Hossa’s one-timer in OT keeps the Blackhawks perfect at 4-0
BY MARK LAZERUS email@example.com January 24, 2013 10:34PM
Jordie Benn, Brandon Saad
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:45AM
DALLAS — Patrick Kane wanted to shoot. Joel Quenne-
ville figured he’d pass to his left. But Marian Hossa has seen Kane pull off enough magic tricks over the years to know better. So when Kane’s shooting lane was blocked, and he turned his back to Hossa at the right circle, Hossa stayed ready. For anything.
“He didn’t take a shot, so I knew right away he had something in his mind,” Hossa said. “So I just had to be ready to unleash it.”
Kane faked out everyone but Hossa, spinning to his left and dropping a behind-the-back pass to his waiting teammate, who fired it past seemingly impassable Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen in overtime — wrapping up a dramatic comeback, a 3-2 Blackhawks victory, and the franchise’s best start in 40 years.
It continued the torrid start for Kane (seven points in four games), Hossa (five goals in four games), the power play (3-for-7, at least one goal in each game) and the Hawks in general (4-0 for the first time since the 1972-73 season).
“Kane is going,” Quenneville said. “He wants the puck, and what a play. You can talk about that one for a long time. He had eyes behind his head.”
“I was going to try to get a shot myself; I thought I’d be all alone,” Kane said. “[The defenseman] ended up staying there, so I turned around and saw [Hossa] out of the corner of my eye. It ended up working out.”
It was a stunning turn of events, even with the way the Hawks offense has been rolling in the early going. Midway through the second period, Chicago trailed 2-0 on a last-second shorthanded goal by Loui Eriksson in the first period, and a roofed backhander by Ray Whitney in the second period. Meanwhile, the Hawks were helpless against Lehtonen, who continued his mastery over them.
For nearly 55 minutes, every Hawks shot was swallowed up by the sure-handed Lehtonen, who entered the game with a .934 save percentage and 1.98 goals-against average against Chicago. Lehtonen finished with 38 saves, and the Stars blocked a whopping 24 more Hawks shots.
And it wasn’t as if the Hawks weren’t getting chances. Lehtonen just stopped everything.
“It was almost fun to watch how good he was playing,” Kane said. “I know that’s scary to say, but he was making acrobatic save after acrobatic save.”
Lehtonen finally gave one up on a power play late in the second period, but it was his own teammate who beat him. A Patrick Sharp crossing pass to Viktor Stalberg deflected of Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley’s stick and past Lehtonen to cut the lead to 2-1.
Chicago finally broke through on its own on another power play with 5:53 left in the game, as Jonathan Toews — who was stoned by Lehtonen a few times in the first period — drilled a Sharp pass into the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2 and send it to overtime. After the Hawks killed off a power play that spanned the third period and overtime, Brenden Morrow took an interference penalty, and Kane and Hossa made the Stars pay.
Corey Crawford made 21 saves, including a penalty shot in the second period and several big stops in the third. He also got a huge boost from defenseman Duncan Keith, who swiped the puck off the goal line with less than a second to go in the second period after it trickled through Crawford’s pads.
“Our first big test coming from behind, and I think we did an excellent job,” Hossa said. “We didn’t quit.”