Blackhawks

'Worst period of season' ends Hawks' streak

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'Worst period of season' ends Hawks' streak

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Posted: 9:09 p.m. Updated: 9:57 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

SUNRISE, Fla. Marian Hossa didnt mince words.

WATCH: Hossa brutally honest

That was our worst period of the season, said Hossa, referring to the Chicago Blackhawks first 20 minutes against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

It was hard to argue with him. And for the Blackhawks, that lousy start was too much from which to recover.

Hossa and Patrick Kane scored in the second period, but it wasnt enough to offset the Blackhawks horrible start en route to a 3-2 loss to the Florida Panthers. The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Blackhawks, who remain fourth in the Western Conference.

It was only the second time since Feb. 7 (loss to Calgary) that the Blackhawks didnt pick up at least a point in a game.

After so many strong games the Blackhawks came out flat and sloppy on Tuesday. The Panthers, meanwhile, were flying, jumping on loose pucks and rebounds and took a 3-0 lead after the first period. David Booth and Clay Wilson scored for the Panthers, as did Marty Reasoner, with just seven seconds left in the first period.

It was all about the first period and the start of the game. They outworked us and we had lazy habits, coach Joel Quenneville said. All three goals were preventable.

Corey Crawford was pulled after that first period. It was the first time this season Crawford, who allowed all three goals on eight shots, has been yanked early. Quenneville said it was more to wake the Blackhawks up than anything. Crawford understood.

I think it was the right move, he said. It was just one of those nights it wasnt going our way.

The Blackhawks did respond in the second period, outshooting the Panthers 15-4 and putting two on the board. Kane scored his 22nd of the season and Hossa added his 19th. But despite another 14 shots in the third, the Blackhawks couldnt get another past Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who stopped 37 of 39 on the night.

Marty Turco, who came in to relieve Crawford, said it was a lesson learned.

I saw our game at a different level (the last two periods), he said. Hopefully we realize we can play that way for 60 minutes the rest of the year. Good things happen when that type of effort is there.

The Blackhawks are right back at it Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The first 20 minutes was certainly forgettable. Its the final 40 the Blackhawks want to take into Tampa.

We played well the last two but we lost the game, Hossa said. You cant take time off. We just have to play 60 minutes.

Blackhawks disrespectful?

Calgary Flames veteran Brendan Morrison is still sidelined from a knee injury he sustained against the Blackhawks last week. The center was also disappointed in taunts some Blackhawks allegedly said to him while he was laboring to get off the ice during that game.
Calgary Flames center Brendan Morrison claims he was disrespected by the Blackhawks while skating off the ice with a knee injury during their game on March 2. "I don't think it's very professional," he said. "But they'll learn." (AP)
What was a little disappointing was coming off and guys from the Chicago bench being a little disrespectful. That was uncalled for, Morrison told the Calgary media on Tuesday. I dont know if they understood what was gong on, but some young guys on their team were standing up and yelling. I dont think its very professional. But theyll learn.

State meeting

The Blackhawks will host the 2011 Illinois State High School Hockey Championships at the United Center on Sunday, when 09 champion New Trier will take on 07 and 08 champs Glenbrook North. The game will be shown on Comcast SportsNet Chicago at 6:05 p.m. Judd Sirott, Steve Konroyd and Chris Boden will have the call.

Tickets for the day-long event are now on sale. The Chicago fire and police departments will play at 10 a.m. which requires a separate ticket followed by the Illinois Girls State championship at 1 p.m. and a skills competition at 3:30 p.m. This is the 24th year that the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois has hosted the state championship at United CenterChicago Stadium.

Tickets, which include parking, are available for 5. To purchase tickets or to get more information, go to chicagoblackhawks.com or call 312-455-7000.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Four takeaways: Blackhawks on wrong side of history in loss to Lightning

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AP

Four takeaways: Blackhawks on wrong side of history in loss to Lightning

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the United Center on Sunday:

1. Blackhawks on wrong side of history 

Earlier this year the Blackhawks made history by appearing in five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team in NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB history has ever done.

But Sunday they found themselves on the wrong side of it after allowing 33 shots on goal in the second period alone. It tied a franchise high for most given up in a single period — March 4, 1941 vs. Boston — and is the most an NHL team has allowed since 1997-98 when shots by period became an official stat.

"It's pretty rare to be seeing that much work in a period," said Cam Ward, who had a season-high 49 saves. "But oh man, I don't even know what to say to be honest. It's tough. We know that we need to be better especially in our home building, too. And play with some pride and passion. Unfortunately, it seemed like it was lacking at times tonight. The old cliche you lose as a team and overall as a team we weren't good enough tonight."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was a tough, tough period in all aspects. I don’t think we touched the puck at all and that was the part that was disturbing, against a good hockey team."

2. Alexandre Fortin is on the board

After thinking he scored his first career NHL goal in Columbus only to realize his shot went off Marcus Kruger's shin-pad, Fortin made up for it one night later and knows there wasn't any question about this one.

The 21-year-old undrafted forward, playing in his his fifth career game, sprung loose for a breakaway early in the first period and received a terrific stretch pass by Jan Rutta from his own goal line to Fortin, who slid it underneath Louis Domingue for his first in the big leagues. It's his second straight game appearing on the scoresheet after recording an assist against the Blue Jackets on Saturday.

"It's fun," Fortin said. "I think it would be a little bit more fun to get your first goal [while getting] two points for your team, but I think we ... just have to [turn the page to the] next chapter and just play and be ready for next game."

3. Brandon Saad's most noticeable game?

There weren't many positives to take away from this game, but Saad was certainly one of them. He had arguably his best game of the season, recording seven shot attempts (three on goal) with two of them hitting the post (one while the Blackhawks were shorthanded).

He was on the ice for 11 shot attempts for and five against at 5-on-5, which was by far the best on his team.

"He started OK and got way better," Quenneville said of Saad. "Had the puck way more, took it to the net a couple of times, shorthanded."

4. Special teams still a work in progress

The Blackhawks entered Sunday with the 29th-ranked power play and 25th-ranked penalty kill, and are still working to get out from the bottom of the league in both departments. In an effort to change up their fortunes with the man advantage, the Blackhawks split up their two units for more balance.

They had four power-play opportunities against Tampa Bay and cashed in on one of them, but it didn't matter as it was too little, too late in the third period — although they did become the first team to score a power-play goal against the Lightning this season (29 chances).

"Whether we're looking for balance or we're just looking for one to get hot, I think our power play has been ordinary so far," Quenneville said before the game. "We need it to be more of a threat."

Four more minor penalties were committed by the Blackhawks, giving them eight in the past two games. That's one way they can shore up the penalty kill, by cutting back on taking them.

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

Well, things could be going better for the Blackhawks during Sunday's game against the Lightning.

In the second period Sunday, the Blackhawks surrendered 33 shots on goal, tying a franchise record for most in a single period. The previous instance occurred March 4, 1941 against the Boston Bruins, a game that the Blackhawks lost 3-2.

While the Blackhawks tied a franchise record for shots on goal allowed, they actually set an NHL record at the same time. The NHL did not begin recording shots on goal as an "official" statistic until the 1997-98 season.

Consequentially, Sunday's 33 shots on goal allowed in the second period is the "official" record, even though the Blackhawks accomplished the "feat" nearly 80 years ago. Confusing, huh? 

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they also surrendered three goals and scored zero in addition to the plethora of shots on goal allowed. They recorded just six shots on goal in the second period themselves, trailing 4-1 by the time the third period started.