fleury was only in net for one Golden Knights' round-robin game, with Lehner starting the rest of the postseason contests so far.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Blackhawks news and analysis.