Blackhawks fall to Coyotes in shootout in 1st game back home

SHARE Blackhawks fall to Coyotes in shootout in 1st game back home
SHARE Blackhawks fall to Coyotes in shootout in 1st game back home

Joel Quenneville tried to warn that the Blackhawks shouldn’t let themselves start feeling comfortable in their first home game since Jan. 20.

Not only is there a tendency for teams to exhale in their first game after a long trip. And if anybody fit that description, it was the Hawks, who were starting an eight-game homestand after playing seven straight on the road.

The Hawks also had romped against Arizona 6-1 in their last home.

This time, they expected it to be different.

And it was. Despite two goals from Marian Hossa on his Bobblehead Night, the Coyotes prevailed 3-2 in an overtime shootout.

‘‘I wouldn’t call it a trap game,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘There’s no easy games. [The Coyotes] play extremely well. They play hard. We didn’t want to fool ourselves into thinking we were going to have our way again.

‘‘We battled hard. But we had some opportunities on the power play that let us down a bit. [But] we’ll we’ll take a point after being down late in the third period.’’

The Hawks were 0 for 4 on the power play. Arizona was 1 for 2.

For all their problems, the Hawks, who had trailed 2-1 late in the third period, nearly pulled out a 3-2 victory with 16 seconds left in overtime. But league officials, looking at the video replay, ruled that the puck had not crossed the line completely.

If the shot by Andrew Shaw, which seemed to sneak across the goal line inside the right post from some angles, wasn’t a goal, it was about as close as a non-goal could come.

During the wait for the rulling, Quenneville and his old friend, Arizona coach Dave Tippett, were jawing at each other.

‘‘He said it wasn’t in, and I said it was in,’’ Quenneville said later. ‘‘I don’t believe it could get any closer.’’

Shaw didn’t see the play live, but watched the video replay with the 21,337 paying customers at the United Center.

‘‘I saw what everyone else saw on the big screen,’’ Shaw said. ‘‘They made what they believed was the right call. It’s a nerve-racking couple of minutes.’’

Beyond their power-play problems and the result, the Hawks weren’t overly down.

‘‘Playing yesterday and today, it’s tough,’’ Shaw said. ‘‘Weplayed great tonight. We just didn’t score on the opportunties we got.’’

Both of Hossa’s goals came on great centering passes from Jonathan Toews in the right corner. The first pass was especially dazzling.

‘‘Jonny’s got a great vision,’’ Hossa said. ‘‘He sees the ice extremely well. He did a great job of forechecking. He saw me coming to the net, and I just tried to put a stick there.’’

When the Hawks drilled the Coyotes 6-1 here on Jan. 20, they had peppered Dave Smith with 51 shots. This time they managed 38.

The listless power play, though, was the difference.

‘‘I didn’t like it,’’ said Quenneville, declining to single out any particular aspects. ‘‘You can talk about all of them. It started off poorly and ended poorly. You could talk about every aspect of it tonight. We didn’t have any possession time. We didn’t have any net presence or shot threats.’’

That left the Coyotes wearing smiles at the end of the night.

‘‘Smittty was really good,’’ Tippett said. ‘‘We hung around the game and found a way to get points. We’ve actually played real well in this building. For whatever reason, last game we didn’t play very well. I’m sure the guys remembered that.’’


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