GLENDALE, Ariz. — Joel Quenneville bolted to the front of the bench and leaned over the boards, his arms waving frantically and his mouth spewing a string of incredulous obscenity. The Blackhawks coach was so irate over an overturned Marian Hossa goal in the first period that he actually earned himself an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which led directly to an Arizona Coyotes goal.
“As soon as they said ‘no goal,’ he went bananas,” Hossa said.
And that was only the beginning.
But a game that had rapid-fire goals, controversial hits, questionable officiating, and all manner of unusual events ended in a most familiar way — with a Jonathan Toews’ overtime winner. Toews’ fifth overtime goal of the season — matching Steven Stamkos’ NHL record set in 2011-12 —gave the Hawks a rollicking 5-4 victory on Thursday night. Toews’ overtime winners have accounted for more than 14 percent of the Hawks’ conference-leading win total.
The wild game came barely a month after they last met at Gila River Arena, a similarly action-packed 7-5 Hawks victory.
“We are happy we won this crazy game,” Hossa said with a laugh. “It was pretty fun to watch, I guess, from upstairs.”
There were two pivotal moments in this one. The first was Hossa’s disallowed goal, which he banked in off of former teammate Klas Dahlbeck’s ankle. The Coyotes challenged the goal, saying Hossa interfered with goaltender Louis Domingue. Hossa appeared to be pushed into Domingue, and had extricated himself from the crease by the time he scored, but the goal was overturned, sending Quenneville into a tirade on the Hawks bench. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored on the ensuing power play, turning a 1-0 Hawks lead into a 1-0 Hawks deficit.
“I couldn’t believe it, I thought it was a joke,” said Hossa, who wondered how the flawed challenge system — which has referees review goals on iPads in the arena rather than utilizing a central war room in New York or Toronto —would affect the playoffs. “I don’t think it’s good for the league.”
But Hossa channeled his frustration into one of his best games of the season. He got his 495th career goal back early in the second period, charging out of the corner and beating Connor Murphy to the net and flipping the puck past Domingue. Sixty-seven seconds later, Hossa fended off two Coyotes and fed Toews for a shorthanded goal and a 2-1 lead.
“That was the Hoss we know very well, making those single-handed efforts,” Toews said.
Then came the second turning point — Andrew Shaw’s ill-advised charging hit on Zbynek Michalek. Shaw appeared to leave his feet while making the hit, and got a charging penalty and a roughing minor. Mikkel Boedker tied it up on the power play, and Jordan Martinook made it 3-2 Coyotes just nine seconds later, scoring off the ensuing faceoff after Brad Richardson chased down a dump-in and centered the puck into a crowded crease.
Barely a minute after that, Patrick Kane ripped a wrist shot that beat Domingue between the legs to tie the game 3-3. It was Kane’s 31st goal of the season, setting a new career high.
The Hawks took the lead in the third period when Michal Rozsival, during 4-on-4 play, posted up in front of the Coyotes net and put in a pretty Artem Anisimov feed for his first goal of the season. But Coyotes captain Shane Doan tied it back up at 11:30 of the third.
But all that did was set up Toews — Mr. 3-on-3 —to pot the game-winner. The only surprise this time was that it took him 4:31 to do it.
“I would have liked to have seen him in the All-Star game,” a much calmer Quenneville said with a chuckle. “It was a hard-working game for both teams. It was incredibly competitive and fun to be a part of.”