Hayden’s scrap gives Blackhawks energy, controversial review takes it away

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CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 12: John Hayden #40 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Marcus Foligno #17 of the Minnesota Wild fight in the second period at the United Center on October 12, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

by Scott King

It took till almost halfway through the second period to see signs of life on the United Center ice Thursday night in a contest between the Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild. Forwards John Hayden and Marcus Foligno dropped their gloves to engage in a spirited scrap that Hayden seemed to get the better of after dropping Foligno with a right hook to the jaw.

“It was great,” Hartman said of the bout. “[Came] into the locker room (during the first intermission) and I think you kind of saw it in his eyes that he was going to go out there and try to change the momentum a little bit, and he did a great job. He hung in there, got a really good shot there at the end.”

“He did a good job,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said. “Late in the shift, I thought he handled himself well.”

Foligno had launched Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook over the boards and onto the Hawks’ bench in the first period.

The fight turned up the volume which had previously been on mute. The Hawks’ sluggish play could have been credited to playing three games in three cities in four nights, counting Thursday.

After a handful of quality chances by the Hawks, the Wild put one past Corey Crawford with 34.5 seconds left in the second period to make it 1-0. Eric Staal was the scorer.

Ryan Hartman tied it 1-1 about halfway through the third period.

Chris Stewart scored with under 10 minutes remaining in regulation to put the Wild up 2-1, but Quenneville challenged the play as being offsides as it appeared Stewart was in the offensive zone before the puck was.

The Blackhawks lost the challenge and were given a bench minor delay of game penalty, a new rule to accompany losing a challenge. It remained 2-1, and after losing a challenge they thought they’d won, the Hawks had the wind taken out of their sails.

The NHL later explained that the goal counted because Brent Seabrook knocked the puck onside into the attacking zone. But where it gets fuzzy, especially for Quenneville, is the possession by the attacker on the play.

“He didn’t carry it and didn’t have possession,” Quenneville said following the game.

“So I disagree with that ruling. Plus it was offside, so why didn’t he blow the whistle? Unless he knew that rule and he thought he had possession or he thought he carried it, or controlled it.”

Jason Zucker scored on the bench minor power play for the Wild to give them a two-goal lead.

“You can see how it kind of turns the game around a little bit,” Hartman said of the momentum shifting away from the Hawks after the failed challenge and its new policy. “They install that to kind of make sure that you know for sure. But [it] didn’t work out in our favor tonight.”

Soon after, Chris Stewart scored an empty-net goal to put the Wild up 4-1. The Wild later added a second empty-netter to extend their lead.

The Hawks snuck one past Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk to make it 5-2 with under a minute left. Jonathan Toews was credited with the goal, but it was too little too late after an insurmountable momentum change and the Hawks were handed their first regulation loss of the season.

“One play cost the whole game.” Quenneville said.

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