Corey Crawford’s big effort spoiled by iffy penalty in OT
BEN MEYER-ABBOTT ON THE BLACKHAWKS April 5, 2011 11:54PM
CANADIENS 2, Blackhawks 1
BLACKHAWKS 0 1 0 0— 2
Montreal 0 1 0 1— 1
First Period—None. Penalties—Subban, Mon (hooking), 17:40; Hamrlik, Mon (interference), 19:54.
Second Period—1, Montreal, Cammalleri 18 (Kostitsyn, Mara), 6:55. 2, HAWKS, Kane 27 (Brouwer, Seabrook), 10:05. Penalties—Toews, HAWKS (interference), :46; Stalberg, HAWKS (holding), 7:20; Kostitsyn, Mon (tripping), 7:42; Subban, Mon (delay of game), 12:45.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Kopecky, HAWKS (goaltender interference), 10:17; Kostitsyn, Mon (holding), 13:20.
Overtime—3, Montreal, Subban 14 (Kostitsyn, Cammalleri), 1:19 (pp). Penalties—Toews, HAWKS (tripping), :37.
Shots on Goal—HAWKS 9-14-20-0—43. Montreal 12-12-9-2—35. Power-play opportunities—HAWKS 0 of 5; Montreal 1 of 4.
Goalies—HAWKS, Crawford 31-17-6 (35 shots-33 saves). Montreal, Price 37-28-6 (43-42).
Referees—Eric Furlatt, Brian Pochmara. Linesmen—Anthony Sericolo, Pierre Champoux. A—21,273 (21,273). T—2:29.
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
MONTREAL — Poor performances and senseless penalties in their last few games had put the Blackhawks in a bad spot. A strong performance, partially negated by a questionable call, might have made it worse.
Center Jonathan Toews was called for a trip 37 seconds into overtime on P.K. Subban, who then scored on the ensuing power play to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 victory Tuesday and the two points the Hawks so desperately wanted. The result left the Hawks two points ahead of the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
‘‘I don’t really know what to say right now,’’ Toews said. ‘‘Great game, great team game. We worked our butts off. You don’t want to blame it on one little thing and say it comes down to a call, but that’s obviously what happened.
‘‘You can argue the call, especially when you feel there are a lot of stick penalties that don’t get called against you out there. And then the game’s decided on something like that. It’s pretty damn frustrating.’’
Coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t quite so diplomatic.
‘‘I 100 percent disagree with that call at the end,’’ he said. ‘‘Jonny didn’t touch his feet.’’
What was most frustrating for the Hawks, other than missing out on the possibility of earning an extra point, was the lateness of the whistle on Toews.
‘‘It’s tough to take because the call came so late,’’ winger Patrick Kane said. ‘‘It seemed like the fans kind of called it for [the official], and then he put his arm up. . . . I haven’t seen what happened, whether it was a penalty or not. I think it’s tough to give a team a four-on-three power play in overtime. Most teams are going to score in that situation.’’
Kane ended a 41/2-period scoreless streak for the Hawks when he scored at 10:05 of the second period for the 300th point of his career. Winger Troy Brouwer and defenseman Brent Seabrook assisted on the goal.
Goalie Corey Crawford was sensational in his return to his boyhood home, stopping 33 of 35 shots and nearly matching Canadiens goalie Carey Price (42 saves). He almost singlehandedly kept the Hawks in the game in the first two periods.
‘‘He was unbelievable,’’ Toews said. ‘‘Great goaltending battle out there. You want nothing more than to give your goalie two points when he plays like that.’’
The Hawks also were dealt another injury when Brouwer missed a check on the Canadiens’ Lars Eller and flew shoulder-first into the corner boards with 13:07 left in the third period. Brouwer stayed down for a long time before limping off the ice.
‘‘We’ll get a better assessment [today], but it’s upper body,’’ Quenneville said.
Before the game, the Hawks had talked about putting it all together — and, for the most part, they did. Not only that, but they did it in a low-scoring slugfest against an equally desperate and determined team and a scalding-hot goalie.
Still, it proved not to be enough.
‘‘It’s not good enough to get the one point,’’ defenseman Duncan Keith said. ‘‘We’ll take it, but we know we can start better. Whether it was nerves or I don’t know what, the start wasn’t good enough.’’