Blackhawks Fall Short In Shootout Loss

Just as the skies opened up in Chicago, the Lightning came alive twelve minutes into the third period.  With a strong backhand shot by St. Louis, the Lightning cut the Blackhawks 2-0 lead in half.  Less than a minute later Toews puts a stick in the face of Tyler Johnson putting Tampa Bay on the power play.  Thirty seconds in the Lightning tie it up with a  goal by Teddy Purcell.  The Blackhawks had a chance to take back the lead when Valtteri Filppula was called for a high stick on Brent Seabrook.  The next two minutes were full of scrambles and rebound opportunities, however Chicago was unable to put the puck in the net.  Neither team was able to capitalize in overtime forcing the game to a shootout.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa all had opportunities to help lead the Hawks to the win but Ben Bishop stayed strong between the pipes never allowing the puck to pass him.  On the other end Filppula scored against Corey Crawford, the only player to score in the shootout, and lead Tampa Bay to the 3-2 win.

Bishop had a stellar performance with 37 saves, only two allowed, and ended the night with a .949 save percentage.  Had it not been for one poor decision midway through the first period, the Lightning may have been able to win the game in regulation.  Bishop was caught anticipating to play the puck behind his net while Chicago was on the power play.  The puck was dumped into Tampa Bay ice but took a strange bounce off the boards sending it into the blue ice directly in front of the Lightning net.  Bishop hustled to try and make it back for the save but was unable to beat an alert Brandon Saad who tapped the puck across the line and gave Chicago the 2-0 lead.

On the other end of the ice, Crawford wasn’t challenged often.  Tampa Bay hadn’t had a shot on goal until halfway through the second period.  The Lightning only tallied 16 shots on goal for the game but were able to get two past Crawford less than two minutes apart.  Martin St. Louis scored first with a strong backhand shot off a Crawford rebound then set up Teddy Purcell who scored the tying goal firing a shot past Crawford on his struggling glove side.

The Blackhawks continued to struggle on the power play only converting on one of five opportunities.  The Hawks also seem to be struggling on the penalty kill which looked much stronger last season.   In the season opener, Chicago gave up three goals during Washington’s six power play opportunities and last night allowed the game tying goal while on the PK against Tampa Bay.

The Blackhawks will have three days to work out any kinks before their next challenge which comes on Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues, probably the toughest team they will face in their division.  Chicago will go into St. Louis with a 1-0-1 record while St. Louis is tied for first in the Central with Colorado and Winnipeg, all with a 2-0-0 record.


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