After mounting a three-goal lead midway through the second period, the Blackhawks could not hold on against Tampa Bay as the Lightning came back to win 5-4 in overtime. For Chicago, the loss marks its third loss in four games (second in OT) and the second loss against Tampa Bay this season. While this one was not as bad as Saturday’s 7-0 loss to Florida, blowing a three-goal lead definitely stings.
Here’s how it happened:
Coming off a scoreless outing against the Panthers in their last game, the Blackhawks wasted NO time getting on the scoreboard as Artemi Panarin tallied the first goal of the game within a minute and a half of the opening puck drop. The goal was Panarin’s 25th of the season, and gave Chicago an early 1-0 lead.
The Lightning would answer seven minutes later, on a power play set up after Brent Seabrook was whistled for delay of game. Tampa’s goal scorer was Ondrej Palat, with assists credited to Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman.
48 seconds later, Patrick Kane put the Hawks back on top with a short side snipe. Kane’s goal was his 34th of the season, and vaulted him into a tie for second in the NHL in total points (82) with Sidney Crosby.
With a one goal lead late in the first, Chicago put their foot on the gas. A Tampa Bay holding call gave the Hawks a man advantage, but Chicago could not capitalize on the power play despite getting a few shots on net. The Hawks did eventually find the back of the net after Tomas Jurco pushed in a Vasilevskiy rebound. It was Jurco’s first goal as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, and put the team in white ahead 3-1 as the first intermission.
Following their first period barrage, the Hawks picked up where they left of as Richard Panik followed his own shot to tap home a rebound that gave Chicago a 4-1 lead.
Things were looking great until a 58 second span just past the midway point, when the lightning struck twice to close the deficit to just one goal. Jonathan Drouin and Anton Stralman tallied back to back goals, and suddenly the Lightning had gained momentum.
Things REALLY got ugly when Niklas Hjalmarsson tried to clear a puck in his own zone, but lost the puck out of play to draw a delay of game penalty with just under five minutes left in the period. The man advantage was efficiently utilized by Tampa Bay, as the NHL’s best power play scored after Drouin redirected a shot in front of Scott Darling into the net. The Hawks’ three goal lead evaporated, and the game was tied 4-4 heading into the second intermission.
Despite struggling to score after the halfway point in the second period, Chicago came out strong in the third period. While firing off the first six shots on goal of the period, the Hawks limited the Bolts to just one shot on goal in the first ten minutes. In all, Tampa only managed three shots on net in the entire period. Nobody found the back of the net though, and the game went to overtime.
The first minute and a half of overtime was all Tampa Bay. Chicago was back in their own end as the Bolts had a few good looks at the net, but Scott Darling stood tall. Artemi Panarin had a great look one on one thanks to a great pass from Duncan Keith, but Vasilevskiy stopped him to keep things tied. The Hawks continued to pressure the Tampa Bay zone, but a turnover at the blue line gave Yanni Gourde an open look to fire home the game winning goal.
SCH 3 Stars
- Jonathan Drouin, Lightning (2 goals, 2 SOG)
- Victor Hedman, Lightning (0 goals, 3 assists)
- Yanni Gourde, Lightning (1 game-winning goal)
Chicago will face the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.