Blackhawks Fall In Shootout To Familiar Face
by Scott King
The Blackhawks’ special teams woes continued Monday night at the United Center. The Calgary Flames, who have the worst power play in the league (4% coming to Chicago) scored just 39 seconds into their first man advantage of the game. Sam Bennett buried the goal.
Patrick Kane scored at 1:32 in the second period on a beautiful one-timer with a feed from Artem Anisimov to tie it up 1-1. Then Sean Monahan scored the Flames’ second goal on their second power play at 6:52 in the second period.
It was the 14th power play goal Chicago has allowed this season. Despite going 1-for-25 heading into the United Center, the Flames managed to get the best of the Hawks’ penalty kill on two straight penalties.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s progress,” said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. “It’s frustrating, though, we just didn’t do a job again early in the game. Couple pucks, it just seems to find its way to the back of the net if we just make one little mistake.”
“You can talk about the penalty kill tonight, but we’ve had a couple 4-on-3 chances in overtime the past couple games,” Kane said. “The power play needs to be better. We need to capitalize in those situations.”
Kane may be on to something as Chicago has been been shutout on their last 13 power plays.
Brian Campbell scored his first goal of the season at 4:12 in the third period to tie it up 2-2.
The Blackhawks would stop the Flames’ next three power plays before the game went to overtime then to the Blackhawks’ second consecutive shootout. With Brian Elliott and Corey Crawford stopping everyone they faced for what seemed like an eternity, former Hawk Kris Versteeg was the lone shootout scorer in the seventh round.
“It felt pretty good,” Versteeg said. “It was a little nerve-wracking when everyone kept missing. To go in and score was a nice feeling.”
Versteeg and Crawford have a long history of knowing each other’s style of play.
“We’ve known each other for 11 years. He knows kind of everything and like I said, I just kind of blacked out. I didn’t know what I was doing. Guess it worked. He got me a couple times good in the game. He kind of knows where I’m going to shoot.”
Crawford kept it close for the Hawks, who hardly touched the puck in the first period in addition to struggling with special teams. The netminder was the biggest reason Chicago saw extra hockey in the contest. He stopped 29 of the Flames’ 31 shots before the shootout.
Defenseman Gustav Forsling left the game with an upper body injury. Coach Quenneville said he’s day-to-day.
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