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Blackhawks fall to Blue Jackets in nine-round shootout

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fedor Tyutin started backpedaling, and all he saw in front of him were Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Brandon Saad and Brent Seabrook — basically an all-star team barreling down on him on a rare 4-on-1. Toews calmly sent the puck over to a wide-open Hossa, who wound up for the one-timer.

His stick broke.

Probably wouldn’t have mattered. The way Sergei Bobrovsky was playing for the Blue Jackets, he probably would have stopped it anyway. Bobrovsky made 39 saves and stopped eight of nine Hawks in a prolonged shootout to hand the Hawks a 3-2 loss. Saad in particular might be seeing Bobrovsky’s right pad in his nightmares for a while after that one, as the Columbus goalie made big save after big save.

It was reminiscent of the third game of the season, when Calgary’s Jonas Hiller made 49 saves and the Hawks lost 2-1 in overtime despite dominating the game.

“This might have been worse for me,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “I thought the quality [of chances] was higher tonight.”

It was a mixed bag for the Hawks. On the one hand, they salvaged a point on the road against a red-hot team (8-0-1 in their last nine; this was their sixth straight overtime game). On the other, they completely dominated the Blue Jackets but lost anyway, thanks to Bobrovsky’s thievery, a power play that failed all four times (including twice late in the third period) and an inability to get to the juicy rebounds Bobrovsky was regularly kicking out.

Oddly enough, it was the fourth time this season the Hawks have fired at least 40 shots on goal in a loss. Sometimes, total domination isn’t enough.

“As a team, I thought we outplayed them,” said Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford, who made 17 stops in his first appearance in nine games. “We had some great chances. Their guy played well.”

Said Quenneville: “We did everything but win that game.”

Yet, the Hawks were fortunate to even get the point. Between Hossa’s broken stick and an earlier disallowed goal for Hossa, who had made contact with Bobrovsky, the Hawks couldn’t catch a break. They finally got one in the third period. Trailing 2-1 in the third, Marcus Kruger — without a stick — slid feet-first into the crease, kicking the puck toward the goal line and blocking Bobrovsky’s path to the puck. The goal was initially waved off, but replays showed Smith got his stick on the puck just before it crossed, and it was ruled a good goal after a lengthy replay.

Once the game got to the shootout, Bobrovsky and Crawford put on a show — Bobrovsky with the pads, Crawford with his glove. Former Hawks winger Jeremy Morin and Andrew Shaw scored in the fifth round of the shootout — Morin’s goal was the first one the Hawks have given up all season in the shootout, making them the last team in the NHL to do so — and Jack Johnson scored in the top of the ninth.

Bryan Bickell had a chance to extend it, but Bobrovsky made his final big stop of the night to keep the Columbus hot streak going.

“[Crawford] looked really good in the shootout,” Quenneville said. “We should have won it for him.”

Instead, the Hawks suffered only their second loss in a month — one by one goal, and one in a shootout. Frustrating, sure. But easy to put in the past, especially with a home game against Toronto looming on Sunday.

“It’s always nice to get two [points],” Duncan Keith said. “We had a lot of chances, and it goes to a shootout and we had a lot of chances in the shootout. Just one of those games where you just kind of move on and get ready for the next game.”


Twitter: @marklazerus