The Blackhawks needed one more break to complete a second consecutive amazing comeback. But they didn’t get it.
Goalie Scott Darling was sure he was interfered with by Henrik Sedin on Daniel Sedin’s shot from inside the blue line that got past him to give the Vancouver Canucks a 5-4 overtime victory before 21,607 at the United Center. But the goal was allowed upon replay review, spoiling the Hawks’ three-goal comeback in the final 15 minutes, with Ryan Hartman’s goal with 63 seconds left in regulation sending the game into overtime.
“I know I got bumped. I thought it was a terrible call,” said Darling, who relieved Corey Crawford after the Canucks took a 4-1 lead on Brandon Sutter’s goal at the 2:15 mark of the third period. “I couldn’t move my blocker. It slowed me down and the puck was in the net. He’s six inches inside the crease. I know the rules. It was a bad call.”
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t quite as vehement as Darling. “You could argue it,” he said of Darling’s dispute.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Hawks (47-20-6, 100 points) and cut their Central Division lead to six points over the Minnesota Wild (44-22-6, 94 points), who beat the Sharks 3-2 on Tuesday night. The Wild still have a game in hand.
Two days after they stunned the Avalanche with three goals in 34 seconds and four in 3:02 of the third period to turn defeat into regulation victory, the Hawks nearly pulled off a similar feat against the Canucks. Trailing 4-1, they rallied to tie on goals by Marian Hossa, Richard Panik and Hartman.
And with all the momentum on they had a golden opportunity for a second consecutive stunning victory after Henrik Sedin was called for delay over game after firing the puck over the glass with 32 seconds left in regulation. But the Hawks were unable to score with the 4-on-3 advantage in overtime and Toews was called for interference when he crashed into Ryan Miller at the end of the power play —a push from the Canucks’ Alex Edler didn’t help matters.
“We know we can score a lot of goals in a short period of time,” said Hartman, who also scored in the second period and has 18 goals this season. “There’s never any quit in our team, [no doubt] that we could make a push like we did the other night. And we did it again tonight. We were a goal short. Tough to go down on the [penalty kill] in overtime — that never ends well. But we got a point out of it. So you’ve got to look at that in a good way.”
As they did against the Avalanche, the Hawks fell behind early. But the Hawks still were getting opportunities. After two periods they were outshooting the Canucks 21-8, but losing 3-1. The Canucks scored on three of their first five shots on goal. The Hawks outshot the Canucks 44-15 for the game.
“I thought we were much better tonight than we were [against the Avalanche],” Quenneville said. “I thought we didn’t give up much — usually that’s how I measure our team. We had the puck a lot and they cashed in on their opportunities, which were few.
“Then we’re chasing the game. But I thought we made a good attempt on a real good third period. When you look at what we gave up, you’ll win more than 90 percent of your games.”
It was one of those nights. The Hawks had all the momentum after Hossa scored on a slap shot from the right circle off a pass from Brent Seabrook at 5:48 of the third period and Panik scored 2:22 later off a feed from Trevor van Riemsdyk to cut the deficit to 4-3 — igniting the United Center crowd. The Hawks appeared to tie the game when rookie John Hayden scored from the top of the right circle with 3:45 left in regulation. But upon a Canucks challenge, Richard Panik was ruled offsides and the goal was disallowed.
But the Hawks just kept coming and finally tied it when Kane passed to Hartman from behind the net and the rookie beat Miller from close range. Hartman centered the No. 2 line with Kane and Artemi Panarin in the third period, replacing Schmaltz.
“[Hartman] had a heck of a game,” Quenneville said. “We tried him a little in the middle and he looked comfortable. He gives us versatility and more options. When he’s playing like that, [it’s] nice to see him take advantage of getting moved up and doing some different things. He was around the net, great pass by Kaner. He’s had a nice year and he has a tremendous shot and pays the price at the net.”
Crawford was pulled after allowing four goals on 10 shots.
“Just one of those games,” Quenneville said. “It’s 4-1, try to do something different.”
Though Quenneville was not disappointed with the performance, the Hawks can help themselves by avoiding the deficits they faced against the Avalanche and Canucks — who rank 27th and 30th in the NHL in points.
“Sometimes we have a hard time playing against teams when they’re out of the playoffs and I don’t know what it is,” Hossa said. “We have to make sure we are more ready in the beginning, because it’s important two points. We have to try to win the division. That’s our goal.”