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Blackhawks let it slip away in 3-2 loss

Valtteri Filppul Corey Crawford

Valtteri Filppula, Corey Crawford

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Updated: November 7, 2013 6:57AM



Corey Crawford said it was a “pretty near perfect game for us.” Joel Quenneville said, “We did what we wanted to do.”

Sometimes, they said, the other guy’s just better.

Goalie Ben Bishop made 37 saves and stopped Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa in the shootout as the Hawks squandered a two-goal third-period lead and lost 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Longtime Detroit Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula had the lone goal in the shootout, beating Crawford in the first round.

“It was one of those games where they’ve got a goalie winning the game,” Quenneville said. “We play like that, you’ll [usually] find a way to get two points. Sometimes you get a goalie win on the other side, and you don’t get a point. That’s a positive we take out of it.”

For the Hawks, it was a nightmare finish to a game that started out as a laugher. The Lightning didn’t put a single shot on goal in the first period — only the second time in Hawks’ history that they held an opponent without a shot for a full period.

It was a surreal period for Crawford, who didn’t have to make a save until 82 seconds into the ­second period. He shrugged off the idea that making only 14 saves in 65 minutes factored into the Lightning’s two third-period goals.

“Shouldn’t matter,” he said. “You’re trying to find a way to stay in the game, play the puck, talk to our guys. There’s always something to do when you’re not getting shots. It’s not an issue.”

And in the end, it didn’t matter. The Lightning made the most of the few shots they did have.

“We’re not playing to win periods,” winger Ben Smith said. “We’re playing to win games.”

After outshooting the Lightning 12-0 in the first period, but failing to score, the Hawks finally got on the board 59 seconds into the second, when Kane cleaned up a Bryan Bickell rebound after Niklas Hjalmarsson crashed the net from the side.

The Hawks made it 2-0 midway through the second on a fluky goal by Brandon Saad. Nick Leddy’s dump-in attempt hit the boards in the corner and skittered across the goalmouth, while Bishop was behind the net, waiting for the usual carom. Saad beat Bishop to the puck and flipped it into the open net for his second goal in as many games.

But the Lightning, after being thoroughly dominated for two periods, struck midway through the third period. Martin St. Louis’ backhander cut the lead to 2-1 at 10:08 of the third, and Teddy Purcell’s power-play goal tied it less than two minutes later.

“It’s about playing a full 60 minutes, and we might have had a little lull there,” Smith said. “But that’s just early in the year. Some things happen, and it’s important as long as we learn from it and move forward. Things will be all right.”

Purcell’s equalizer was the fourth power-play goal the Hawks have surrendered in seven chances, and sent the game into overtime despite the Hawks having a 37-14 edge in shots during regulation.

The Hawks certainly had their chances, peppering Bishop with eight shot on five power plays. There were a couple of sequences in the second and third periods in which the Hawks generated two, three, even four consecutive chances and a few wild flurries in Bishop’s crease. But they couldn’t bury a shot and put the Lightning away, and it cost them in the end.

“Their guy played unbelievable,” Crawford said. “I just wasn’t good enough. I need to find a way to come up with one save at the end to shut it down, and I didn’t. Lost the game.”

Email: mlazerus@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MarkLazerus



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