Sloppy play leads to another Blackhawks OT loss, 4-3 to Wild
The Chicago Blackhawks were leading 3-2 with 77 seconds remaining. And they were on the power play.
Yet somehow, coach Joel Quenneville's team found itself on the losing end of a 4-3 overtime game at Minnesota on Thursday night.
"We can't let that happen," Quenneville told reporters afterward.
Happen it did because the Hawks got careless and allowed Ryan Suter to jam home a shot past Cam Ward with just 23 seconds left in regulation, tying the game at 3-3.
The Hawks (2-0-2) were on the man advantage because Mikael Granlund held David Kampf to keep Kampf from firing on an empty net. Quenneville's squad still had 43 seconds of power-play time to begin OT, but generated next to nothing.
Jason Zucker won it for the Wild (1-1-1) with 1:35 remaining.
"We should have kept it the whole time," Quenneville said. "They shouldn't have touched it. We had it. It's keep-away."
The gut-wrenching sequence began after Patrick Kane lost control of the puck at the offensive blue line. After Kane and Alex DeBrincat failed to win it back, Jared Spurgeon whipped the puck up ice and Minnesota was in business.
Ward temporarily staved off disaster by stopping a one-timer from Jordan Staal, but Staal retrieved the puck and got it to Zach Parise behind the net. After Ward stopped Parise's initial in-close attempt, Suter slid in behind Nick Schmaltz, DeBrincat and Artem Anisimov and tied the game.
"We should have been able to put it away," said DeBrincat, who scored 2 goals to up his season total to 4. "We should have been able to keep it in their zone and maybe even get a few scoring chances. … When we have that chance to win we can't let it slip away.
Ward finished with 42 saves -- 8 in the final 3.5 minutes of the first period -- and Dominic Kahun scored his first NHL goal. Jonathan Toews continued his red-hot start by doling out 2 impressive assists in the first period as the Hawks took a 2-0 lead in less than 13 minutes.
Ward's play stood out the most as he turned away well over a dozen Grade-A chances.
"He made 10 different highlight-reel saves," DeBrincat said. "He was incredible and he kept us in that game."
Still, the end result stung.
"It was disappointing to let a point slip away against a divisional opponent, but they worked hard to fight back," Ward said.
Eric Staal made it 2-1 at 13:19 of the second period, and Zucker tied it with just three seconds left.
The Hawks host St. Louis on Saturday and will have a pregame ceremony to honor Keith's 1,000th regular-season game.