Late goal lifts Ducks over Blackhawks for third time
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org March 29, 2013 10:05PM
Updated: May 1, 2013 3:42PM
Patrick Kane, because he’s Patrick Kane, excitedly talked about the Blackhawks’ game Friday against the Anaheim Ducks, using the word “revenge” after suffering two late losses in the previous meetings.
Jonathan Toews, because he’s Jonathan Toews, was a little more reserved about the last regular-season game against the only Western Conference team within sniffing distance of the Hawks.
“People want to point out that we haven’t won against this team yet, but I don’t think that’s a huge flaw or anything,” Toews said before the game. “Obviously, we want to prove ourselves. We played two good games, and it’s come down to the wire against the Ducks. So tonight, if the same situation comes up, obviously, we want to be on top.”
It did. They weren’t.
Sheldon Souray’s blast from the point shattered Niklas Hjalmarsson’s stick and deflected past Hawks goaltender Ray Emery with 2:08 to go to give the Ducks yet another late victory, 2-1. It was the Ducks’ third victory in as many tries against the Hawks, and it left Emery (22 saves) with his first loss of the season after an NHL-record 12-0-0 start.
“I tried to do as much as I could to block the shot,” said Hjalmarsson, who flung his broken stick into the boards in disgust after the goal. “Obviously, it went off my stick there and in the net. That’s the way the puck bounces sometimes. Sometimes you get the bounces with you, and sometimes you get it against. And this time, obviously, it was against.”
This season, it always seems like it’s against, at least when the Hawks are playing the Ducks.
In the first two meetings, the Ducks entered the third period trailing, only to emerge victorious. At the United Center on Feb. 12, Andrew Cogliano scored with 2:40 left to tie it, and Corey Perry’s shootout goal won it. In Anaheim on March 20, the Hawks surrendered three goals (including an empty-netter) in the last six minutes to squander a chance to separate themselves from the Ducks.
The Ducks had lost four straight since that much-hyped 4-2 win at the Honda Center but got back on track with Friday’s victory, closing to within three points of the Hawks, who have a game in hand.
“Looking at the games, how close to the finish line [we were], it’s almost hard to imagine that you come up with nothing — no wins and only one point,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Hawks came out a bit flat, and after two periods — and two meager power plays — found themselves trailing 1-0 entering the third on Perry’s second-period goal. But Patrick Kane woke up the largest crowd of the season (22,105) with a power-play goal 2:36 into the third period, sniping a shot from the right circle through a Jimmy Hayes screen.
The goal came moments after a phenomenal, sprawling toe save by Emery — whose scoreless streak ended at 112 minutes, 41 seconds on the Perry goal — on a short-handed chance by Daniel Winnik at the other end. In fact, Emery was sharp throughout.
On top of the Winnik stop, Emery made a shoulder save on Perry in the first minute, made a slick poke-check to break up a great chance for Perry midway through the third and stopped Ryan Getzlaf with about nine minutes left.
But Souray’s blast found its way through, spoiling the effort.
The Hawks still lead the Western Conference and still boast a gaudy 25-5-3 record. But the Ducks are a sparkling 3-0-0 against the Hawks. The Hawks won’t see the Ducks again this season, unless they meet in the playoffs.