Blackhawks fall to Red Wings in overtime for fourth loss in row
By Adam L. Jahns firstname.lastname@example.org January 8, 2012 10:28PM
The Hawks’ Dave Bolland fails to lift a backhand over Red Wings goalie Ty Conklin in overtime Sunday. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: February 10, 2012 9:01AM
Regardless of how good they were defensively or how many chances they generated offensively, bad things just seemed bound to happen with the way things have been going for the Blackhawks.
Nothing is going their way. Absolutely nothing.
The Hawks’ 3-2 overtime loss Sunday to the rival Detroit Red Wings at the United Center featured missed penalties at key times, a fanned-on penalty shot after what appeared to be a big goal for a 3-1 lead, fortunate bounces for their opponents and more.
The Hawks, though, won’t blame anybody but themselves for their first four-game losing streak since March 2009. They want all the blame for the Red Wings and
St. Louis Blues being ahead of them in the Central Division standings.
To make matters worse, they lost star forward Patrick Sharp to an undisclosed upper-body injury in the first period.
‘‘We might have been ahead of those teams, but it wasn’t like we were light-years ahead of them,’’ coach Joel Quenneville said. ‘‘We did give away a lot of ground here this week, and it’s up to us to regain where we’re at.’’
Pavel Datsyuk’s game-winner came on a slow-developing play that looked more and more ominous as it unfolded. A loose puck came out to the left of goalie Corey Crawford (24 saves) as he tangled with defenseman Steve Montador and the Red Wings’ Johan Franzen.
Datsyuk, who had taken the original shot, actually fanned on his first attempt at a wide-open net, but his second try deflected off Nick Leddy and into the net with 1:52 left in overtime.
In many ways, it was a position the Hawks never should have been in. They failed to capitalize on key power plays to increase a 2-1 lead, and the Red Wings got some help when the officials determined a near-goal by the Hawks early in the third period was ‘‘inconclusive’’
after Tomas Holmstrom grabbed the puck just as it appeared to roll across the goal line.
Quenneville selected rookie
Jimmy Hayes to take the ensuing penalty shot, and he was turned away by Ty Conklin (29 saves).
‘‘It was the first one I ever had,’’ Hayes said. ‘‘I wish I could have it back. I fanned on it. I tried to go upstairs and didn’t get enough through it.’’
The Hawks opened a 2-0 lead with a first-period flurry that looked like a good omen. Dave Bolland scored from the slot on a
power play at 3:35, and Sharp made it 2-0 with a blast 44 seconds later.
The Red Wings pulled to 2-1 when Valtteri Filppula scored at 13:29 of the first, three seconds after their two-man advantage turned into just a man advantage.
Danny Cleary tied the score with 4:45 left in regulation when his shot trickled past Crawford. Leddy was cross-checked on the play and was down on ice with a good view of the slow-moving goal.
‘‘I don’t want to blame the refs,’’ forward Viktor Stalberg said. ‘‘We’ve done that enough in the last couple of games. It seems like that’s not helping our cause to get calls for us.’’
The Hawks think they put themselves in this position.
‘‘It’s been a tough stretch for us the last couple of games,’’ center Jonathan Toews said. ‘‘We played better tonight. We were more deserving of two points; we just didn’t find a way to close it out. It’s tough to protect a one-goal lead for as long as we did. We just have to be smarter and try to limit those mistakes against that team. They found a way.’’